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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


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The Language Learning Journal

Call Deadline: 31-Oct-2013

Call Information:
Call for Papers

Special issue: Task-based language teaching and learning

Guest edited by Mohammad Javad Ahmadian (University of Isfahan, Iran)

Tasks are now widely used in language classrooms around the world under various guises. The last two decades have witnessed a surge of interest in research on tasks. However, there have been a number of criticisms leveled against task-based language teaching and learning (TBLT/L). For example, it has been claimed that since tasks are inherently meaning-centered and outcome-oriented they do not foster language learning and may induce task performers to simply 'get the job done' which might give rise to the production of impoverished language. A review of the relevant literature reveals that, despite the wealth of research in this area, such criticisms have not yet been adequately addressed and many unanswered questions remain regarding the notion of task and its utility in language classrooms - specifically, where a language other than English is taught. There is also a dearth of research on whether and how different kinds of task-based implementation variables (e.g. planning time) and task design features (e.g. task structure and task complexity) interact with individual difference factors. This special issue of The Language Learning Journal will therefore attempt to address the current research lacunae in TBLT/L.

Another potentially fruitful strand of research in the realm of TBLT/L concerns evaluation of different tasks and the examination of their relative efficacy in different contexts. Such studies are scarce and we therefore invite research studies on this topic from a wide range of contexts. In line with The Language Learning Journal's mission statement, studies conducted in contexts other than English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) are particularly welcome. We also invite papers from researchers who are interested in drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data and research methodologies. We are especially interested in methodologically rigorous task-based studies which demonstrate second language development (for example, in terms of complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexis).

Papers should be approximately 6000 words. Empirical studies, theoretical papers, state-of-the-art articles and meta-analyses are welcomed in the following areas:

-Task design features and L2 oral/written performance (complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexical diversity);
-Task-based planning and L2 oral/written performance (complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexical diversity);
-Task repetition and L2 oral/written performance and development;
-TBLT/L and individual difference variables (particularly, working memory capacity, language aptitude, willingness to communicate, and motivation);
-TBLT/L and the development of implicit and explicit knowledge;
-Form-focused instruction and TBLT/L;
-Innovative practices and techniques for pre-, while-, and post-task phases of lessons;
-The effects of input-based tasks on language performance and development;
-Tasks and interaction (both learner-learner and learner-teacher) in the language classrooms;
-(Micro- and macro-) evaluation of tasks in different contexts;
-Task-based Computer Assisted Language Learning (TBCALL)

Abstracts of 300 - 500 words should be sent to Dr. Mohammad Javad Ahmadian (ahmadian.edu@gmail.com) by 31 October 2013.

The authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 15 December 2013 and will need to submit final drafts by 1 May 2014. Acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication.


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