Edited by JUDITH E. LISKIN–GASPARRO University of Iowa MLJ Review Policy The MLJ reviews books, monographs, computer software, and materials that (a) present results of research in—and methods of—foreign and second language teaching and learning; (b) are devoted to matters of general interest to members of the profession; (c) are intended primarily for use as textbooks or instructional aids in classrooms where foreign and second languages, literatures, and cultures are taught; and (d) convey information from other disciplines that relates directly to foreign and second language teaching and learning. Reviews not solicited by the MLJ can neither be accepted nor returned. Books and materials that are not reviewed in the MLJ cannot be returned to the publisher. Responses should be typed with double spacing and submitted electronically online at our Manuscript Central address: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mlj THEORY AND PRACTICE ? ALARCON–SOLER, EVA. (Ed.). Learning How to Request in an Instructed Language Learning Context. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2008. Pp. 260. $68.95, paper. ISBN 978–3–03911–601–0. This book contributes to the growing body of literature addressing interlanguage pragmatic (ILP) development in instructed foreign language contexts. It comprises a collection of 10 chapters that speci?cally target developmental processes related to the speech act of requesting. Although the primary instructional target of the book is English as a foreign language (EFL), the treatment of key issues related to both “theoretical conditions for pragmatic learning” and “the teachability of pragmatics” (p. 9) makes this volume relevant for scholars of other languages and instructional contexts as well. The chapters complement each other as a complete volume and can also stand alone as individual chapters, making the book a relevant and accessible text for a variety of readers. The ?rst two chapters frame the theoretical perspective of the book. In chapter 1, Alarc? onSoler provides an overview of issues related to pragmatics in instructional contexts. Speci?cally, she examines the role of pragmatics in various models of communicative competence and, in so doing, highlights the importance of addressing both pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic components of language in research and practice. In addition, she highlights key areas of research that are addressed in detail in the other chapters throughout the book (i.e., language pro?ciency of the learners, sources of pragmatic input, the teachability of pragmatics) and presents a cognitive theoretical perspective as the stance used throughout the volume. The remaining chapters maintain this consistent perspective. Drawing on previous work in the area of requests, Safont-Jord? a (ch. 2) presents an overview of the speech act of requesting in English, with particular attention to classifying different types of head acts and peripheral modi?ers. The author also highlights previous work related to the realization of both head acts and modi?ers in requests in English. Chapters 3 through 5 attend to sources for prag? matic input. Uso-Juan (ch. 3) compares the input available to learners in older and current English language teaching textbooks. Her ?ndings suggest that current textbooks offer more pragmatically authentic input, yet they do not approximate authentic pragmatic practices (e.g., textbooks displayed a marked preference for conventionally indirect strategies as opposed to hints). CampoyCubillo (ch. 4) offers an insightful discussion of how corpora can be used as input for pragmatic development, citing examples of various English language corpora with suggestions for their use in instruction. This chapter is a noteworthy contribution to the volume. Fern? ndez-Guerra (ch. a 5) compares requests in television series with naturally occurring data from the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English to determine if TV and ?lms can serve as a constructive source of input. Results revealed more similarities than differences with respect to head acts and modi?ers, suggesting that TV series can be considered valuable sources of input in instructional contexts.
Reviews Chapters 6 through 8 examine fundamental issues in the area of ILP development, highlighting key research considerations. Viltrar-Beltr? n a (ch. 6) compares the use of mitigation between 12 native and 12 nonnative speakers of English enrolled in English-speaking universities. Results from role-play data indicated the use of more internal modi?cation by the native speakers and more external modi?cation by the nonnative speakers, with similar use of modi?cation in requests overall. In chapter 7, Salazar-Campillo offers a methodological comparison of discourse completion tasks (DCTs) and role-plays to address internal and external modi?cation devices employed by 14 EFL learners. The comparison suggested a wider variety of both internal and external modi?ers in the DCT responses, which the author attributes to an effect of planning time on the use of mitigation. Mart?-Arn? diz (ch. 8) evalu? a ates the complex relationship between grammatical competence and pragmatic competence for EFL learners. Using a DCT instrument, she compared the use of request modi?ers by 81 learners of English. Results suggested a relationship between grammatical and pragmatic competence, in that those with a higher pro?ciency level exhibited a more target-like use of most types of modi?ers. The ?nal two chapters of the book directly target instructional practices. First, Mart?nez? Flor (ch. 9) reports on a study investigating an inductive–deductive teaching approach to the instruction of request modi?ers. The results demonstrated a positive effect of the intervention, with the 38 learners exhibiting the use of a higher number and wider variety of internal and external modi?ers in the role-play posttest. Codina-Espurz (ch. 10) compares the effects of immediate and delayed instruction of request mitigation for beginning and intermediate learners using a DCT instrument for data collection. Results suggested a stronger instructional impact for the learners at the higher (intermediate) level of pro?ciency. The strengths of this book lie in the broad treatment of a variety of issues related to ILP development in instructed language learning contexts, including an established theoretical perspective, the empirical treatment of developmental variables, methodological considerations, and instructional practices. In addition, the chapters are clear and well written with references at the end of each chapter. The concise nature of each of the chapters, coupled with the breadth of topics, requires some sacri?ce in terms of depth. Thus, readers wishing for a complex discussion of one area (e.g., various politeness models) will need to
147 supplement the book with additional resources. In addition, because of the small sample sizes, one should interpret the results of some of the empirical pieces with caution. The most notable omission from the book is the lack of discussion of dialect or language variation in relation to requesting strategies in English. Although it is implicitly suggested that the proposed taxonomies primarily address British English (or, in one case, North Ireland), there is no explicit explanation in this area, making the comparisons with nativespeaker norms presented in the book dif?cult to generalize. Despite these minor limitations, this book makes a strong contribution to the ?eld and is a bene?cial resource for those investigating ILP development. It will be of particular value to scholars in pragmatics and second language acquisition interested in the theoretical and methodological aspects of ILP development in instructed learning contexts. The clear treatment of a variety of theoretical and practical issues related to ILP development makes this book a solid contribution to work in this area. JULIE M. SYKES University of New Mexico BENATI, ALESSANDRO G., & JAMES F. LEE. Grammar Acquisition and Processing Instruction: Secondary and Cumulative Effects. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008. Pp. v, 211. $139.95, cloth; $59.95, paper. ISBN 1–84769–104–8, cloth; 1– 84769–103–X, paper. In a chapter in Processing Instruction: Theory, Research, and Commentary (VanPatten [Ed.], Erlbaum, 2004), Lee proposed 11 hypotheses on the effects of processing instruction (PI) to stimulate further research and new avenues of investigation. The volume by Benati and Lee addresses these hypotheses and presents three classroom studies that investigate two of them, opening the door to a new strand of research: the secondary and cumulative transfer-of-training effects of PI. The hypotheses investigated in these studies were put forward by Lee (2004) as “Hypothesis 9: Learners who receive training on one type of processing strategy for one speci?c form will appropriately transfer the use of that strategy to other forms without further instruction in PI” (p. 319) and “Hypothesis 12: The cumulative effects of PI will be greater than its isolated effects” (p. 321). Hypothesis 9 refers to the forms that, although different, are affected by the same processing principle of input processing. Hypothesis 12 refers to
148 learners’ transferring the training on processing a linguistic form to the processing of a different form not included in the treatment and that is affected by a different processing principle. The book has ?ve chapters, a “Final Comments” section, and appendixes. The ?rst two chapters form the theoretical and empirical background of the research presented in chapters 3 through 5. The ?rst chapter provides a summary of VanPatten’s theory of input processing. The strength of this chapter is that the authors not only explain the principles of the theory in a very readable way, but they also present the previous body of research carried out to investigate the second language (L2) processing phenomena on which the theory’s principles are founded. Therefore, this chapter provides a more complete picture of VanPatten’s theory not found in other recent literature on input processing. Chapter 2 is divided into two sections. The ?rst section reviews the research on PI, underscoring the primary effects of PI investigated in this body of research. The reader will ?nd valuable the identi?cation of various strands of research found in the PI studies. The second section presents PI as a viable approach to grammar teaching and reviews the guidelines to develop structured input activities. In chapters 3 through 5, each chapter presents a study that investigated the secondary (ch. 3 and ch. 4) and the cumulative (ch. 5) transfer-oftraining effects of PI. In these three studies, PI was compared to traditional form-focused instruction (TI), and each study included a control group. Their format was very similar to the format of many previous PI studies: a pretest and immediate posttest design with treatment measures carried out through tests of interpretation and sentencelevel production. In chapter 3’s study, the primary item was Italian noun–adjective agreement, and the secondary linguistic item was Italian future tense. In chapter 4’s study, the primary linguistic item was English –ed past tense and the secondary item was English third-person singular present tense –s. The results of both of these studies revealed that PI was more effective than TI for the correct interpretation of the primary forms and equally effective for correct production. For the reader familiarized with previous PI research, these results may come as no surprise. The new ?ndings, however, were that PI learners did transfer the training on the processing of the target form to the processing of the secondary form on which they did not receive instruction. The PI group was signi?cantly superior to the TI group on the interpretation test, and both groups were
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) statistically similar in the production tests for the secondary items. Although the percentage of the gains for the secondary items was rather small, as addressed by the authors, they claim that the statistically signi?cant results reveal the primary and secondary transfer-of-training effects of PI. These ?ndings encourage the interesting argument of the development of better L2 intuitions through instruction, which the authors do address, but unfortunately, do not expand as fully as readers may wish. The study presented in chapter 5, more complex than the other two, investigated the secondary and cumulative transfer-of-training effects of PI. The primary form was the French imperfect tense, the secondary form was the French subjunctive, and the cumulative form was the French causative construction with faire. The results showed that PI learners were able to process and interpret signi?cantly better than the TI learners the primary, secondary, and cumulative forms, although the production gains were minimal for the secondary and cumulative forms. This type of study is the only one of its kind in the volume and is certainly unprecedented in PI research. As the authors state in the Final Comments section, the volume’s goal was to take PI research into a new area of investigation, and the reader will see that it certainly reaches that goal. The weakness of the volume, however, is that the authors’ attempt to provide a strong and theoretically grounded explanation for the ?ndings leaves the reader wanting a fuller, more convincing account. Perhaps this expectation is a good aspect of the book, as it shows that there is still much left to explain within L2 processing research. ? CLAUDIA FERNANDEZ DePaul University
BYRAM, MICHAEL. From Foreign Language Education to Education for Intercultural Citizenship: Essays and Re?ections. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008. Pp. xi, 272. $49.95, paper. ISBN 978– 1–84769–078–4. As policy makers and educators work to ?nd practical solutions for preparing citizens to meet the political, communicative, and social challenges of internationalization and globalization, much of this work is being done in relative isolation. As Byram points out, there is little dialogue among policy makers representing different national,
Reviews regional, or language groups; limited collaboration among teachers of languages and social and political studies; and substantial divides between policy goals and classroom practices in language and citizenship education. In his collection of essays and re?ections, Byram attempts to create points of connection and dialogue among these groups in shaping a framework for education for intercultural citizenship. In the early chapters (ch. 1 through ch. 9), which may be read as an ensemble or a collection of separate essays, Byram considers various dimensions of language education in view of historical, international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary phenomena. For example, in chapter 1, Byram provides a historical overview of foreign language education trends and later compares recent policy statements on foreign language teaching objectives from Japan, the United States, and the European Union (EU). Although Byram supports the shift in educational priorities set forth in such policy documents, he asserts that, in most cases, teaching practices fall short of the policies. In his analysis, Byram explores the value of intercultural dimensions in education and experience, establishing the pursuit of intercultural competence and communication as a point of congruity through which educators, researchers, and policy makers might begin to bridge the divides that separate policy from practice and language education from civic education. Although his discussion focuses primarily on the EU, Byram also considers trends and tendencies in Asia and the Americas. Throughout the text, Byram is mindful to re?ect on his own work as a teacher, researcher, and advocate concerned with education practices and policies pertaining to language and culture. As such, he interweaves re?ective commentaries on his own work throughout the ensemble of essays, examining his contributions in view of research on intercultural education. He ?rst considers the notion of tertiary socialization, a prescriptive strategy coined by Byram through which educators incorporate speci?c objectives and strategies in their lessons to inspire students to think re?ectively about and reconsider the “taken-for-granted values, beliefs, and behaviors implicit in national schooling” (p. 113). As Byram maintains, when used effectively by educators, tertiary socialization can play an integral role in promoting the affective, cognitive, and behavioral aptitudes necessary to foster intercultural competence among students. Byram also re?ects on his model for intercultural communicative competence. In later chapters, Byram promotes this model, inspired by his work in foreign language
