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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?

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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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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.


Academic Paper


Title: Identifying the impact of negative feedback and learners' responses on ESL question development
Author: Kim McDonough
Institution: Concordia University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Applied Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Swain's (1985, 1995, 2000) output hypothesis states that language production is facilitative of second language (L2) learning. An important component of the output hypothesis involves pushing learners to produce appropriate, accurate, and complex language (Swain, 1993), which may occur when interlocutors provide learners with negative feedback (Gass, 1997, 2003; Long, 1996; Mackey, in press; Pica, 1994; Swain & Lapkin, 1995). When learners modify their previous utterances in response to negative feedback, learning opportunities are created by both the provision of negative feedback and the production of modified output. Consequently, it is difficult to determine how these interactional features—alone or in combination—positively impact L2 development. The current study examines the impact of negative feedback and learners' responses on English as a second language (ESL) question development, which is operationalized as stage advancement in Pienemann and Johnston's developmental sequence for ESL question formation (Pienemann & Johnston, 1987; Pienemann, Johnston, & Brindley, 1988). Thai English as a foreign language (EFL) learners (n = 60) carried out a series of communicative tasks with native English speakers in four conditions that provided different negative feedback and modified output opportunities and also completed four oral production tests over an 8-week period. Analysis of the treatment data identified the amount of modified output involving developmentally advanced question forms produced by the learners, and analysis of the test data revealed whether the learners' stage assignment changed over time. Logistic regression indicated that the only significant predictor of ESL question development was the production of modified output involving developmentally advanced question forms in response to negative feedback.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 27, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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