Volume 29, Number 2, Fall 2014

Editor in Chief: Geeta Aneja

 

Editor's Note (PDF), Geeta Aneja

Synthesizing Social and Cognitive Approaches in SLA (PDF), Junko Hondo

Ideologies of Personhood: A Citizen Sociolinguistic Case Study of the Roman Dialect (PDF), Andrea R. Leone

“Follow the Procedure”: Online Metapragmatic Commentary on the Five Paragraph Essay (PDF), Mark Lewis

Citizen Sociolinguistics:A New Media Methodology for Understanding Language and Social Life (PDF), Betsy Rymes and Andrea R. Leone

The History of Language Planning and Reform in China: A Critical Perspective (PDF), Defu Wan



Editor's Note (PDF)

Geeta Aneja

 

Synthesizing Social and Cognitive Approaches in SLA (PDF)

Junko Hondo

In an effort to investigate developmental episodes in additional language learning using both cognitive and social frameworks, this working paper presents results of a pilot study based on a task-based language learning session. A total of forty participants at a Japanese university carried out a pedagogical task in five steps, including both interactive and independent steps. No instruction was provided. Approximately 3,000 responses were collected and examined for comprehension of target forms, and for the rationales provided for form selection. The quantitative analysis indicates significant gains in comprehension and the qualitative data show a shift in the trajectory of participant thinking as a result of participating in a task session. Commentaries from participants provide insights into the social and cognitive aspects of their developmental processes. 

 

Ideologies of Personhood: A Citizen Sociolinguistic Case Study of the Roman Dialect (PDF)

Andrea R. Leone

The status and role of Italy’s dialetti (dialects) in contemporary Italian society are contested among both citizens and sociolinguists, and their nuanced uses have begun to circulate (with commentary) around social media. This report adopts a citizen sociolinguistic approach (Rymes & Leone, this volume) to analyze a single controversial case about the Roman dialect via YouTube and Facebook, drawing on social media users’ metacommentary and recontextualizations (Rymes, 2012) of an interview with two young women at the beach. Rather than attempting to identify static and isolated characteristics of the Roman dialect based on this interview, this report analyzes the social values and linguistic characteristics that citizen sociolinguists attribute to these young women’s particular ways of speaking, acting, and being.

 

“Follow the Procedure”: Online Metapragmatic Commentary on the Five Paragraph Essay (PDF)

Mark Lewis

The genre of the five paragraph essay (5PE) is familiar to many US high school and middle school students because it is often included in the teaching of literary analysis and general argumentation. Learners of the 5PE participate in its social life consisting of its learning, change, and spread. In this paper, I present a description of some of the online social life of the 5PE. Examining online metapragmatic commentary under theoretical frames of speech genres (Bakhtin, 1986), enregisterment (Agha, 2007), and language governmentality (Flores 2014; Pennycook 2002, 2006), and with the new methodology of citizen sociolinguistics (Rymes & Leone, this volume), I show how numerous instances of metapragmatic commentary on the 5PE, regardless of their positioning, reinforce a governmentality that constructs the 5PE as a practice totally dependent on authoritarian specifications. 

 

Citizen Sociolinguistics:A New Media Methodology for Understanding Language and Social Life (PDF)

Betsy Rymes and Andrea R. Leone

Citizen sociolinguistics is a response to the need for a new sociolinguistic methodology that accounts for and partakes of the social demands and affordances of massive mobility and connectivity in today’s world. Drawing from contemporary theories about participatory culture (Jenkins, Purushotma, Wiegel, Clinton, & Robison, 2009), orders of indexicality (Silverstein, 2003), and communicative repertoire (Rymes, 2011), as well as the decades-old tradition of citizen science, Citizen sociolinguistics traces the ways citizens, more so than trained sociolinguists, understand the world of language around them. The goal of this article, and the methodology it proposes, is to document, learn from, and advocate for the importance of this public participation in sociolinguistic inquiry and exploration and its potential to illuminate our contemporary communicative environment. 

 

The History of Language Planning and Reform in China: A Critical Perspective (PDF)

Defu Wan

In traditional studies of language policy in China, scholars mainly try to evaluate language policy’s effectiveness in attaining goals such as national unity, economic development, and illiteracy reduction. Few people question the underlying framework of such language planning. This paper tries to call into question those basic assumptions. By adopting a critical theory perspective, this paper tries to locate the origin of the current language policy in China in its historical context and argues that the foundation for current Chinese language policy can be tracked back to colonialism: the framework of the current language policy is based on a Eurocentric model as part of a broader project of governmentality and the current simplified Chinese script is partially a colonial invention.