Concise Encyclopedia of Educational Linguistics by B. Spolsky

By B. Spolsky

The quantity contains 232 thematically organised articles in keeping with the hugely profitable Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics and the International Encyclopedia of Education (2nd version) revised and, the place invaluable, up to date and supplemented all through. facing all themes on the intersection among schooling and language, the paintings will end up a useful reference for all researchers within the box. by no means has there been extra excessive debate over varied attitudes and methods to educating and language. This quantity will supply a state-of-the-art description of all of the issues of curiosity to language educators and all these eager about making and imposing coverage in language schooling. primary subject matters comprise: the social context, society, nationwide, college and curricular coverage, literacy and oracy, language acquisition, bi- and plurilingualism, trying out, TEFL, TESOL, SLA.

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5. Language Variety It is normally assumed, however unrealistically, that the ultimate target of a foreign language learner is a linguistic competence comparable to that of a first language speaker and such as is described within a grammar of the standard language. Certainly such grammars are valuable reference points for anyone preparing a general language learning program. It is not usually regarded as the task of the applied linguist to produce such grammars. However, the notion that language is not a monolithic, uniform entity has long been recognized and given that many language learners can identify a restricted set of uses for which they require a second language, it is potentially of considerable benefit to be able to identify the linguistic and associated characteristics of specific varieties of a language and thereby to limit the learning task to what is relevant for a specific class of learners with identifiable language needs.

Are personality traits significant in determining language learning success? Do the age or sex of a learner affect language learning? Does previous language learning experience have a beneficial effect? What are the effects of attitude towards other ethnic groups on learning? Are there differential preferences for different kinds of learning experience? Do some learners tolerate uncertainty in language learning better than others? Research into issues such as these is based primarily on the attempt to establish correlations between scores on instruments which assess individual variables and scores on language achievement tests (see Second Language Learning: Individual Differences; Learning Strategies for further details).

But first it needs to be appreciated what the potential scope of applied linguistics is and to see why in this article it will be necessary to restrict the detailed discussion to the field which has so far generated the greatest body of research and publication, namely that of applied linguistics in language learning and teaching. Applied Linguistics 1. The Scope of Applied Linguistics In a broad sense, applied linguistics is concerned with increasing understanding of the role of language in human affairs and thereby with providing the knowledge necessary for those who are responsible for taking language-related decisions whether the need for these arises in the classroom, the workplace, the law court, or the laboratory.

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