Scientific research benefits from the zeitgeist of today’s knowledge, which opens new avenues for future endeavors. As new concepts, methods, and theories are (re)introduced to the research field, they facilitate new studies and stimulate new discussions on relatively older knowledge. Applied Linguistics has recently been introduced to concepts such as embodiment and multilingualism, methods such as neuroscience and corpus linguistics, and theories such as cognitive grammar and extended cognition. This book is an attempt to shed light on the future of Applied Linguistics and comparable to another recent book edited by Gitsaki and Baldauf (2012). Following an introductory chapter by Pfenninger and Navracsics, Part 1 focuses on future directions for bilingualism research. Chapter 2 by de Bot starts by defining bilingual advantage and showing how the current research on it brings together various contexts and groups to highlight the (possible) advantages of being bilingual with regard to keeping and refreshing information in memory, relatively easily ignoring irrelevant information, and switching between tasks relatively faster. It then discusses whether enough evidence exists for these advantages in the current research, whether bilingualism is a dynamic ongoing process, and whether there are disadvantages to being bilingual, such as cognitive load due to code-switching costs. The chapter also points out new directions to compare different groups of bilinguals, including early vs. late, continuous bilingual vs. discontinuous bilingual, proficient vs. less proficient, bilingual in typologically related languages vs. less related languages, and possible research on bilingual advantages over learning a third language. Chapter 3 by Csépe starts by highlighting the changes in views in neuroscience, from a modular approach to a more connected approach to the brain. It points out the limited perspectives that modular approaches to the brain provide to the language research and discusses new questions that brain network approaches may ask to broaden bilingualism and multilingualism research. To give an example, instead of focusing only on the so-called language-specific areas such as Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas and areas related to executive functions such as memory, new research may focus on neural activity beyond these areas and across stages of (second) language acquisition/development and frequency of second language uses in daily life from a multidisciplinary perspective using multi-brain imaging methods. Chapter 4 by Navracsics and Sáry starts by discussing limited neuroscientific research and experimental behavioral research on phonological and semantic processing in bilinguals. It then focuses on processing reading in relation to semantics and/or phonology in Hungarian (L1) learners of English (L2), aiming to provide guidance to second language teachers. The results from experiments on phonological and semantic rhyming tests on 48 participants (17 bilinguals from birth and 31 late learners) show that phonological awareness was more developed (e.g. faster and more correct) in late learners than in bilinguals from birth, whereas semantic awareness was similar in both groups. Chapter 5 by van Heuven starts with a review of L2 acquisition of sounds, comparing L1 speakers, native-like L2 speakers including early and late bilinguals, and other L2 speakers. It reports on a study which was conducted on Dutch (L1) (early and late) learners of (British) English (L2) to investigate perception of vowels. A total of 15 English, 15 monolingual Dutch, and 15 Dutch–English speakers participated in this study. The Dutch–English group included both early and late bilinguals with (exceptionally) high proficiency. The results suggest that highly proficient Dutch speakers of English had slightly different vowel perceptions in English than did native speakers of English, and that early and late Dutch–English bilinguals differed from one another in their perception of English vowels. Part 2 is about future directions for theoretical research on second language acquisition and language policy. Chapter 6 by Pfenninger and Singleton starts by reviewing literature on the age of acquisition in second language. It introduces the quantitative methods used to investigate the age of acquisition in second language research and discuss issues such as the generalizability of the results, sampling, the experimental setting, and longitudinal research. It then highlights linear mixed-effects regression models to conduct research on second language acquisition especially with regard to investigating age-related factors. The chapter illustrates the benefits of using such a model over other models such as analysis of variance. Chapter 7 by Csernicskó focuses on Ukrainian as a building block of a national identity and the status of Russian, especially in East Ukraine, in the light of language ideology and societal conflicts. After introducing the implementation of language policies and language laws over the years, the chapter discusses possible language policies involving a codification of bilingualism. Chapter 8 by Bülow and Harnisch aims to analyze the emergence of a new gender marker in German. It examines gender markers and gendered expressions, and the ways in which they are perceived by gender-sensitive speakers in German. It reports a study to investigate how German speakers assign gender to nouns with gender markers and the new genderless marker in newspapers. The results show that participants were slightly in favor of a (biological) feminine interpretation of the nouns regardless of the marker in use. Chapter 9 by Fábián starts with definitions of critical thinking, and then focuses on how critical thinking is defined, used, and taught in educational settings. After that, it provides an alternative perspective to critical thinking in which thinker, thought, and social and educational/cultural environment interact with one another. Chapter 10 by Jessner and Török outlines the issues related to (multi)language awareness and additional language learning and use, especially in third language acquisition from the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism. According to this model, multilingualism is perceived as a dynamic system in which learners constantly develop new skills and abilities in (non)language-specific skills in language learning, management, and maintenance. Part 3 focuses on future directions for empirical research on second language acquisition and instruction. Chapter 11 by Penris and Verspoor deals with the development of academic writing skills over a course of time based on data obtained from a single individual in The Netherlands. As the participant advances their English skills, they use longer noun phrases, more academic words and more complex sentences, and fewer grammatical errors. Yet, all the linguistic domains on which the study focused do not advance at the same pace, suggesting a dynamic development of academic writing. Chapter 12 by Cergol Kovačevicć examines L1 and L2 processing of (semi)cognate words, similar words in spoken/written forms and meaning in both languages, in Croatian (L1) and English (L2). The results from an experimental study on 30 Croatian speakers showed that, surprisingly, lexical decision response times to non-cognate but very familiar spoken stimuli in Croatian and English did not differ; response times to cognate written words were faster in English but slower in Croatian as compared to response times to non-cognate written words, and response times to semi-cognate spoken but not written words were slower in both languages. Chapter 13 by Bátyi deals with attitudes toward learning, learners, and teachers of Russian in Hungary. The data from 39 Hungarian speakers who learned Russian decades ago showed that language attrition and retention are influenced by years of instruction and attitudes toward learning Russian but not toward teachers or the Russian language. This book puts together very important studies using various methods of applied linguistics, including brain imaging and experimental studies in bilingualism/multilingualism as well as studies on language ideology, language acquisition, and language attrition. There are some minor issues that do not diminish the book’s value to applied linguists interested in new research questions. Of these issues, the book includes an eclectic array of review articles (e.g. Chapter 2), research papers (e.g. Chapter 4), and opinion papers (e.g. Chapter 9). The book could be improved if it consisted of a single type of articles. For example, all articles could have reviewed the current research on a research topic and propose future research avenues. Another issue is that some of the chapters such as Chapters 4–6, 8, 11, and 13 do not sufficiently discuss the future research avenues on their topics contra to what the title of the book suggests. In addition, most chapters—with the exception of Chapters 8 and 9—deal with issues on second/foreign language, narrowing down applied linguistics to these areas, which makes the title of the book misleading. Though invaluable, Chapter 7 appears to be unrelated to the book’s main premise because it focuses on a language policy in a single country without clear contributions to the general field of applied linguistics and its future research directions. Reference Gitsaki C. , Baldauf R. B. Jr. (eds). 2012 . Future Directions in Applied Linguistics: Local and Global Perspectives . Cambridge Scholars . © Oxford University Press 2018 This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)
Applied Linguistics – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2018
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