149 pedagogy, in tandem with Gerhard Himmelman’s objectives for citizenship education, setting forth what he refers to as a framework of education for intercultural citizenship. As Byram explains, chapters 10 through 14 of the text are presented as a unit in which he considers approaches for planning, teaching, and assessing education for intercultural citizenship. Although insistent on the importance of language education in this process, Byram’s approach is interdisciplinary in nature and seeks to engage educators across nations, languages, and disciplines. In chapters 10 and 11, Byram highlights the importance of the cognitive, evaluative, and behavioral dimensions of intercultural education, comparing his model with Himmelman’s and placing particular emphasis on the critical awareness and political education aspects of education for intercultural citizenship. In chapter 12, Byram explores the notion of transnational citizenship and examines policies pertaining to language and culture, particularly as set forth by the EU. In his policy analysis, Byram problematizes the EU’s language and language education policies, characterizing them as vague. He further expresses the concern that EU policies seem to promote Europe as a supranational polity rather than a forum for intercultural citizenship. In chapter 13, Byram promotes the idea of the intercultural speaker and citizen, rejecting the native-speaker model and insisting on the re?exivity of the intercultural educational process. At the end of the chapter, he provides some limited pedagogical suggestions, many of which seem dif?cult to accomplish because they require international, intercultural, and interlinguistic cooperation. Moreover, in his discussions of pedagogical strategies, Byram seems to place the burden of implementation on teachers rather than suggest a cooperative effort between teachers and policy makers. Additional challenges, as Byram acknowledges in chapter 14, comprise those of assessment and evaluation of intercultural education across disciplines, languages, and cultures. Drawing on recent research, Byram suggests portfolios and re?exive activities as possible modes of assessment. Although strong in its explanations and comparisons of language, cultural, and civic educational practices and policies (particularly in Europe) and its construction of critical frameworks for considering intercultural educational objectives across academic disciplines, Byram’s text is weak in its presentation of practical pedagogical strategies to promote intercultural citizenship and in its suggestions for effectively assessing intercultural educational outcomes. Even so,
150 it represents an important point of departure. As Byram af?rms, his work represents the beginning of a critical conversation among citizens, students, educators, and policy makers. “[T]his ?nal part of the book has few illustrations or practice. It is a proposal for an agenda, for ‘things to be done’” (p. 229). It is yet to be seen whether educators and policy makers will take on Byram’s challenge and work collaboratively to design, implement, and assess education for intercultural citizenship. JULIE HUNTINGTON Marymount Manhattan College
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) ters. In chapter 1, Clarke addresses theoretical components and intersections of discourse, identity, and CoP. Without championing a unilateral theoretical framework, Clarke provides a “multiperspectival” (p. 40) approach to the discussion of discourse while examining the roles of the individual and social in HCT students’ construction of multiple forms of identities in the evolving UAE community. In addition to detailing the study’s data collection and analysis methods, chapter 2 utilizes the notion of discourse to describe the Emirati preservice teachers’ processes of becoming a CoP. Clarke also provides an historical overview of the country to situate his study within the social parameters of the contemporary UAE. In chapter 3, Clarke provides results of focus group interviews and online discussion data to describe participants’ construction of their CoP and their sense of belonging in the constantly evolving UAE context. Using Wenger’s models of CoPs—namely, engagement, alignment, and imagination—Clarke also addresses the role of family connections, discourses of gender, teachers as role models, and surpassing past teachers in becoming a new community of English language teachers. In chapter 4, the author draws on a series of binary oppositions, including new/traditional, student-centered/teacher-centered, and passive learning/active learning, to describe participants’ discursive construction of knowledge and belief systems throughout the formation of their new CoP. Chapter 5 examines how discursive interpersonal relations are formed, how community alignment relates to the participatory norms of communication, and how such relations solidify the cohesion of the community around shared values and beliefs. The chapter also provides interpretive evidence about these preservice teachers’ reformist perceptions regarding the future of their teaching careers. Chapter 6, entitled “The Discursive Construction of Intrapersonal Identity,” complements chapter 5 by transitioning to the role of the intrapersonal factors in identity formation. It explains the attitudes, moral obligations, values, and beliefs of one participant, Manal, to provide a thorough analysis of the individual identity construction process, involving both individual and social elements. Finally, chapter 7 situates the study ?ndings and their implications within the regional and broader contexts of L2 teacher education, concluding with potential directions for English language teaching. Applying social theories to the UAE context, Clarke makes a refreshingly original contribution
CLARKE, MATTHEW. Language Teacher Identities: Co-Constructing Discourse and Community. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008. Pp. xiii, 214. $43.55, cloth. ISBN 978–1–84769–081–4. Framing teacher education as the formation of identities within the particularities of a community of practice (CoP) has been the subject of many theoretical and empirical studies. What has been missing is a longitudinal approach illuminating invisible processes through which teacher identities are shaped in discourses in which intrapersonal and interpersonal relations are local as well as global. In Language Teacher Identities: Co-Constructing Discourse and Community, Clarke outstandingly addresses the invisible hand of second language (L2) teacher education by revealing behind-the-scenes power relations and sociocultural factors that determine the social mediation in becoming an L2 teacher in a transforming community, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Intended for researchers in L2 teacher education, applied linguistics, and L2 acquisition, this book merges discourse theory with the application of numerous social theories in L2 teacher education, including socioconstructivism, identity formation, knowledge and belief systems, CoP, national and gendered identities, linguistic and cultural hegemony, and poststructuralism. Clarke frames the primary research question behind this book as follows: “In what ways are the social and educational discourses that have shaped the contemporary UAE context and the HCT’s [Higher Colleges of Technology] teacher education program taken up by the students as they construct their identities as teachers within an evolving CoP?” (p. 10). As a part of the New Perspectives on Language and Education series, this book includes an introduction and seven chap-
Reviews to L2 teacher education while describing the identity formation of these preservice teachers. First, the book skillfully integrates theory and practice; however, a real strength of the book lies in its authentic analysis and synthesis of the theoretical underpinnings of L2 teacher education. Second, presenting a large body of data, the book offers remarkable insights into the processes of change in the identities of a changing CoP in a changing Emirati context. Third, it is replete with analyses that reveal that every setting has its own sociocultural variables as well as traditional and modern clashes that may impact teacher education differently, adding to the markedly limited research on such settings. Finally, this book offers more than a qualitative case study of female preservice English language teachers in the UAE by, as Donald Freeman states in the foreword, Clarke’s ability “to expose what is often invisible in the process of individual and social learning, and the resources that shape these processes” (p. xi). Clarke uses a large amount of qualitative data to address the identity formation of Emirati preservice English language teachers. However, both the research design and the ?ndings are overshadowed by the emphasis placed on the theoretical paradigms. For example, chapters 4 through 6 inform us about the role of individual and social factors in participants’ construction of new belief systems about their teaching, moral issues in UAE education, how teaching has changed their lives, and so forth. Nevertheless, we do not learn much about the cumulative value of these self-reported excerpts. Given that the data came from 75 participants, some descriptive statistics and summary tables could have provided further depth and rigor regarding individual versus co-construction of the new identity. Furthermore, current research suggests gender differences in roles, power relations, and socialization patterns that, particularly in this setting, could pose some inherent subjectivity to the results because all of the participants were women. NIHAT POLAT Duquesne University
151 ing with morphology and syntax after such a long period of emphasis on studies dealing with semantics and lexicon in the ?eld of language teaching and learning. It seems that ever since the communicative approach has taken center stage, studies related to the form and use of morphology and explicit grammatical explanation in language classes have been pushed aside. In that regard, this book is a must-read for those interested in foreign language teaching or in doing SLA research, as they may ?nd out what type of research is taking place or what has been possible in recent years. Although some of the experiments reported are quite primitive and close to action research, most of the reports are experimentally based and are useful examples for future studies in foreign language classes. The book consists of 15 chapters related to morphological and syntactic issues in SLA. It is divided into two major parts: The 10 chapters in part 1 deal with research reports on word morphology and sentence patterns and their implication in SLA under the Universal Grammar (UG) framework, whereas the 5 chapters in part 2 are research papers focusing on effective foreign language teaching, primarily English teaching. All but two papers are reports on empirical studies. The two papers not based on empirical data include a theoretical discussion of the language acquisition process using the modular theory framework proposed by Jackendoff (ch. 4) and an argument regarding the inadequacy of explaining the transitivity in different languages through markedness differences (ch. 7). Most of the empirical research reports deal with what the authors call English as a second language, although they are referring to English as a foreign language (EFL) because most deal with high school students (13–18 years old) learning English in Poland. Those studies that do not ?t in the EFL category include a study on syntactic processing in multilinguistic performance (ch. 5), a study on the Greek re?exive morphology marker –me by native speakers of Russian and German (ch. 6), a study on the wh– fronting in English by native speakers of Turkish (ch. 8), a study on the acquisition of concession connectives by native Polish interpreters into English (ch. 9), and research on the acquisition of German syntax by Polish learners (ch. 13). Most of the research studies report experimentation using written materials, but some are analyses of the spoken performance as recorded by the researchers. Some reports are based on research with a small number of subjects (even one in ch. 5), but several draw on a large corpus,
GABRYS–BARKER, DANUTA. (Ed.). Morphosyntactic Issues in Second Language Acquisition. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008. Pp. xiii, 264. $89.95, cloth. ISBN 978–1–84769–065–4. It was a pleasure to read a series of interesting second language acquisition (SLA) studies deal-
152 and some study longitudinal effects of methodology. Of course, when studies were accompanied by larger numbers of participants or with corpus analysis and longitudinal effects, they were more convincing. The research that reports on survey questionnaires or grammaticality tests without context leave the readers with questions of validity. Of course, a book like this one will not be able to report all of the data the researchers used; however, modern technology has provided ways to report entire experiments with data in digital form. It would have been helpful to provide such data for veri?cation on a Web site or accompanying CD. Almost all of the researchers, some more overtly than others, have tried to explain that language transfer and cross-linguistic in?uence and SLA processes can be explained within the UG framework. For example, in the discussion of language transfer and cross-linguistic in?uence dealing with form, meaning, and function (including use) of such speci?c syntactic patterns as cleft, wh– cleft and focus, raising, tough-movement, word order, concession clauses, and transitivity, the researchers refer to universal acquisition order (e.g., the most dif?cult or the last to be learned). This approach is part of a tendency among linguists to claim some universality after examining a few related languages. However, especially as we understand the role of context, discourse, topic, pragmatics, and new and old information, we must look at unrelated languages, such as topic-oriented languages and case-marking languages, rather than languages that rely on the word order to mark cases, discourse-oriented languages, and context-dependent languages before claiming any universality. However, these reported ?ndings are excellent starting points for further investigation. As understood by most scientists and researchers, it is better to study with a hypothesis so that we can start eliminating what cannot be disproved to come closer to what we are seeking. Unfortunately, there are many editorial mistakes in the text, such as misplaced and repeated words and misspellings. In dealing with so many different languages and grammatical and ungrammatical samples, it is a real challenge and a laborious task to edit completely with impeccable detail, but a book of this type, especially in the linguistics ?eld, needs to be more professionally edited. It was even humorous to ?nd the thirdperson singular –s missing in chapter 13 right after reading the chapter on the acquisition of the English third-person singular –s ending. However, any student, especially graduate students, inter-
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) ested in SLA research should read the chapters in part 1 as a source of ideas for possible empirical studies in the ?eld, and part 2 is excellent reading for foreign language teachers. MASAKAZU WATABE Brigham Young University
EDWARDS, JETTE G. HANSEN, & MARY L. ZAMPINI. (Eds.). Phonology and Second Language Acquisition. Philadelphia: Benjamins, 2008. Pp. vi, 380. $149.00, cloth. ISBN 978–90–272–4147–4. Research on the acquisition of a second language (L2) sound system is presented in this volume, divided into three parts, each with a preface that summarizes the contributions. All of the chapters provide a good introduction to the topic, a critical review of the literature and methodologies employed, an overview of principal ?ndings on the topic, suggestions for further research, and a useful summary and conclusions. Part 1 examines theoretical issues in L2 phonology. Ohala investigates ?rst language (L1) acquisition. The L1 phonology emerges around 18 months, and the ability to distinguish among nonnative speech sounds is weakened by this exposure to the native language. This most fundamental aspect of language acquisition is complete by age 6. Ioup discusses the role of age as the crucial variable in L2 phonological acquisition. Nativelike L2 phonology is normally found only with very early onset, and the likelihood diminishes as onset age increases. Two possible explanations are brain maturation and interference from L1 phonology. Questions linger, such as why talented adult learners can circumvent L1 interferences by perceiving novel speech sounds as infants do. Ioup gives a useful critique of methodological issues and directions for future research. Major provides an overview and critique of research on transfer, which is implicated in almost every work on L2 phonology. Studies indicate that similar structures shared in the L1 and L2 cause transfer and that similar sounds are more dif?cult than dissimilar sounds because the differences are not noticed. Major makes the important point that more rigorous de?nitions of similarity and transfer are necessary. A good phonological description of running speech of the L1 and L2 is needed to identify transfer.
Reviews Typological markedness is the topic of the contribution by Eckman, who examines evidence for the markedness differential hypothesis and the structural conformity hypothesis. Eckman concludes that markedness will continue to play a signi?cant role in L2 phonology within the framework of optimality theory, which incorporates markedness. Challenges for optimality theory are generalizability, accountability, and predictability, according to Hancin-Bhatt, who presents examples of L2 phenomena analyzed within this framework. She points out that perception and production data cannot be directly compared. Generalizations obtained from one domain should not be used to test predictions at another level. Speech production and perception are examined further in part 2. Strange and Shafer explore theories of and dif?culties with L2 speech perception, including phonological categories, cognitive processes involved, and methodological issues. Infants are language-general perceivers and are able to discriminate, but they become language-speci?c perceivers within the ?rst year of life. Munro discusses foreign accent and speech intelligibility, noting that native pronunciation in the L2 is uncommon and unnecessary. Unsophisticated learners’ judgments are especially important to provide insight into how understandable L2 speakers are to other community members. Teachers should recognize the difference between speech that is different and speech that is dif?cult to understand. Instruction should focus on problems of comprehensibility and intelligibility, not perfection. Zampini examines research on L2 speech production. The literature review discusses natural classes of sounds, sound substitution studies, and suprasegmentals. Methodological issues include laboratory versus natural speech, types of speakers, the corpus and its analysis, and native-speaker judgments. Future directions include technological advances and a consideration of the relationship between L2 speech production and perception. Edwards discusses social factors and variation in production in L2 phonology. Social factors include gender, extent of L1 and L2 use, social identity, and target language variety. Variation involves interlocutor/speech accommodation, attention to speech/monitoring, and effects of linguistic and social factors on production. Learners are active agents in choosing how they use the L2, choosing the L2 target, and what they acquire. Linguistic and social factors also in?uence
153 L2 learning, and these are beyond the learner’s control. Learners should be viewed as users. Deviations from the standard target language may be purposeful usage. Part 3 reviews topics in applied L2 phonetics and phonology, including technology, training, and curriculum. Bradlow examines Japanese adults learning the English /?/-/l/ contrast. Three lessons emerge: (a) Lab training can lead to nonnative contrast learning, even for the most dif?cult cases; (b) the goal is accurate recognition of words that exemplify contrasts; and (c) exposure to multiple talkers promotes nonnative contrast acquisition. Highly variable training stimuli are important. Glick, Bernhardt, Bacsfalvi, and Wilson examine ultrasound imaging applications in L2 acquisition. A midsagittal image of the tongue provides a promising application, giving the ability to measure articulator positions directly and describing physical details of dif?cult sounds, such as English /r/ (transcribed as /?/ in Bradlow’s chapter) and /l/ for Japanese speakers. Chun, Hardison, and Pennington discuss technologies for prosody in context: (a) visualizations of pitch contours; (b) multimodal tools such as integration of a video clip with associated pitch contour; (c) spectrographic displays; and (d) vowel analysis programs. Future research must consider the relationship between perception and production. Multiple components of speech events should be analyzed. Derwing summarizes curriculum issues in teaching L2 pronunciation, aiming toward improved intelligibility and comprehensibility of L2 learners. Suprasegmentals appear to have more impact than segmentals here. Poor teacher training is a problem. There is also a need for longitudinal studies, to ascertain whether improvement is permanent. Errors are few (“in” missing on p. 3, “affects” for “effects” on p. 4, “of” missing after “some” on p. 15, “evidenced” for “evidence” on p. 98, and “are” is missing on p. 107). Unfortunately, two typographical errors impede comprehension (on p. 98 “that” should be “than” in 3 a. and b.). Several important recommendations emerge from this high-quality volume. Perception and production are both important to study in L2 phonological acquisition. Research should examine running speech, not only isolated words and sentences. Several authors conclude that prosody is more important than segmentals in L2 instruction. Intelligibility and comprehensibility, not perfection, should be the goals of L2 instruction in pronunciation. New technological advances and
154 computer applications are important research and teaching tools. DIANE R. UBER The College of Wooster
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) phonological, semantic, and syntactic awareness; and ?nally, it explores issues in comparing such awareness across languages. The ?nal chapter in this section, by Koda, sets up the transition to the topic of literacy experience transfer in L2 reading. This chapter presents a valuable review of transfer as it has been conceptualized and studied over the years, and it illuminates reading universals and features of metalinguistic awareness that are the likely venues for transfer across languages. In the second section, the book provides detailed descriptions of writing systems, literacy development, and transfer issues across ?ve languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hebrew, Khmer, and Korean. These chapters will hold great interest for researchers and teachers of English and for speakers of these languages. In addition to providing clear descriptions of the languages and writing systems, the chapters unlock key intersections between languages as well as metalinguistic properties. As the editors point out, there is great variation in depth of research on these languages, which makes comparisons across the chapters somewhat dif?cult; however, the reviews provide groundwork for future investigations. This edited volume justi?es a systematic framework to clarify transfer in reading across languages and it uses this framework in describing literacy in ?ve languages. The choice of languages presented in the book is a major contribution to the ?eld, as all are quite distant from English and are not as common in the L2 reading literature as roman-alphabetic languages have been. By digging deeply with a narrowed scope of metalinguistic awareness and decoding, the authors establish what we currently know regarding transfer across languages and the salient universal features of reading. In doing so, they propose areas needing future attention in this domain. The book is a valuable review of studies as well as a cataloguing of reading in the ?ve languages and may be useful for graduate students and scholars seeking research avenues to explore. It will be an imperative reference for L2 researchers exploring issues of interdependence, as well as for teachers working with students whose L1s are presented in the second section. The weaknesses in the volume are best posited as challenges faced by research in L2 reading and are recognized by the authors at several junctures. These challenges are rooted in the complexity of the reading process. One issue lies in shaping a framework narrowed to features within a psycholinguistic orientation of reading. In fact, the language-speci?c chapters include the discussion
KODA, KEIKO, & ANNETTE M. ZEHLER. (Eds.). Learning to Read Across Languages: Cross-Linguistic Relationships in First- and Second-Language Literacy Development. New York: Routledge, 2008. Pp. vii, 241. $43.95, paper. ISBN 0–8058–5612–9. For some time, the ?eld of second (L2) and foreign language reading has pursued an understanding of factors that impact the reading process, one of which is ?rst language (L1) literacy. Despite this recognition, differences across languages and the impact of these differences on reading in another language have generated complex questions. The book Learning to Read Across Languages, edited by Koda and Zehler, establishes a potential path to solving some of the questions surrounding transfer in reading by bringing together chapters reviewing theory and research on the interaction between languages and texts, literacy development in a number of languages, and future research directions for transfer in reading. Recognizing a psycholinguistic orientation to reading, the authors propose that the book chapters hold relevance for L2 reading development of English language learners. The book begins by forming an argument and de?ning the constructs to be explored. Two sections group the rest of the chapters. One section provides theory on writing systems, metalinguistic awareness, and impacts from L1 literacy on learning to read in an L2. The second section presents chapters explaining the nature of writing systems and literacy development in ?ve languages, with each chapter following a similar outline to provide comparison and summary. The ?nal chapter discusses the link between these L1 experiences and L2 reading. In section 1, a chapter by Perfetti and Dunlap provides fundamental content regarding writing systems, orthography, and scripts, which leads to consideration of how these features of writing and language interact with phonological principles, adults learning to read in another language, as well as the possibilities for transfer. A chapter by Kuo and Andersen further delves into the psychology of reading via a critique of the many de?nitions for metalinguistic awareness; it then identi?es facets of this construct, such as
Reviews of social and cultural factors impacting literacy development. For example, children learning to read in Arabic are learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), which is vastly different from the Arabic they have been speaking at home and, thus, they may be learning to read in an L2 at school, where they develop literacy in MSA. These sections reveal the signi?cance of understanding such issues in theories of literacy transfer. The authors point out that their approach is an attempt to dissect reading in an L2 to strengthen empirical investigation. The assumption that it is possible to separate aspects of the reading process may be debatable and could cause dif?culty in applying results to contexts such as classrooms. Second, the focus on metalinguistic awareness is a major challenge that the authors attempt to overcome, with some success, but this area is mired in complexity as well and may not render itself divisible. As Kuo and Andersen expose in the third chapter, it is dif?cult to agree on a clear categorical de?nition of metalinguistic awareness. The overlap of linguistic and metalinguistic knowledge as well as reading processing subskills is evident when studying individual readers in context. The authors attempt to provide taxonomies for these three areas (pp. 97–99), but overlap appears even in these listings. Despite these challenges, which the authors recognize, the book is a valuable resource providing both intriguing connections between theory and prior research, as well as detailed descriptive accounts of reading in ?ve languages. Bringing the issues and prior research together will move the ?eld of L2 reading research forward by addressing gaps and re?ning a research agenda for the area of literacy transfer across languages in reading. LIA PLAKANS University of Iowa
155 such as the Council of Europe Framework of 2001. He then discusses the phenomenon of globalization, both economic and cultural forces, which tends to unite the world’s people in a set of similar values. In doing so, he makes the point that “to [his] knowledge, there are very few second language education programs that seem to have fully grasped the imperative need to develop global cultural consciousness in the learner” (p. 46). The author begins an examination of problems that may occur as the result of a failure to grasp the importance of globalization. The ?rst is that of cultural stereotyping, in which students and teachers form judgments about others on the basis of narrow views of varieties of the world’s peoples. For example, he includes an analysis of the wellknown prejudicial attitude that Chinese students somehow lack critical thinking, and he demonstrates that there is much evidence to suggest the reverse (p. 60). In chapters 5 and 6, the author takes on the thorny issues of cultural assimilation, cultural pluralism, and their delusions, challenging the longheld beliefs that assimilation is a laudable goal but demonstrating that cultural pluralism is an alternative not yet fully accepted by a broad range of students and teachers. He shows the need to develop such an understanding of cultural pluralism in light of globalization trends. He asserts that with textbooks limited in their presentation of global cultural patterns, “L2 teachers ?nd themselves inadequately prepared to carry out the goals of multicultural education” (p. 115) with the following consequence:
[Language education informed by multiculturalism] offers fragmented cultural tidbits. It valorizes mainstream cultural beliefs and practices. It minimizes minority cultures. It disregards the culture capital L2 learners bring with them. It channels its energy toward educating the members of the minority communities as members of the mainstream community have little to learn and gain from it. (p. 116)
KUMARAVADIVELU, B. Cultural Globalization and Language Education. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008. Pp. xiii, 288. $45.00, paper. ISBN 978–0–3–11110–1. In this book of revelation about the relationships between language learners and the widening trend toward globalization, Kumaravadivelu aims to point out “certain highways that can possibly lead to global cultural consciousness among language learners, teachers, and teacher educators” (p. 7). The author begins by summarizing recent widely read de?nitions of cultural content,
As if in answer to the problem he poses in chapters 5 and 6, the author then suggests an alternative. In chapter 7 he introduces the notion of cultural hybridity, invoking the ideas of the postcolonialist theorist Bhabha. He cites the writings of Kramsch on the idea of establishing a sphere of interculturality. He concludes this chapter with the example of English language teaching professionals in the Middle East who have formed a group called TESOL Islamia, which promotes the value of cultural pluralism among language learners and teachers.
156 In the ?nal chapters of the book, Kumaravadivelu proposes a new set of pedagogical strategies, which he calls cultural realism, in which he provides ways that teachers can provide their students with what the New London Group calls “critical framing,” through which “learners can gain the necessary personal theoretical distance from what they have learned, constructively critique it, [and] account for its cultural location” (p. 185). The concluding chapters of the book deal with intercultural communication and cultural relativism. He concludes chapter 11 with this advice: “Clearly we need to rethink our theoretical principles and pedagogic practices by seeking out a meaningful articulation of the relationship between intercultural communication and cultural globalization” (p. 231). At the end of the book is a 23–page list of useful references on the subjects covered in the book, in itself an invaluable asset. Students of foreign languages are not likely to gain much practical knowledge of ways to avoid the pitfalls of cultural jingoism through reading this book. Likewise, teachers of foreign languages will need to accept a level of presentation of arguments that is dense in theoretical discussion but rather thin on practical applications. In fact, the one chapter that deals with practical applications to a set of principles of pedagogical globalism would look quite familiar to contemporary educators of foreign language teachers: Step 1: Provide a rationale for an assigned group study; Step 2: Interview members of a local extended family about their cultural beliefs and practices; Step 3: Analyze the ?ndings (but no framework for analysis is suggested); Step 4: Prepare an oral report; and Step 5: Have a class discussion of the subject. I have given a similar assignment for the past 25 years in my course on sociolinguistics for language teachers. However, Kumaravadivelu has done the profession a service by reintroducing the discussion of cultural bias among English teachers. A generation ago, when the British Council ruled the teaching of English in postcolonial countries around the world, a great deal of attention was brought to the issue of the unwanted nationalistic spread of British cultural values among its students. The same attention was then directed at American teachers’ spreading American values through English teaching. Now in the age of globalization, it is indeed apparent that it is no longer tenable to teach English as if it were the entry only to AngloSaxon cultures but rather as a global exchange of ideas, with no cultural bias to any of its users. What we need is a good, practical teacher training handbook on how to achieve this goal. However
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) well intentioned in identifying this goal, this book does not address how to reach it. JAMES J. KOHN San Francisco State University
MCDONOUGH, KIM, & PAVEL TROFIMOVICH. Using Priming Methods in Second Language Research. New York: Routledge, 2008. Pp. xvii, 217. $39.95, paper. ISBN 0–8058–6255–2. This volume provides an introduction to priming methods in second language (L2) processing and acquisition research by considering an array of ?rst language (L1), bilingual, and L2 priming research paradigms and studies conducted over the past few decades. McDonough and Tro?movich offer a cutting-edge, comprehensive, and well-organized tool to guide researchers and students in the ?elds of SLA and psycholinguistics and related disciplines. Chapter 1 is a brief introductory overview of priming methods with subsections about priming, the validity of priming research, its application to linguistic and neurolinguistic theories, and L2 speech processing, learning, and skill acquisition models. Chapters 2 through 4 discuss speci?c priming phenomena and research design. Each of the three chapters follows a consistent format, beginning with a brief discussion and examples of speci?c priming phenomena and their observation in L1 processing and acquisition. Next come subsections on applications of the phenomena to L2 processing and learning with concrete examples of design methodologies. Each chapter presents a sample study, discusses key design issues, and offers suggestions for future research. Chapter 2 focuses on auditory priming. Following a brief overview, its subsections outline research questions and describe tasks to measure sensitivity to L2 speech features (e.g., word stem/fragment completion, identi?cation, and repetition). The chapter describes numerous studies that have manipulated auditory properties, such as gender, pitch, and intonation. In the sample L2 auditory priming study, the authors emphasize counterbalancing, baseline performance, and matching test materials. The chapter concludes with additional uses of auditory priming methodology, connecting it with classroom learning. Chapter 3 is dedicated to semantic priming and lexical representation research. It begins by categorizing semantic priming (e.g., associative, category, mediated) and then discusses key
Reviews research issues and L2 studies investigating withinand cross-language semantic priming effects. A subsection on experimental design paradigms follows, presenting masking techniques, pronunciation, semantic categorization, and lexical decision tasks, with particular emphasis on the last. Following a sample L2 semantic priming study, the authors brie?y discuss individual differences in semantic priming and the application of semantic priming techniques to sentential contexts. Chapter 4, which concerns syntactic priming, begins by presenting factors tested in L1 studies (e.g., lexical overlap, thematic roles, intervening time between prime and target). It then discusses syntactic priming research on L2 speech production with various target structures and accompanying tasks, such as picture description, sentence recall and completion, and scripted interaction. This chapter offers a more detailed overview of research methods for selecting and creating tasks and analyzing responses than do the preceding chapters. Chapter 4 concludes with applications of syntactic priming methodologies to investigating interactive oral testing, classroom interaction, and feedback. Chapter 5 concerns analyzing and reporting priming data and is an exceptionally helpful introduction to statistical tests used speci?cally in priming research. It de?nes and considers key topics—for example, variable types, within- and between-subjects designs, data transformations, analyses by subject and by item, and formulating hypotheses. These are then connected with speci?c general linear model and linear mixed model statistical analyses with SPSS (e.g., t-tests, simple, factorial, and repeated-measures ANOVAs, linear mixed model). The authors provide helpful ?gures to illustrate data entry and analysis procedures for the statistical tests. Chapter 5 concludes with a discussion on publishing priming research, and it includes an overview of leading journals reporting priming research. Throughout the book, McDonough and Tro?movich provide clear definitions and concrete examples of priming phenomena. At the end of each chapter, they encourage readers to re?ect on the relevant topics through useful follow-up questions and activities requiring problem solving and critical analysis of methodological issues in published studies, task selection and comparison, research project planning, data handling, statistical analyses and reporting, and outside reading. The book is very well organized. Each chapter contains a separate table of contents, allowing for easy access to speci?c topics. Each chapter also features boxes, ?gures, and tables, which make the volume particularly accessible as a textbook and research manual. The boxes include de?nitions
157 of concepts, sample results from investigations, tables of studies, and sample studies. The ?gures illustrate research designs, statistical output, and visuals of tasks and results (e.g., waveforms, spectrograms, response latencies) to determine the magnitude of priming effects. The tables contain statistical results and key factors in priming research paradigms. The appendix provides a brief description of software programs for priming research. The authors have also included a comprehensive list of references and extensive subject and author indexes. There are some minor criticisms. For example, with the exception of chapter 4, the remaining chapters’ table summaries of studies, and even the subject index, do not highlight the speci?c languages addressed, making it challenging to pinpoint language-speci?c research. Additionally, the notion of baseline, a key concept, is not formally introduced within a de?nition box (or the subject index) until chapter 4. Chapter 5 could bene?t from explicit reference to reliability and validity, which are brie?y presented in chapter 4 and subject indexed. Finally, the book would be further enhanced with a comprehensive glossary of terminology. On the whole, this is an exceptional contribution to the ?eld, one that combines various disciplines and sub?elds with the potential to enhance future research and instruction on L2 processing and acquisition. DIANA PULIDO University of Texas-Austin
ORTEGA, LOURDES, & HEIDI BYRNES. (Eds.). The Longitudinal Study of Advanced L2 Capacities. New York: Routledge, 2008. Pp. xvi, 311. $95, cloth; $76, e-book. ISBN 0–8058–6173–4, cloth; 1–4106–1532–4, e-book. This book is a collection of articles focusing on the longitudinal development of advanced second language (L2) capabilities. The co-editors of the volume introduce the contents of the book in chapter 1 and discuss the construct of advancedness while making the case for longitudinal research as the most appropriate approach to “attain better and fuller insights into L2 learning and the development of advanced capacities” (p. 4). Part 1 of the volume consists of ?ve chapters that explore various theoretical and methodological issues associated with the longitudinal study of advanced L2 abilities. In chapter 2 Harklau argues for the legitimacy of longitudinal case studies, which can provide unique insight about the
158 advanced language learner by taking into account such factors as individual characteristics, context, and modality. In chapter 3 Achugar and Colombi utilize the framework of systematic functional linguistics to analyze oral and written language data from Spanish heritage language learners. In chapter 4 Myles investigates learner language development using electronic longitudinal corpora based on examples from French oral data. Chapter 5 offers recommendations from Skiba, Dittmar, and Bressem for planning, collecting, and archiving longitudinal L2 data supported by experiences drawn from a German longitudinal project. Chapter 6, by Rees and Klapper, reviews a number of issues in the qualitative longitudinal measurement of L2 progress in the context of study abroad programs. Part 2 of the volume includes eight chapters that represent various types of empirical studies spanning different research approaches and learning contexts. The ?rst three chapters of this section address advanced development of German pro?ciency in the same instructional program. In chapter 7 Byrnes and Sinicrope report on a descriptive longitudinal study of L2 German involving the production of relative clauses for a group of students across four levels of college instruction. The studies presented in chapters 8 and 9 involve learners from the same instructional program investigated by Byrnes and Sinicrope and reported in chapter 7. The studies presented in these two chapters focus on learners in level 4 German, which concentrates on advanced genre and content-oriented instruction. Sprang shows in chapter 8 the development of vocabulary knowledge of verbs for two advanced German learners over the course of a semester. The study by Liamkina in chapter 9 investigates whether meaning-oriented instruction can help college learners develop an awareness of and the ability to use accurately the semantics of the German dative. In chapter 10 Kallkvist offers the results of a longitudinal, matched-pair random assignment study of advanced Swedish learners of English. The study contrasts the effects of two different focus-on-forms classroom activities: L1to-L2 translation activities versus ?ll-in-the-blank exercises. The next three chapters consider other aspects of language beyond the sentence level. In chapter 11 Taguchi presents the results of a longitudinal study on gains in the accuracy and speed in pragmatic comprehension for a group of Japanese college students studying English in a summer program. Kinginger and Blattner report in chapter 12 on the development of awareness of sociopragmatic variability for three college students who studied in France during the course of a
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) semester. The researchers note that L2 development in a study abroad context is in?uenced by issues of identity and levels of engagement with the host culture. Spenader details in chapter 13 the development of global oral pro?ciency and ?uency for two high school exchange students who were absolute beginners when they arrived in Sweden for a year-long residence abroad experience. Spenader explains that the different patterns of language growth for the two learners were due to varied acculturation strategies and speci?c personality traits. The last chapter in this section, chapter 14 by Angelelli, offers a longitudinal ethnographic approach for the development of authentic tests that can assess advanced language capabilities across three languages (Spanish, Cantonese, and Hmong). In the ?nal chapter of the volume, the coeditors conclude that “a theoretical recon?guration appears to be necessary if SLA research is to fashion a robust longitudinal methodology that can capture advanced capacities—our notions of time and our notions of language itself will need to be reconceptualized” (p. 294). The theoretical recon?guration should pay particular attention to the language learner, who can be seen as “a socioculturally situated agent” (p. 294), and the learning context. Learner differences, as noted in the case studies discussed above, account for a considerable degree of the changes in advanced language development. With respect to learning contexts, attention should be given to the important micro and macro sociolinguistic forces at work in L2 learning situations. These contextual factors include such issues as the social/economic/cultural status of the L2, interethnic relations between and among the language groups, and the demographic vitality and strength of the L2 community. This volume is a signi?cant contribution to our understanding of the complex set of interacting factors involved in the development of advanced language capabilities. Ortega and Byrnes outline many salient issues that researchers should consider in designing systematic research programs for the longitudinal study of advanced L2 capacities. Although the case is made for advanced L2 capabilities in an increasingly multilingual and globalized world, no studies of nontraditional learners are included in the volume. Immigrants, refugees, and transnationals may have developmental trajectories toward advancedness that are similar to or different from those of the learners included here. ARNULFO G. RAM? IREZ Louisiana State University
Reviews ARABIC LAHLALI, EL MUSTAPHA. Advanced Media Arabic. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 292. $34.95, paper. ISBN 978– 1–58901–220–2.
159 memorizing “media” lexical items, then it may not be in the realm of language pro?ciency. In the same paragraph, we read “acquiring the necessary skills to write Arabic reports and articles,” which looks like an objective but sounds unachievable, given the level of the targeted learners. Why would learners want to write news reports? To my knowledge, no graduate from an Arabic program is asked to write anything in Arabic in his or her professional activities. Writing exercises, nonetheless, do have a bene?cial and reinforcing effect on all other skills, which may be what the author intended. As is the case with most textbooks, this one is not above criticism. My major concern is the attitude that the author exhibits, which is, unfortunately, rampant throughout the ?eld of Arabic as a foreign language. Most of us, including this reviewer, are guilty in this regard. It pertains to how Arabic and Arabic learners are viewed. The language is generally seen as an object of study within an English context rather than a genuine means of communication that can be learned without recourse to English. The book opens from left to right like English language books, and the headings and simple instructions are in both Arabic and English. It is not clear why advanced learners need glossaries. Looking up words in an Arabic dictionary is, in and of itself, a bene?cial skill and an effective learning tool. It builds the learner’s competence systematically in the morphology of the language. This bene?t is sacri?ced in favor of providing lists of meanings that are in many instances inaccurate (e.g., six inaccuracies on p. 8 and three on p. 119 alone). Another point is the need to use standard terminology in Arabic and English. For example, page 5 has the phrase “to report direct speeches/discourses [sic]” and is ren. A more serious dered in Arabic as implication for learners is that they cannot learn this language without the use of English. Learning through English is an unnecessary crutch that advanced learners should have abandoned long before. The issue of accuracy also needs attention. There are two sources of language deviations in the textbook: the selected passages and the authored material. In a language textbook, no deviations should be allowed, not even under the pretext of authenticity. Selections must be to indicate author edited and marked intervention if they undergo editing. The passage in unit 2, for example, suffers from errors (at least ?ve) in spelling, word choice, and style. The other source of deviations is the authored material. A few examples include item 15 (p. 5), which has a structure with the wrong
This book is a relatively new addition to the materials available for Arabic learners in the West. It begins with an introduction that explains the need for such a work and it details the approach adopted, which is clearly integrative. It is divided into 10 chapters, each chapter dealing with one topic, and it contains several units with selected texts that address the same topic from various perspectives. There are 36 units altogether. Page xi has a map of the book—a nice visual representation of the various sections. Each unit generally has six sections: prereading questions that serve as advance organizers, glossary (not in all units), comprehension questions, language in context (i.e., vocabulary exercises), Arabic– English/English–Arabic translation, and writing. Units 14, 31, 34, 35, and 36 have audio passages, but they lack prelistening questions and glossaries. Although the author does not explain what intermediate and advanced signify as technical terms, the text types of the passages used suggest that the selections are within the advanced level according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages pro?ciency scale. Neither is there a de?nition of authentic, which, by reading the introduction and browsing the passages, may mean unedited. This term is probably used as a stamp of approval for texts that might not otherwise withstand linguistic scrutiny. Advanced Media Arabic meets most of the claims made in the introduction. It integrates the four language skills in each unit, exposes advanced learners to a wide variety of lexical items (critical in attaining pro?ciency at the advanced level), and involves them in translation practice. The textbook is pedagogically sound, utilizing concepts borrowed from psycholinguistics and language acquisition, such as the use of advance organizers, treatment of vocabulary as groups of words that share certain semantic features, and focus on meaning to enhance learning. Nonetheless, the introduction contains a couple of general statements that may not be understood without further elaboration. Under module 1, the author states that the goal is to “build their con?dence and master media Arabic language” (p. ix). The ?rst part is probably not measurable and the second needs elaboration. If “mastering” means
160 collocation and a typographical error. The structure may be modi?ed to read or it can . The word in the be modi?ed to read instruction at the top of page 16 has the wrong gender agreement. The word for “Attorney General” in the glossary (p. 119) is grammatically is renincorrect, and the meaning of dered inaccurately in English. The government (p. 125) is agency referred to as , and the meangenerally known as is rendered literally “holding of ing of breaths [sic].” The word for “market” is given the wrong gender (p. 131), item 3 (p. 167) has is rendered the wrong case, and the word “erosion.” A couple of suggestions are in order. Matching exercises may be enhanced if the second column includes one or two extra items to allow for intelligent guessing. The exercises that ask learners to identify errors and correct them (e.g., p. 177) have little pedagogical value and are inappropriate, particularly as they have items that are probably taken from student work. On a more general level and from a pro?ciency perspective, the vast majority of the passages fall under a single language function: reporting a current event. No other advanced functions or global tasks are addressed. At any rate, despite the above criticisms, the textbook makes a welcome contribution to the Arabic ?eld. MAHDI ALOSH The United States Military Academy CHINESE FANG, JIQING, & MICHAEL CONNELLY. Chinese Measure Word Dictionary: A Chinese–English English–Chinese Usage Guide. Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, 2008. Pp. x, 181. $29.95, paper. ISBN 978–0–88727–632–3. One of the ?rst challenges faced by English speakers when studying Chinese is the usage of measure words. Chinese measure words differ from their English counterparts both in quantity and quality: A noun requires a mandatory measure word in almost all cases, and different categories of nouns call for different measure words. Chinese Measure Word Dictionary provides a convenient reference guide for learners to look up the usage of measure words and to search for the correct one for a given noun. The dictionary consists of three sections, all alphabetically arranged to facilitate a quick search.
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) Section 1 contains 154 entries of Chinese measure words. Each entry contains a brief introduction in English about the meaning and usage of a measure word, together with a list of exemplary Chinese nouns and phrases it accompanies. When there may be confusion about the usage of more than two measure words, a comparison note is provided to distinguish their usage. These wellthought-out and lucidly written comparison notes are extremely useful for learners. Section 2 includes 1,360 entries of common English nouns, together with their Chinese equivalents and corresponding measure words. Section 3 is the opposite, including 1,316 entries of Chinese nouns accompanied by their measure words. These two sections set this dictionary apart from most other reference books on Chinese measure words, in that they can help learners quickly identify the correct measure word for a given noun in either English or Chinese. Although practical and useful, this dictionary can be improved in future editions. First, although the compilers claim to present the most frequently used Chinese measure words in section 1, there are some important omissions that should have been included. To name a few, ban as in yi ban feiji ‘a ?ight,’ di as in yi di shui ‘a drop of water,’ wan as in yi wan fan ‘a bowl of rice,’ die as in yi die cai ‘a saucepan of food,’ ju as in yi ju hua ‘a sentence, a word, an utterance,’ kuan as in yi kuan shouji ‘a type of cell phone,’ and zhen as in yi zhen feng ‘a gust of wind’ should be included. A student is expected to know such common phrases as Wo haiyao yi wan fan ‘I would like to have one more bowl of rice,’ Zhe ju hua shi shenme yisi ‘What is the meaning of this utterance?’ or Xia yi ban feiji shi jidian ‘When is the next ?ight?’ and they will have to know those high-frequency measure words to produce these sentences. On the contrary, a couple of measure words carrying a strong dialect ?avor that are less commonly used (e.g., bian ‘a braid of’ and ya ‘a wedge of a melon’) should probably be omitted. Second, some less commonly used combinations of measure words and nouns should be deleted lest they mislead beginning- and intermediate-level learners. Collocations such as yi wei ren ‘a person’ (p. ix); yi hang ren ‘a row of people’ (pp. 15, 81, 150); yi dui fengqun ‘a swarm of bees’ (pp. 10, 43, 124); yi jian wenjian ‘a document’ (p. 17); and yi zhang boli ‘a piece of glass’ (pp. 31, 64, 114) are so rare that Internet searches of these phrases on Chinese sites turn up almost no results. Third, given that this dictionary is claimed to cater to the needs of a general language learner, some special-domain and low-frequency
Reviews vocabulary should be excluded and more commonly used nouns added in sections 2 and 3. For instance, a group of military-domain nouns (e.g., ammunition, antiaircraft gun, artillery shell, armored vehicle, bullet, bomb, cannon, machine gun, mortar launcher) should be given less prominence throughout the dictionary. In contrast, words related to daily life such as beizi ‘cup,’ mianbao ‘bread,’ sanmingzhi ‘sandwich,’ and weisheng zhi ‘bathroom tissue’ are curiously missing from the dictionary. Fourth, a few typological errors need to be recti?ed. The tone for xiao in xiaolian (pp. 12, 92, 165) is incorrectly marked. Parts of the pinyin romanization for yi zhi yuanzhubi (p. 42) are missing. Yi jia dianyingyuan and yi suo dianyingyuan (p. 50) are printed in duplicate. The characters for jing in jingsai ‘competition’ (pp. 52, 135) and for you in youzi ‘grapefruit’ (pp. 65, 172) are erroneously printed. A car trip should be yi tang qiche l¨ xing u instead of yi tang qiche (pp. 27, 48). Yi xi hua is better translated as ‘a talk, a speech, a lecture’ instead of ‘a nice talk’ (pp. 78, 97, 131). The entry Li ‘a grain or a small piece of’ (p. 19) should be listed under the alphabetic heading of L rather than K. Fifth, the layout of the comparison notes in section 1 could be streamlined. Instead of presenting them multiple times under every item that is being compared, they could be listed only once under one entry and cross-referenced under others. Despite these weaknesses, this dictionary has arrived in time to meet the urgent needs of the increasing number of Chinese language learners in the United States. Learners from beginning through advanced levels now have a handy tool to guide them through the maze of Chinese measure words. LI YU Williams College ENGLISH MCKAY, SANDRA LEE, & WENDY D. BOKHORST–HENG. International English in Its Sociolinguistic Contexts: Towards a Socially Sensitive Pedagogy. New York: Routledge, 2008. Pp. xviii, 209. $41.95, paper. ISBN 978–0–8058–6338–3. International English in Its Sociolinguistic Contexts: Towards a Socially Sensitive Pedagogy is ambitious in scope and covers a great deal of territory, both conceptually and geographically. Primarily concerned with issues of English language teaching and learning in an era of globalization, other aims
161 of the book include examining the historic and contemporary factors in?uencing the spread of English around the world, investigating the complex nature of English as an international language (EIL), and proposing guidelines for a socially sensitive pedagogy. These aims are outlined in the book’s preface, where the authors also distinguish EIL from English as a lingua franca (ELF): The former is the broader category and refers to “the use of English between any two L2 speakers of English, whether sharing the same culture or not, as well as L2 and L1 speakers of English” (p. xvi). In chapter 1, “English in an Era of Globalization,” the authors de?ne globalization and discuss factors related to the global spread of English (e.g., colonialism, economic incentives, mass media). The chapter also addresses the current relationship of English to other languages, and it covers some of the dangers related to this spread of English, including language loss, growing monolingualism in anglophone countries, and economic divides that occur when only elites receive English-medium education. Although the authors acknowledge that Kachru’s concentric circles model is no longer adequate to re?ect today’s complex sociolinguistic reality, chapter 2, “Social Contexts for EIL Learning,” nevertheless uses this model as an organizing framework for exploring concrete cases of English language learning in diverse contexts. First, English language educational policies in the inner-circle countries of Great Britain and the United States are compared and contrasted. Next, the authors focus on South Africa and the Philippines to illustrate two different language-ineducation policies and their outcomes in outercircle countries. Finally, the authors refer to Korea and Japan as examples of expanding-circle learning contexts, where English language teaching (ELT) issues have mainly to do with student motivation, teacher preparation/competence, as well as the development of locally appropriate teaching methods and materials. Chapter 3, “Multilingual Societies,” provides an in-depth focus on two diglossic multilingual societies, India and South Africa. Here the authors argue that in spite of language-in-education policies that attempt to promote mother tongue language maintenance and to redress social inequalities, very often the reverse takes place. This situation, they explain, is the result of a complex interplay between the colonial legacy of English and current and pervasive language ideologies of English as the key to social mobility and access to material resources, as well as local constraints and pedagogical practices. In this chapter, the authors also
162 consider multilingualism and language learning in two inner-circle countries, the United States and Great Britain. They point to the increasing trend in both countries toward monolingualism and English-only policies, citing as an example that the goal of most bilingual programs is to replace students’ ?rst languages with English rather than to support an additive model of bilingualism. Detailed examinations of “Language Planning and Policy” in Singapore and the United States are provided in chapter 4. Focusing on these two countries with different linguistic realities, the authors discuss both of?cial language policies and various language politicking activities, illustrating their argument with Singapore’s Speak Good English movement and the Oakland Ebonics debate in the United States. One of the highlights of the book, this chapter is especially thorough and well written, and it makes appropriate use of a good deal of recent and relevant research. Chapter 5, “Linguistic Variation and Standards,” draws upon a number of models (i.e., those of Bickerton, Gupta, and Pakir) to explore linguistic hybridization in outer-circle countries (e.g., Nigeria, Singapore). The chapter provides examples of linguistic features (e.g., phonological, morphological, lexical) found across several World Englishes. After discussing standard language ideologies and questions related to intelligibility, the authors raise the inevitable question of innovations versus norms—that is, how one can determine “when a particular feature of language use is indeed an innovation, and when it is simply an error” (p. 143). Because this is such a critical question for many English language educators, it is somewhat disappointing that this ?nal section is as brief as it is. Similarly, the important issue of exonormative versus endonormative standards in language assessment is addressed in only one paragraph. In chapter 6, “Interactional Sociolinguistics,” the authors introduce readers to interactional sociolinguistics (IS) as an analytic tool for understanding EIL interactions. They provide historical background into the origins of IS, note the key contributions of scholars such as Hymes and Gumperz, and offer illustrative excerpts from contemporary IS analyses of EIL. Summarized information about characteristic pragmatic, grammatical, and phonological features of EIL is included in this chapter. Additionally, interspersed throughout are a few brief “Implications for EIL Pedagogy” subsections—for example, a list of guidelines for “what the pragmatic goals of an EIL curriculum should entail” (p. 162). However, the authors explain that there is far less consensus on deciding what grammatical and phono-
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) logical standards should be taught as part of an EIL curriculum. Although it is evident that determining such norms is clearly a complex matter, many teachers may wish for at least some general guidelines in this area. The chapter concludes with an overview of different perspectives on codeswitching. The authors wrap up the major themes of the book in chapter 7, “Toward a Socially Sensitive English Language Pedagogy,” as they highlight “the tension between the realities of multilingualism and multiculturalism and the monolingual assumptions and goals dominating English language pedagogy” (p. 181). Other points reviewed in this chapter include the need to consider the of?cial status of English in a given society, the nature of linguistic variation and local standards, and discourse and linguistic features characteristic of EIL interactions. The chapter also takes up a critical examination of discourses of othering in ELT methods and materials. The book closes with six key principles that can inform a socially sensitive EIL pedagogy, which range from concrete steps that ELTs may be able to take (e.g., “EIL curricula need to exemplify L2–L2 interactions,” p. 196) to matters that may be a bit further out of reach for many ELTs (e.g., “EIL professionals should strive to alter the language policies,” p. 196). Although some readers may also wish that the authors had developed further those sections that address pedagogical implications, the book’s major contribution (i.e., presenting the complex issues associated with the global spread of English and describing how widely these vary across contexts) clearly outweighs this potential limitation. As a richly informative text that highlights many unexamined assumptions held by teachers, learners, and language users alike, this book is certainly a must-read for English language teachers working in any social context. ? CAMILLA VASQUEZ University of South Florida
NATION, I. S. P. Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing . New York: Routledge, 2008. Pp. vii, 171. $29.95, paper. ISBN 978–0–415–98968–8. NATION, I. S. P., & JONATHAN NEWTON. Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking . New York: Routledge, 2008. Pp. vii, 205. $29.95, paper. ISBN 0–415–98970–1. These volumes are two recent additions to the ESL and Applied Linguistics Professional Series
Reviews (edited by Hinkel) intended to provide English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL) teachers and teacher trainers with research-driven practical guidelines. The books focus on interrelated skills of spoken and written language and are similar in organization and coverage of issues: Both consist of 10 chapters, a preface, a conclusion, references, appendixes, and indexes, with Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking (henceforth Teaching L&S) having a separate “Techniques Index.” Both volumes are written in clear and simple language. The two major features of the books are their “strong practical emphasis” drawing on nearly 100 teaching techniques and their approach for offering a “balanced programme” based on a “four strands” framework (p. ix). The ?rst chapter of each book (and especially in Teaching L&S) has accordingly been devoted to clarifying the meaning and components of the framework. The ?rst six chapters of Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing (henceforth Teaching R&W ) deal with reading and the rest with writing (with chapter 9 having a shared focus). In chapter 1, “Learning to Read in Another Language” (and also in chapter 1 of the companion book), the authors explain the meaning of the four strands framework and justify the need for such a model. Chapter 1 also discusses research-driven differences and similarities in reading between the ?rst language (L1) and the second language (L2). Chapter 2, “Learning to Recognize and Spell Words,” discusses the link between written and spoken forms and the connection between form and meaning. It also offers practical advice on teaching spelling–sound correspondence. The Maori language is mentioned (p. 13), but information on where it is spoken is lacking. “Intensive Reading” (ch. 3) is introduced as an example of a language-focused learning strand in a balanced program on reading. Plenty of useful exercises are offered for this purpose. The author outlines that intensive reading focuses on eight aspects, of which ?ve are discussed in some detail, with no attention paid to aspects such as information structure and strategies. The use of different level headings and subheadings does not seem to follow a consistent pattern in some chapters, including this one, and more care could be applied here especially because text organization is one aspect of intensive reading meant to be introduced in the chapter. Chapter 4, “Extensive Reading,” deals with the intention of this reading approach to provide meaning-focused input and build ?uency.
163 It presents research ?ndings on graded readers and offers a set of guidelines for planning and running programs that feature extensive reading. Chapter 5, entitled “Reading Faster,” focuses on one of the aims of extensive reading. The author discusses the physical nature of reading and the limits of faster reading, and he examines a variety of procedures that can be applied to help learn and maintain faster reading. The claim (pp. 54, 63, 72, 82) that L2 learners can attain a reading speed of 250 words per minute seems overly ambitious, and no research is cited in support of that ?gure. Chapter 6 is devoted to “Assessing Reading,” and characteristics of a good measurement tool are discussed in terms of reliability, validity, and practicality. The author introduces speed reading graphs as a motivation tool. Providing an example of how such graphs can be drawn would have been fruitful, especially given the practical orientation of the book. In “Helping Learners Write” (ch. 7), principles are introduced to help evaluate writing activities, and practical advice is offered on designing and implementing writing tasks. Categorizing the writing tasks across a range of more mechanical to more meaningful as well as suggesting different pro?ciency levels for which some are more appropriate could have added value. Chapter 8 (“The Writing Process”) introduces a process-oriented approach to writing. In chapter 9, “Topic Types,” the topic type hypothesis is discussed as a way of analyzing the type of information in non?ction texts, and the limitations of the hypothesis are acknowledged. The ?nal chapter of the book, “Responding to Written Work,” discusses assessment issues in writing. A major section of the chapter is devoted to feedback, with a discussion on electronic feedback offering new ideas on the superiority of such feedback in this digital age. A short, unnumbered “Conclusion” that comes at the end of both books should have been numbered properly or incorporated into the ?nal chapter. Teaching L&S shares more or less the structure outlined above. Chapter 1 is a comprehensive introduction to the four strands model referred to above and the pedagogical principles based on it. Despite the writers’ emphatic suggestions in both books for observing a balance in focus on the strands, they contradict themselves in stating that “giving equal time to each strand is an arbitrary decision” (p. 11) and that in an intensive English program, it is possible to have “only a very small amount of language-focused learning” (p. 11).
164 “Beginning to Listen and Speak in Another Language” (ch. 2) focuses on a variety of activities, principles, and strategies to bene?t beginner learners. Although the emphasis of the chapter is on listening and speaking, most of the discussion and suggestions also apply to reading and writing. The next chapter, “Listening,” clari?es the importance of listening in both L1 acquisition and L2 learning, provides models of listening, discusses listening processes, and offers a plethora of tasks and strategies. The authors note that skilled reading speed is in the range of 250–300 words per minute (pp. 52, 53, 54), which contradicts claims in the companion book. “Language-Focused Learning through Dictation and Related Activities” (ch. 4) discusses different uses and types of dictation as well as similar activities such as delayed repetition, delayed copying, and reproduction exercises. Although the focus of the book is on oral skills, both dictation (with its different variations) and many of the other activities involve reading and writing, and even some, like delayed copying (p. 67) and reproduction exercises (p. 71), have no element of listening or speaking. “Pronunciation” (ch. 5) clari?es the place of a deliberate pronunciation course and looks at what is involved in teaching and learning pronunciation. Although the major tenet of both books is to make all learning activities meaningful, it is dif?cult to visualize how such an aim will be possible with many of the techniques favored in the chapter. In chapter 6 (“Learning through TaskFocused Interaction”) the authors provide activities that combine listening and speaking (and, at times, reading and writing) in an attempt to encourage negotiation between learners. The argument that L2 knowledge does not transfer automatically from reception to production is supported and developed in the next chapter, “Learning through Pushed Output.” Whereas the authors claim that “formal monologue is typically only a small part of most people’s speaking” (p. 130) and “as most of our speaking tends to be informal speaking, this deserves attention within the classroom” (p. 121), it is strange to observe that more than half of the space in the chapter is devoted to formal speaking and fewer than two pages to informal speaking. The authors mention a LEGO model (pp. 117, 126, 155), but do not explain it. It is the aim of “Language-Focused Learning: Deliberate Teaching” (ch. 8) to indicate the role of meaning-focused instruction of lexicon, grammar, and discourse to promote spoken language. Although a focus on discourse appears as an aim
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) in the ?rst paragraph of the chapter, no separate heading or serious discussion is allocated to issues concerning the deliberate learning and teaching of discourse. The chapter is similar in title and content to chapter 4 and would have been better placed following that chapter. In “Developing Fluency” (ch. 9), the meaning of ?uency is clari?ed and a comparison is made among ?uency, accuracy, and complexity. Most of the activities recommended for ?uency development in listening are, however, the same as those used for meaning-focused input, and no algorithm is offered on how to decide what purpose an activity serves. The ?nal chapter (“Monitoring and Testing Progress”) provides useful information on how to monitor progress in listening and speaking and touches on important assessment-related considerations, including washback. Rating scales (p. 171) are listed as examples of tests used for both listening and speaking. It is important to remember that scales and lists are scoring tools, not measures by themselves. In short, neglecting the minor editorial and organizational issues stated above, the books’ readable and informal style makes them accessible for novice as well as practicing teachers. The range of experience-based and research-driven practical advice in the books is so overwhelming that caring ESL/EFL teachers are urged to avail themselves of them. KARIM SADEGHI Urmia University, Iran FRENCH OLLIVIER, JACQUELINE, & MARTIN BEAUDOIN. Grammaire francaise. 4th ed. Toronto, ? Canada: Thomson, 2008. Pp. vi, 564. $98.95, cloth. ISBN 0–17–610461–5. The fourth edition of Grammaire francaise is a thor? ough, concise, and accurate textbook that covers the basics of French grammar and orthography. It is also a valuable resource for vocabulary development. This textbook, written exclusively in French, has been designed for intermediate- and advanced-level high school students or college students who have already developed substantial knowledge of the French language. The book begins with a succinct introduction to the additions made to the fourth edition, as well as the reorganization of the chapters by syntactic groups. The body is divided into four
Reviews major sections: (a) Le groupe nominal ; (b) Les invariables; (c) Le groupe verbal ; and (d) Autres structures syntaxiques. The ?rst section focuses on nouns, determiners, adjectives, and various pronouns (personal, possessive, demonstrative, and relative). The second part deals with adverbs, comparatives, and superlatives, as well as prepositions and conjunctions. The largest portion of the book is centered on verbs and their conjugations. In the fourth section, Ollivier and Beaudoin introduce concepts such as negation, interrogation, passive voice, and indirect discourse. Each section is subdivided into chapters, which follow a similar presentation: (a) a detailed and comprehensive explanation in French of a grammatical phenomenon with numerous examples; (b) a series of exercises (oral and written); and (c) the answer key to applications imm? diates, which are e only a small portion of the exercises proposed. The answer key to the majority of the exercises is not provided in the textbook itself. If learners want to complete more exercises and verify the answers immediately, they will have to purchase a separate volume entitled Grammaire francaise: Cl? ? e de correction et exercices suppl? mentaires. Following e the four main body sections, the textbook concludes with three reference sections: (a) Appendices, (b) Lexique, and (c) Index. The appendixes are a great resource for learners to rapidly and easily access conjugation tables or verify whether a verb is followed by a speci?c preposition. This textbook is not without its ?aws. An important pedagogical shortcoming is the uniformity of the activities. Only noncreative grammar drilling exercises supplement the grammatical explanations, and there is a dearth of related readings and interactive activities. With many short ?ll-inthe-blanks exercises, the book will appeal to learners who like systematic repetition. Learners who like a variety of exercises and communicative output tasks will ?nd the book somewhat less inspiring and of limited use. The textbook highlights numerous exceptions or particular cases, linked to various grammar points covered, by giving clear examples of standard usage. Certain chapters also contain grammatical notes that elaborate on subtleties of the French language with which learners at this level should become familiar. For instance, in the chapter introducing negation, the note brie?y mentions that in oral and informal speech, the ?rst particle ne of the French negation ne . . . pas is often omitted. The authors take a prescriptive approach and consequently omit contextualization discussion and concrete examples of language variation of any type—geographic, social, or generational—that are essential elements for nonnative speakers of a language to recognize
165 and thus enhance their mastery of the French language. Overall, the book has a simple and practical layout. It is somewhat austere, given the lack of color, but it is nonetheless a useful addition for any student who wants a solid foundation and good understanding of the French language. It is a valuable tool leading to mastery of French linguistic competence and is appropriate in the context of a third- or forth-year grammar class or as a supplement for a content course requiring substantial and meticulous writing under self-study conditions. Finally, with the comprehensive grammar covered in this book, together with its simple transparent design, instructors will ?nd it easy to use for occasional but invaluable reference. GERALDINE BLATTNER Florida Atlantic University JAPANESE COOK, HARUKO MINEGISHI. Socializing Identities through Speech Style: Learners of Japanese as a Foreign Language. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008. Pp. viii, 225. $49.95, paper. ISBN 978–1–84769–100–2. This book is an investigation of how learners of Japanese as a foreign language (JFL) and members of their host families use the masu form, which is conventionally labeled as the addressee honori?c marker, in their dinnertime conversations. It is composed of an excellent ?rst part followed by somewhat disappointing second and third parts. Part 1 consists of three chapters: chapter 1, “Introduction: An Indexical Approach to Language and Language Socialization”; chapter 2, “Social Meaning and Indexicality”; and chapter 3, “Functions of the masu Form.” In chapters 1 and 2 Cook lays out the basic assumptions and theoretical tenets underpinning her research approach. She considers that all linguistic forms are potentially indexical—that is, pointing to an aspect of the social dimension in the speech situation (p. 3)—and that social meanings of utterances are interactionally constituted, with speakers as active agents (not passive observers of social norms) who select linguistic forms to index their identity as well as affective and epistemic stances toward the addressee(s) and the content of talk (p. 25). Adapting Ochs’s work, Cook employs a twostep model of indexical relations, in which linguistic expressions directly index particular acts (goal-oriented behavior), as well as affective
166 and epistemic stances while also indirectly indexing activities (sequences of acts) and social identity. For example, the Japanese sentence?nal particle wa directly indexes an affective stance of gentle disposition and indirectly indexes the speaker’s female gender identity (pp. 27–30). Chapter 3 is devoted to a discussion of the functions of the masu form. Cook points out that the common understanding of masu as a marker of politeness or formality cannot account for its full range of utility, such as its use by parent to child. She argues that the masu form directly indexes a self-presentational stance, de?ned as an affective stance of displaying one’s positive social role to other(s) (shisei o tadasu ‘to hold oneself up’ or kichin to suru ‘to do something neatly’) when one is literally or ?guratively “on stage” (p. 46). It then indirectly indexes politeness, which is highlighted when used in out-group contexts, where polite behavior is expected. By contrast, in the in-group context (e.g., the family), a display of the self-presentational stance foregrounds the speaker’s social identities related to responsibilities in the group (pp. 47–48). For instance, parents tend to switch from the plain to the masu form when teaching children, doing household chores, and cooking and serving food. Parental practice of how and when to present various social identities through the use of the masu form socializes children (p. 62). The book’s ?rst part is intensive and persuasive, re?ecting Cook’s prominent achievements in research on indexicality from a social constructionist perspective. The second part consists of chapter 4, “Identity Construction through Use of the masu Form: JFL Learners and Host Families”; chapter 5, “Marked and Unmarked Uses of the masu Form in the Homestay Context”; and chapter 6, “Explicit Language Socialization: Socialization to Use Polite Language.” JFL learners are considered culturally and linguistically similar to children, in that they are novice members of the host family, with dinnertime conversations providing learners with opportunities for language socialization (p. 66). Analyzing videotaped conversations of nine JFL learners and their host families, Cook found that the more advanced learners used the masu form in a way similar to that of host family members more so than did the less pro?cient learners (p. 146). However, Cook remarks, when learners’ use deviates, it is unclear whether it is due to their lack of linguistic and/or pragmatic competence in Japanese or to their preference for maintaining distance as a foreign guest (p. 118).
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) Part 3 of the book consists of chapter 7, “Implications of the Study for L2 Pragmatics and Pedagogy.” Here, the discussion is super?cial. Well-thought-out guidance as to how to incorporate into one’s teaching the social meanings of the masu form is not provided. After explaining that JFL learners without homestay experience have more dif?culty learning speech style shifts, Cook compares seven elementary Japanese textbooks and declares that they overemphasize the masu form because of the belief that it is the correct speech style for nonnative speakers to use (p. 189). She argues that if the learner attempts to establish close relationships with Japanese college classmates or host family members, speaking only in the masu form may prevent the learner from achieving such a goal. Moreover, she further argues that textbooks should provide explanations closer to reality (p. 191). The fact is, however, that when beginners in a classroom setting learn the masu form, they are unlikely to have Japanese classmates or plans for the near future that include going to Japan for a homestay. Cook insists that Japanese language instruction should incorporate an indexical approach to the masu form; that is, language is context dependent and a tool to accomplish interactional goals (p. 193). The direct indexical value of the masu form for teaching beginners is the self-presentational stance. Teaching such a dif?cult concept is a formidable task, and yet Cook provides no idea as to how to accomplish it. JFL learners are not child ?rst language learners. Children learn the language in in-group settings in which the use of the masu form is a marked choice, whereas adult JFL learners must acquire the language in out-group settings, in which the use of the masu form is unmarked. Therefore, they have to associate the masu form with formality and politeness before other meanings. JFL learners are not on stage literally; thus, they would naturally ask, “Am I metaphorically on stage now?” The teacher answers af?rmatively, explaining that it is because they are in a class. It is much easier for the learners if they are told simply that the masu form is appropriate in formal contexts rather than to introduce the concept of the self-presentational stance. Cook’s ?nal comment of chapter 7, “The most important factor for JFL learners to acquire appropriate uses of the masu form is to fully participate in Japanese life with a certain sense of who they are and what is expected of them” (p. 197), is neither practical nor insightful. YOKO HASEGAWA University of California, Berkeley
Reviews DAULTON, FRANK E. Japan’s Built-In Lexicon of English-Based Loanwords. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008. Pp. vii, 185. $89.95, cloth. ISBN 978–1–84769–030–2. To English speakers studying Japanese, the abundance of English-based loanwords in Japanese presents both a convenient backup when they need greater vocabulary as well as a challenge because of the phonological, semantic, grammatical, and pragmatic adaptations that the items have gone through, along with the lack of a clean algorithm dictating these transformation processes. Attempting to use an English word with Japanese phonology is a risk one takes, which may or may not result in an acceptable rendition. When used by Japanese speakers, these originally English words are “undecipherable” (p. 16) to non-Japanese speakers. In Japan’s BuiltIn Lexicon of English-Based Loanwords, Daulton approaches these originally English words that have become a rich and constantly expanding part of the Japanese lexicon with the idea of utilizing them in learning and teaching English language to speakers of Japanese. The book is divided into four parts, each of which contains two chapters. It has six appendixes, references, and an index. The author starts in part 1 by examining the nature of English-based words in Japanese, a major type of gairaigo, or Japanese words of foreign origin, in present-day Japan. Citing Loveday (1996) and other sources extensively, Daulton provides a thorough account of the transformation that English words go through when they become part of the Japanese language. The process through which English words come to be gairaigo is examined in chapter 2. The role of mass media is noted in the proliferation of loanwords, needed because “the Japanese could hardly carry on a conversation without loan words” (p. 37). This part provides useful information for teachers and learners of Japanese as a second/foreign language. Part 2 (ch. 3 and ch. 4) is devoted to a theoretical discussion of the effects of cognates and a presentation of empirical evidence in support of the use of cognates in teaching Japanese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). Daulton includes loanwords in cognates because it is the “perceived cross-linguistic similarities” that matter in applied linguistic research (p. 46). Endorsing the viewpoint that errors are simply indicators of student learning and emphasizing the advantage of errors related to use (or misuse) of loanwords over avoidance, he contends that anti-loanword writings, which have dominated the English edu-
167 cation scenes in Japan, are based on anecdotal evidence. He cites empirical research ?ndings that suggest that loanwords aid Japanese EFL learners in many areas, including lexical acquisition, recognition, spelling, listening comprehension, and retention of spoken and written English. His experiment indicates that in written production, Japanese college students use borrowed words far more frequently than nonborrowed words, suggesting the positive effect of borrowed words for the production of English writing. The interpretation of his experimental results is not altogether convincing, however, because most content words can be claimed to be borrowed words in one context or another, making the borrowed versus nonborrowed distinction inconsistent. For example, why are “I” and “exercise” considered borrowed when “we” and “practice” are not? It is not dif?cult to imagine contexts in which any of these words may be borrowed. Part 3 (ch. 5 and ch. 6) addresses the issue of frequency of use and familiarity, as well as measuring the degree of semantic and formal overlap between Japanese and English cognates. In part 4 (ch. 7 and ch. 8), Daulton suggests ways to use loanwords wisely, avoiding common and uncommon pitfalls and the dif?culties associated with in?ectional and derivational af?xes. To Daulton and to others he cites (Ringbom, 2007; Uchiad, 2003), the large number of cognates that Japanese EFL learners have at hand can motivate them to use English more actively, especially when Japanese teachers of English serve as models for utilizing the loanwords effectively and when given ample aural practice. As the author notes, careful distinction should be made between common loanwords and potential (or possible) loanwords, for which common Japanese alternatives exist. Japan’s Built-In Lexicon of English-Based Loanwords is written in a mode that is easily accessible to specialists, including Japanese EFL teachers, as well as to laypeople. Appendixes 2 (the list of common loanwords) and 3 (academic borrowed words) are extremely useful. They suffer from a few errors in the romanized representations of the words (e.g., the inconsistent Japanese rendition of “percentage” between Appendixes 2 and 3), and the syllabic /n/ is left indistinguishable in the romanization. These are minor errors in the face of the overall contribution that this book makes, not only to EFL but also to the teaching of Japanese as a second/foreign language. MARI NODA The Ohio State University
168 JOHNSON, YUKI. Fundamentals of Japanese Grammar: Comprehensive Acquisition. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008. Pp. xxi, 399. $23.00, paper. ISBN 978–0–8248–3176–9.
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) out which chapters may contain answers to their grammatical questions. It should be added, however, that Japanese phrases treated in respective chapters are provided under many, if not all, of the chapter titles. Most chapters provide some kind of exercise, the majority of which are simple presentations of sample dialogues and passages, whose intent is to help the reader reinforce key knowledge acquired in those chapters. As the author admits, “the pattern [of exercise presentation] is not consistent throughout the book” (p. xviii). Additionally, no answer keys are provided to question items of the exercises. Furthermore, some dialogues and passages are presented without English translations. These exercise materials as they are may not be very useful to the learner without the assistance of the instructor or an educated native speaker. Using the English, rather than the typical Japanese one-character-space, indent style in some passages and no indent at all in others is rather curious. Such mechanical matters may have little to do with grammatical knowledge. However, considering that all materials presented in Japanese tend to be taken as authentic by nonnative speakers, especially learners at the elementary and intermediate levels (i.e., the book’s target audience), such styles that are not widely accepted by Japanese people should be avoided. Grammar explanations are written in down-toearth language. For instance, the author handles well the grammatical items that are dif?cult for many Japanese language learners of all levels to understand fully, such as the particle [wa] and [tara], the so-called conditional forms [to], [ba], and [nara]. The author’s desire to make elementary and intermediate Japanese grammar as comprehensible as possible is evident in her use of means other than verbal explanations, especially in dealing with items that involve complex concepts. For instance, the use of the graphic form to explain the subtle and often con[te aru] and fusing differences between [te iru] is useful; also useful is the table [koto], summarizing the usage of [no] and the two items whose functions are interchangeable in some cases but not so in others. In sum, the author should be lauded for explaining elementary- and intermediate-level Japanese grammar in clear and accessible language. However, the book’s functionality is unclear, as it cannot be used as either a grammar dictionary or a workbook. SUFUMI SO George Mason University
Regardless of how the principles and practices of foreign language teaching may change, as the author of this book says, “grammatical competence is among the most important components of language pro?ciency” (p. xiii). In the last two decades, Japanese grammar reference books have proliferated; among them is this book by Johnson, an experienced Japanese language teacher and linguist. The book’s 33 chapters provide explanations of syntactic aspects of the Japanese language that are normally introduced in elementaryand intermediate-level Japanese textbooks. These chapters were developed from the grammar lecture notes that the author had written for North American university students of elementary and intermediate Japanese over the years. Thus, it can be said that grammatical explanations given in the book have been ?eld tested with one group of the target audience that comprises “graduate students and undergraduate students who have already learned basic Japanese grammar through regular language courses” (p. xvii). The book, however, is also intended for “educators and researchers in Japanese studies and the Japanese language” (p. xvii). How useful it will be to this target group is yet to be seen. Although the reader’s knowledge of basic Japanese orthographies is assumed, the book starts with the basics of Japanese sounds and written symbols (ch. 1). Further, even though the reader is expected to have had at least 2 years of college-level instruction in Japanese language, basic grammatical features of the language are reviewed in chapter 2 before speci?c items are explained in detail in subsequent chapters. These chapters are organized according to speci?c grammatical categories such as particles (ch. 4), stem-form compounds (ch. 9), modal auxiliaries (ch. 19), and superlative sentences (ch. 28). The use of such linguistic technical terms as titles of the chapters could be overwhelming to people with no background in linguistics or with little experience in formal language instruction. The book would be more user-friendly if parenthetical and brief nontechnical explanations of these terms had been added to the chapter titles in the table of contents, given that readers will most likely go to the table of contents ?rst to ?nd
Reviews MORI, JUNKO, & AMY SNYDER OHTA. (Eds.). Japanese Applied Linguistics: Discourse and Social Perspectives. New York: Continuum, 2008. Pp. xiii, 364. $150, cloth. ISBN 978–0–8264–8961–6. This book contains 12 chapters on topics ranging from speci?c grammatical usages to language policies, all contributed by leading scholars in the respective sub?elds of Japanese linguistics. It demonstrates the diversity of the ?eld, in that there are scholars who investigate issues beyond traditional applied linguistics in a narrow sense. By doing so, it sets the stage for current and future researchers to look into different aspects of Japanese language uses. The chapters are divided into four parts. Part 1, “Reexamination of Language in Action,” includes three chapters. In “Conversation and Grammar: Approaching So-Called Conditionals in Japanese,” Ono and Jones discuss the uses of the conditional (and temporal) terms to, tara, ba, and nara in the National Institute for Japanese Language’s Corpus of Spontaneous Japanese. Among these terms, nara was found to be the least frequently used in the corpus. Given the different frequencies and ?xed (or rule-based) uses of the terms, the authors question whether these terms should be grouped together and pedagogically introduced in a similar manner, as has been done traditionally. “Negotiating Agreement and Disagreement in Japanese: An Analysis of Designedly Ambiguous Turn Completion Points,” written by Mori and Nakamura, discusses opinion negotiation sequences by identifying agreement and disagreement turns in conversations. Based on a close conversation analysis, they claim that “language should be viewed as a dynamic resource used to accomplish various types of social interaction rather than static systems strictly governed by a set of rules” (p. 73). In “Construction of Speech Styles: The Case of the Japanese Naked Plain Form,” Cook discusses contextual dimensions and speech style by analyzing both classroom happyoo routines and off-task talk. She shows that the naked plain form indexes the detached speech style in the students’ response turns in the happyoo routine, whereas it indexes the informal speech style in the off-task, non-happyo routine. Part 2, “Ideologies, Diversities, and Identities,” consists of four chapters. “Keigo Ideology,” by Wetzel, reviews the development of keigo and explains Japan’s course of language ideology. In “The Use of ‘Regional’ and ‘Standard’ Japanese Conversa-
169 tions: A Case Study from Osaka,” Okamoto takes the Osaka dialect as an example of a regional variant and reveals how unclear the boundaries of the notions of the standard language and regional language are. “When the Coach is a Woman: The Situational Meanings of So-Called Masculine Directives in a Japanese Boxing Gym,” written by Okada, looks into a female boxing coach’s uses of language and ?nds that the coach was more sensitive to and aware of the uses of directives. She concludes that Japanese women’s use of language is more multifaceted and diverse than previously thought. Matsumoto’s chapter “Discursive Practices and Changing Identities in Elderly Japanese Women” reveals that the painful self-disclosure by the Japanese elderly goes beyond the stereotypical images of complaint and unhappiness. These chapters challenge what previously was thought of as stereotypical and shows the diverse use of language in reality. Part 3, “Japanese as an Additional Language,” contains three contributions. Ohta ?nds laughter as a means for second language (L2) learners— in particular, beginners—to promote successful interaction maintaining the level of mutual engagement in her chapter “Laughter and Second Language Acquisition: A Study of Japanese Foreign Language Classes.” In “Making Inquiries: Toiawase Strategies by Japanese L1 and L2 Callers to Japanese Educational Institutions,” Yotsukura discusses both ?rst language (L1) and L2 toiawase ‘inquiries’ to educational institutions. She suggests that given their poor performance, L2 learners may bene?t from the explicit teaching of toiawase. Because toiawase has a typical discourse pattern, it would serve as a good practice frame and would help L2 learners become familiar with Japanese inquiry forms. The chapter by Kanno, “Transnationalism, Imagined Communities, and Language Minority Education in Japan,” examines a couple of Japanese model schools with children of foreign permanent residents and guest workers. She ?nds a lack of understanding of transnationalism in Japan’s language education policy and practice. Although she considers the adoption of English in Japan’s elementary education as evidence of nurturing transnational identities, I am reluctant to take the same position, because Japanese policy makers and teachers do not regard English, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese in the same way. However, it is true that “transnationalism is no longer the prerogative of the privileged few; education that helps children learn to maintain a balance between participating in the society in which they currently live and
170 partaking in transnational communities should not either” (p. 293). Part 4, “Critical Re?ection on Language Pedagogy,” contains two chapters. In “Learner Competence as a Resource in the Japanese as a Foreign Language Classroom: Issues in Oral Assessment,” Yoshimi discusses her experimental results of learners’ achievements in the context of assessment-based roleplay activities in the beginning Japanese as a foreign language classroom. Drawing on learners’ personal experiences and knowledge with foreign language classroom activities, the learners can become real L2 users. In “Critical Approaches to Teaching Japanese Language and Culture,” Kubota reminds Japanese language teachers of the political signi?cance of their work, as they are “linguistic/cultural navigators directing the future of our ?eld and the larger society” (p. 346). The book is well organized and is written with relatively few technical terms, which makes it easy for nonspecialists to read. Although the authors do an excellent job in providing the background for their work, the topics discussed in the book are so diverse that the issues dealt with in each chapter require more in-depth discussions. If this book had been made into a multivolume set and had included more chapters on each topical area, the readers’ understanding of the issues would have been greater and they would become better informed. Nonetheless, the book serves as a useful resource for teachers of Japanese, those who are interested in becoming teachers of Japanese, and students of Japanese linguistics. MINEHARU NAKAYAMA The Ohio State University LINGUISTICS BOECKX, CEDRIC. Understanding Minimalist Syntax: Lessons from Locality in Long-Distance Dependencies. Boston: Blackwell, 2008. Pp. ix, 173. $34.95, paper. ISBN 978–1–4051–5795–7. The study of locality has been one of the main tasks of generative syntax for 40 years. The goal is to determine how structural distance affects syntactic dependencies between syntactic elements. The research on locality has led to the conclusion that only short-distance dependencies are possible in language and that what we consider long-distance syntactic dependencies must be understood as the result of a conjunction of a series of short-distance dependencies. In this
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) book, the author focuses on a long-distance relation (long-distance movement) in languages, paying special attention to the successive cyclic movement steps involved in the relation. The book points to the shortcomings of previous approaches that deal with successive cyclic movement and then it shows how successive cyclic movement can be accounted for in a genuine minimalist analysis, which is based on the lack of a particular motivation for intermediate steps of movement and on the existence of a strict lower and upper bound for movement. The book is divided into six main chapters, apart from an introduction (ch. 1) and a conclusion (ch. 8). Chapter 2 examines the phenomenon of successive cyclic movement—namely, the proposal that long-distance movement proceeds in short steps rather than long-distance movement in one fell swoop. The chapter discusses the origins of this phenomenon, its ties to the concept of locality, and the empirical evidence given to support its existence. On the basis of the evidence presented, the author justi?es the existence of successive cyclic movement. Chapter 3 is a detailed discussion of the two major approaches to analyze successive cyclic movement: the uniform paths approach (UPA) and the punctuated approach (PA). The UPA claims that all available sites that separate the original and the ?nal position of the moving element are possible landing sites for the moving element, whereas the PA argues that only a series of designated sites between the original and the ?nal position of the moving element are available for its landing. The author examines the empirical evidence put forward in favor of both approaches and concludes that the UPA, which is also theoretically simpler, is superior to the PA in empirical and theoretical grounds and it should be then adopted. Chapter 4 examines the formation of intermediate steps, focusing on the timing of the intermediate steps of movement (i.e., whether the intermediate steps are formed early in the derivation or at a later point). After reviewing the empirical evidence given in the previous research for both possibilities, the book presents additional evidence to support the early formation of intermediate steps. This evidence comes from the crosslinguistic properties of applicative constructions, which can receive an adequate explanation only if the intermediate steps are formed early in the derivation. Chapter 5 investigates the motivation for intermediate movement steps and details the proposal of the book. The book claims that there
Reviews is no motivation for intermediate steps in longdistance movement (i.e., there is no feature or condition that triggers the intermediate steps of movement). Hence, elements move to intermediate positions because they carry a feature that must be checked at a later stage of derivation, and the intermediate movement is not banned by locality constraints. Chapter 6 serves to further position Boeckx’s approach among others. This chapter contrasts his proposal with recent proposals to conclude that none of the current proposals has any advantage over his because they make use of stipulative notions, such as domains or phases, or they con?ict with the empirical evidence, for instance, by proposing spurious features as the driving force for intermediate steps. Finally, chapter 7 further shows that the proposal can be extended to some other phenomena related to locality, such as island phenomena. There is no question that Boeckx’s monograph on successive cyclic movement will become a widely cited resource for years to come and will be an important work within current research on syntax. It is an excellent book that opens the door to further research in the ?eld. The main proposal in the book affects ongoing debates on core notions of syntax, such as the existence (or not) of domains, the need to reformulate notions such as Last Resort and locality conditions, the question on the driving force of syntactic operations, and so forth. Furthermore, the book provides us with empirical arguments for theoretical points, such as the derivational view of syntax. Hence, from a theoretical point of view, the book constitutes a valuable contribution to the ?eld. The empirical contribution to the book is also important: In addition to particular discussions on well-known facts, the book introduces novel analyses and data, such as an analysis of applicative constructions in different language families. Although there are no direct applications of the book to second language learning studies, the book and the cross-linguistic research it will trigger will lead to a better understanding of the inner workings of language and will surely be applied to research on second language learning. Overall, the broad topic of the book and its repercussions for syntax, the extensive cross-linguistic evidence discussed in the book, and the presence of brief introductions to different crucial current debates in theoretical linguistics make this book an excellent candidate to be read by the nontheoretical linguist. M. EMMA TICIO Syracuse University PORTUGUESE
WIEDEMANN, LYRIS, & MATILDE V. R. SCARAMUCCI. (Eds.). Portugu?s para Falantes de e Espanhol. Ensino e Aquisicao/Portuguese for Span?? ish Speakers: Teaching and Acquisition. Campinas, Brazil: Pontes, 2008. Pp. 268. $18.50, paper. ISBN 978–8–711–279–5. Portugu?s para Falantes de Espanhol. Ensino e e Aquisicao/Portuguese for Spanish Speakers: Teaching ?? and Acquisition (henceforth PSS) presents a selection of papers, most of which, according to the editors, were presented at the Second Symposium on Portuguese for Spanish Speakers: Acquisition and Teaching, held at Stanford University in March, 2006 (p. 30). Readers of PSS have to know Portuguese to read a great part of it, given that ?ve articles—about a third of the book—are written in Portuguese (i.e., those by Akerberg, Rodea, da Silva, Carvalho, and Scaramucci). Eight papers are written in English (i.e., those by Cowles, Koike and Gualda; Jensen, Santos, and Silva; Allegro and Madureira; Lowther; Cowles and Pires; and Milleret). Cowles’s argumentative paper stresses the importance of the teaching of Portuguese to Spanish speakers, as well as the teaching and learning of cognate languages. The detailed, empirically based papers by Koike and Gualda, Akerber, and Jensen uncover the effects of implicit and explicit grammatical input on transfer and interference. Their ?ndings are important because they suggest the need to employ different approaches to teach and manage programs for teaching Portuguese to speakers of English and Spanish as well as heritage speakers of Spanish, for example, mixing Spanish ?rst language (L1) speakers, L1 English speakers, and heritage speakers of Spanish in the same classroom for the teaching of Portuguese as a second (L2) and third (L3) language. Rodea’s paper studies verbal interaction and stylistic variables employed by both students and teachers, whereas da Silva aims to study ritualistic speech in both L2 and L3 Portuguese learners. The data in these two papers seem problematic because the authors do not offer speci?c information on the backgrounds of their participants or on their data collection methods. Without speci?c methodological information, I ?nd it dif?cult to make an informed evaluation of these papers. Santos and Silva analyzed audiotapes of students of varied backgrounds learning Portuguese during two different terms to test Bakhtin’s idea
172 of dialogue as a collaborative but regulated activity. They reveal, not surprisingly, the existence of asymmetrical relationships in the classroom. Using a variety of methods and a large number of participants, Carvalho studies the perceptions and attitudes that native speakers of Portuguese living in Rio de Janeiro have toward speakers of Portunhol (Spanish-in?uenced Portuguese). She ?nds, surprisingly, that although Portunhol is not stigmatized by Portuguese speakers in Rio, speakers of varieties of Portuguese closer to the native norms have better employment opportunities than speakers of less nativelike forms. Scaramucci’s paper studies how Spanishspeaking candidates react to the Celpe-Bras pro?ciency examination implemented by Brazil’s Ministry of Education to Brazilians and foreigners and observes the washback effect of the test and its effects thereof on both teachers and students. Her analysis of the data she obtained from a questionnaire that is part of the Celpe-Bras test supplemented by a questionnaire of her own design demonstrates that students respond positively to the test, whereas professors adapt their teaching practices to suit the test to a certain extent. Rangel and Madureira’s and Lowther’s papers deal with teaching Spanish to speakers of Portuguese. Although these two papers may be useful and of interest to teachers of Spanish and other foreign languages, it is hard to see why the editors of PSS included them in their volume, given that neither the editors nor the authors explain what there is to be gained from researching the teaching of Spanish to Portuguese speakers that could be of use to improve, or even understand, the teaching of Portuguese to Spanish speakers. Cowles and Pires’s and Milleret’s papers evaluate programs for teaching Portuguese to speakers of Spanish and are of use to administrators of such programs who aim to develop a more effective curriculum. The authors elicit direct responses from students and insightfully explore important programmatic questions such as the strengths and weaknesses of designing intensive language programs and the important issue of classroom linguistic homogeneity (i.e., the problems created by mixing L1 Spanish speakers and L1 English speakers in the same L2 Portuguese classroom). Although the quality of the papers in PSS is uneven, the editors of the book are to be commended because the majority of the papers represent a ?rm contribution to the emergent ?eld of teaching Portuguese to speakers of Spanish. In this sense, I am convinced that PSS will
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) meet the goals stated by the editors in the foreword: “de?ning more clearly the current ?eld of [teaching Portuguese] scholarship and promoting further progress” (p. 36). I recommend this book to teachers of Portuguese to Spanish speakers and others, as well as to administrators and others involved in testing and assessing such programs. EDUARDO D. FAINGOLD The University of Tulsa RUSSIAN MERRILL, JAMES, JULIA MIKHAILOVA, & MARIA ALLEY. Animation for Russian Conversation. Newburyport, MA: Focus, 2008. Pp. viii, 161. $29.95, paper. ISBN 978–1–58510–310–2. The premise of this book, now in widespread acceptance, is that language instruction should be based on authentic cultural material. In this instance, the material is animated ?lm, and that renders the book the ?rst of its kind in Russian language pedagogy. The authors have chosen four well-known works of Russian animation— ˇ ¨z Ceburaˇka, Karlson, Eˇik ‘Hedgehog,’ and Vinni-Pux s ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’—and developed teaching material based on them intended for students from the Novice High to Intermediate Mid levels according to American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines. Each of the works was prepared by a different author, and for that reason, the four sections of the book are not uniform in length, format, or organization. The differences are small, however, and do not detract from the structural unity of the book. The sections, each with an introduction, are preceded by a brief general introduction (p. vii) and a bibliography of further readings (p. viii). They are followed by an appendix of a lexicon describing appearance and personality (pp. 158–161). It should be noted that there are occasional infelicities in the glossing of Russian words where the translation is incorrect or opaque (e.g., byt’ vinovatym ‘to be guilty for,’ p. 114, where “of” is required, not “for”; donaˇivat’ ‘to wear clothes after somes one else,’ p. 114, which does not properly convey the meaning of this verb ‘to wear as a hand-medown’ or ‘to wear until worn out’). The authors may wish to consider revising the title in a second edition. The current title does little to suggest the content of the book or even that it is a tool for the language classroom rather than a manual on the pragmatics of spoken Russian.
Reviews ¨z With the exception of Eˇik, each animation is divided into units. The primary unit is designated as an “episode” in Vinni-Pux and Karlson but unˇ designated in Ceburaˇka, and it may be secondarily s divided into “parts.” Each ultimate unit, whether primary or secondary, comprises no more than 10 minutes of viewing time. For each, the authors anticipate two viewings, and one author suggests a ?rst viewing without sound so that “students can focus on the visuals and animation, notice details, and make predictions about what the cartoon may be about” (p. 99). Four sets of exercises are provided: one preceding the viewings, one following each viewing, and one concluding the unit, with the total number for each unit generally between 10 and 20. There are animation-?nal exercises, as well. There is a glossary for each unit, and the main points of grammar covered by the exercises are listed by unit in the table of contents (pp. v– vi). The exercises are of three types: (a) content related, under headings such as Verno ili neverno?, Kto govorit sledujuˇˇee?, V kakom porjadke?, and Vosc prosy; (b) grammar/lexicon related, each under the heading upraˇnenie, comprising exercises rez lating to topics such as diminutives, government, verbs of motion, aspect, existential constructions, and impersonal constructions; and (c) creative, under the headings Davajte pogovorim! and Pis’mo. All of the exercises are brief, and many begin with a reference to a construction used in the relevant unit, emphasizing that grammar is not something separate from language but the foundation of it. In the words of one of the authors, “The goals of the exercises . . . are to reinforce vocabulary, to review grammar, to work on the key constructions used in the episodes, to encourage students to communicate using the cartoon material, and to push students towards the higher level of performance (advanced) by means of building a paragraph-length discourse with the focus on narration and description in all time frames” (p. 99). Although this book as presently constituted is a valuable pedagogical tool with much potential, its organization would bene?t, I think, from two additions, should a second edition be required. First, an index of both grammatical constructions (e.g., partitive genitive) and lexical constructions (e.g., xodit’ k komu), including a reference to relevant exercises for each entry, would be helpful as an organizational tool for users. Second, a general glossary, subdivided into words of high(er) frequency, and therefore worth memorizing, and words of low(er) frequency, would communicate to users the different kinds of word knowledge needed by learners of Russian past the beginning level.
173 The authors might also consider a clearer gradation in, and appropriate labeling of, the complexity of exercises with respect to the ACTFL guidelines for the audiences addressed by the book (i.e., learners at Novice High to Intermediate Mid levels). With regard to such a gradation, I have in mind, given that there are four animations, a different level of exercise associated with each one. As the exercises now stand, they are, in range of complexity, much the same from animation to animation, leaving the instructor to pick and choose, with no guidance as to the authors’ intent with regard to level. Finally, I suggest an expanded array of warm-up exercises, designed to help the instructor introduce, in Russian, new lexicon and to draw the attention of students, by way of preview, to the grammar for which they should be prepared. MARK J. ELSON University of Virginia SPANISH BRODSKY, DAVID. Spanish Vocabulary: An Etymological Approach. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008. Pp. xiii, 637. $75.00, cloth; $29.95, paper. ISBN 0–292–71810–1, cloth; 0–292–71668–0, paper. The author’s stated goal is to assist “students at all levels . . . to enhance their Spanish vocabulary” and to “explore the wide-ranging connections between Spanish and English vocabulary” by means of “a multifaceted approach . . . , ranging from presenting words in a historical context to developing an understanding of the ‘shape’ or ‘feel’ of Spanish” (p. vii). The title may steer readers toward preconceived notions of what they will encounter, yet many will be surprised by both the arrangement and breadth of this volume. The structure indeed invites browsing, in much the way that one encounters intriguing tidbits of information in an almanac or another reference work. Such an approach would clearly prove rewarding; however, readers are better served by beginning with the introductory pages, where Brodsky outlines his objectives, organizational pattern, and system of notation. Otherwise, one risks being confounded by the unique structure of the work. One of the author’s premises is that because English is a Germanic language, native speakers of English who study or teach Spanish generally fail to exploit the fact that Latinate roots remain dominant in the English lexicon and can be of immeasurable value in enriching one’s Spanish
174 vocabulary. Brodsky devotes one chapter to the in?uence of learned Greek and Latin on Spanish, another to systematic linguistic change over time, and another to various topics concerning non-Romance in?uences on Spanish and words clustered around such diverse themes as religion, the family, food, time, and the body. More than 150 pages at the end of the volume provide detailed aids to mastering grammatical gender as well as assistance with the acquisition of families of related words. The introduction offers such teasers as “What is the difference between scarlet, crimson, carmine, and vermillion?” and “What is the connection between starboard and the stars?” (pp. 13–14), and each question is cross-referenced to the section where the answer can be discovered. Because understanding one concept often presupposes familiarity with another introduced previously and because knowledge of either one may prove essential for comprehension of items that appear later, there is a seeming circularity about this work. Many of the most fascinating observations occur either parenthetically or in footnotes, and at times several near-digressions suggest a random quality. Etymologies of English words and phrases become so intriguing that one occasionally risks losing sight of the fact that the book is primarily intended to help readers develop a stronger Spanish vocabulary. Brodsky’s passion for the story underlying many etymologies is unmistakable, as when he devotes over a page to the history of the word an?tri? n (pp. 370–371). o The volume provides considerable comparison among Spanish, other Romance tongues, and English, and the author should be commended for his consistency in providing up-to-date information concerning spelling reform, regional variations in de?nitions, and rulings by the Real Academia Espa? ola concerning diacritical marks, n ambiguities of meaning, and acceptance of variants. Although the collection of etymologies is indeed rich, one must accept at face value certain statements of origin, particularly folk etymologies, as attributions for such items are limited. Readers would welcome additional reference sources for several of the more unusual word histories. Among Brodsky’s most engaging discussions are those that treat political, social, and historical in?uences on the Spanish language. There is signi?cant focus on national and regional variations, including linguistic taboos. Should some readers be disappointed to ?nd less concerning the contributions of Latin American indigenous languages than they might have anticipated, it may be that they have lost sight of the fact that
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) Brodsky’s primary emphasis is on helping readers acquire Spanish lexical items by linking them to familiar words or roots, most of which have English, German, or Romance connections. Although one appreciates Brodsky’s efforts to make linguistic terminology comprehensible to nonspecialists, at times such information appears to have been placed too randomly or introduced too late, as when he waits until page 158 to distinguish between voiced and unvoiced consonants, a fundamental concept that would have proved useful earlier in the text. Given the breadth of topics addressed, it seems surprising that the bibliography, which includes both the classic sources one would expect to see consulted and several fairly recent works, is limited to little more than two pages. Should Brodsky prepare a revised edition of this volume, he would be well advised to include both an extensive topical index and a list of any words or phrases about which he offers substantive commentary, footnotes, or parenthetical remarks. Such a list would necessarily be lengthy, yet without it, those who recall having been fascinated reading about the origins of avestruz (p. 331), bisnieto (p. 366), carnaval (p. 337), cementerio (p. 115), cretino (p. 346), cubalibre (p. 539), cucaracha (p. 336), echar de menos (p. 185), gringo (p. 119), guapo (p. 482), lechuza (p. 186), romero (p. 353), or veto (p. 169) will have considerable dif?culty locating such items among the more than 600 pages of text. It remains unclear at which stage of language acquisition this volume might be most helpful. Despite the fact that Brodsky expects it to prove useful both to those initiating their study of Spanish and to those who already have a grounding in the language, it will doubtlessly be more valuable to the latter group, as they will possess much of the requisite knowledge that will facilitate their ability to establish the kinds of linguistic connections the author encourages. CHARLES MAURICE CHERRY Furman University
EWALD, JENNIFER, & ANNE EDSTROM. (Eds.). El espa? ol a trav? s de la ling¨ ?stica: Preguntas y ren e u? spuestas. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press, 2008. Pp. viii, 280. $38.95, paper. ISBN 978–1–57473– 027–2. This volume compiles linguistic essays that attempt to answer frequently asked questions in
Reviews language classes. The book is divided into 24 chapters, each one answering a question. The issues addressed range from phonetics to pragmatics. Each chapter contains a series of activities organized as follows: (a) opinions or perceptions after reading the chapter, (b) analysis of some situations or application of the concepts explained in the chapter, and (c) suggestions for further research. In chapter 1 Edstrom and Garc?a Vizca?no ? ? try to dismiss the incorrect notions some students have regarding the study of linguistics. This opening chapter gives a clear overview of the different levels of linguistic study—phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics—and it describes the process and purpose of linguistic analysis. In chapter 2 Gynan discusses second language (L2) learners’ perceptions that Spanish speakers talk faster than English speakers, and he explores the underlying emotional aspects of the struggle to participate in a conversation with native speakers in a culturally appropriate way. Chapter 3 explains grammatical gender and the dif?culties of English speakers in making sense of a feature that is not present in ? their native language. Alarcon explores notions of classi?cation and goes over the evolution of the gender system in Spanish, concluding that terminology may be the cause of learners’ problems. In chapter 4 Comajoan explores the concept of aspect in the verb system, drawing from research in the area and providing clear examples of use. He concludes that the use of one aspect or the other in Spanish is tied to the meaning that speakers want to convey. Chapter 5 sheds light on the second-person pronouns in Spanish. Uber starts with a historical overview, and she points out the often missing explanation of voseo in Spanish language courses. In chapter 6 Rodr?guez Sabater writes about re? gional variation that affects pronunciation, grammar, and, ultimately, the lexicon. Chapter 7 addresses a belief often found among L2 students, namely, that Spanish is easier to learn than other languages, only to ?nd structures that do not have a corresponding counterpart in their native language. To illustrate this point, Woolsey uses the topic of ser and estar and the problems students have when they turn to the incomplete and faulty rules they have learned in language classes. Clements, in chapter 8, analyzes the nature of prodrop languages like Spanish, where the use of the subject pronoun is not obligatory, and he contrasts them to languages like English and French that have an obligatory overtly stated subject per sentence.
175 Chapter 9 focuses on politeness and issues of social interaction that are essential (but often not addressed) for students who are planning to study abroad. F? lix-Brasdefer uses the framework of e speech acts to analyze and illustrate what happens during a linguistic exchange in Spanish. Chapter 10 delineates pragmatic considerations regarding turn-taking and interrupting. Garc?a explores ? concepts like high involvement and high considerateness styles, emphasizing overlap and interruption during conversation that may be perceived as rude in non-Hispanic cultures. In chapter 11 Balkan focuses on language change and the use of loanwords. The author also explores languages in contact and “Spanglish” in the context of the United States. In chapter 12 Colombi goes into the reasons and purposes of choosing either language (Spanish or English) in a given conversation and of codeswitching. Klee, in chapter 13, discusses basic notions of borrowings and loanwords. The author gives a detailed overview of the languages that have been in contact with Spanish and provides numerous examples of lexical borrowings in Spanish. Chapter 14 focuses on Caribbean Spanish and the perceived dif?culties of understanding certain regional variations. Lamboy conveys ?ve features that distinguish this form of Spanish and provides expressions and their equivalents in other countries to illustrate his claims. In chapter 15 Blake writes about hard preterits—namely, the irregular conjugations of certain verbs in the preterit—drawing from the verb system of Latin. In chapter 16 Scida reveals similarities and differences between Spanish and other Romance languages. The chapter deals with the various linguistic levels to explain the features that are shared among Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French. In chapter 17 Stafford and Sanz undertake a discussion of age and its correlation to learning an L2. This chapter explores the issues of feral children and different circumstances in which people learn an L2, dispelling notions like the impossibility of learning an L2 after puberty. In chapter 18 Elola and Liskin-Gasparro examine the oft-cited problem of learners who can function better in the receptive skills (listening and reading) than in the expressive ones (speaking and writing). The chapter mentions views of linguistic competence and that many learners have not realized that their pro?ciency in one skill does not necessarily re?ect on their competence in the others; the chapter ends by suggesting useful strategies to advance linguistic ability. Chapter 19 looks into the bene?ts study abroad has on L2 development. Lafford focuses on the uncertainty
176 that learners experience before making such an investment of time and money to make the right decision and obtain maximum bene?t. In chapter 20 Lunn discusses the matter of translation and the numerous occasions when speakers try to translate word-for-word, disregarding the fact that there is no exact equivalence between the ?rst language and the L2. Lunn names several aspects, such as syntax, register, and idiomatic expressions, that can cause confusion for learners if they try to translate everything. In chapter 21 Potowski takes a look at the growing number of classes for native or heritage speakers and carefully pro?les the differences between speakers who came to the United States after age 12 and speakers who were born here and have contact with Spanish only in the home setting. In chapter 22 Oskoz reviews error correction and summarizes the different types of errors and the strategies available to correct them in the classroom without being obtrusive or disconcerting. Chapter 23 examines the correlation between culture and the learning of an L2. Chapter 24 observes the different perceptions students have regarding group or pair work and their bene?ts and downfalls. This book is easy to read and can be an excellent complement to a linguistics course. Although chapters ful?ll their claim and answer questions frequently asked in language classrooms, there is an imbalance regarding the amount of research that went into the topics. Some chapters list works cited, whereas others (ch. 17 and ch. 19) provide an impressive list of obras consultadas, which will be useful for those who would like to pursue the inquiry of topics such as second language acquisition and study abroad. CARMEN SCHLIG Georgia State University
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) task, and writing with an audience in mind. It also suggests that students create a portfolio and that all writing be responded to, especially its content, but not necessarily graded. Ancillary materials are available but were not included for review. The structure of the exercises provides multiple drafts and opportunities for self- and peer-editing in the written product. The different stages suggested for pre-escritura, borradores, and revisi? n ?o nal present an excellent way to guide writing as a process. In addition, the exercises accommodate multiple ways of learning, as they promote Venn diagrams and other visual and tactile representations as organizational schemes for the ideas generated in the prewriting stages. A variety of classroom activities are included to promote collaboration in both the generating and writing of ideas. The preface to the instructor is helpful in suggesting additional topics for classroom discussion based on each chapter’s theme. Appendix 1 is extremely valuable in presenting evaluation criteria that differ according to the writing task presented in each chapter. It is exciting to see a textbook include assessment as part of task design. The preface to the instructor implies, however, that students get frustrated when the instructor places an emphasis on correcting grammatical errors; this idea is further stressed in the appendix. This practitioner ?nds that students often welcome grammatical correction more than content suggestions. In any case, it would be wise to make allowances for the students who crave grammatical feedback. Perhaps an optional grammar and mechanics addendum to the proposed rubric could include the student keeping track of recurring grammar issues in his or her writing. This document could be attached to the portfolio and serve as an editing checklist. Each chapter also includes a section in English called Curiosidades de cultura y lenguaje, which introduces opportunities for discussion of cultural issues that may not arise otherwise. This practitioner used one of the ejercicios de redacci? n that ino clude authentic English-speaking students’ compositions as well as the instructor’s comments for use as editing practice (p. 34), in the classroom, and found that it was well received by the students. The main weakness noted in the textbook is the readings. Although authentic, they seem outdated or anachronistic, some as old as 1985 (p. 12) and the most recent one from 1996 (p. 7). Their use presents a problem that is twofold. First, the content of most readings would seem odd, if not foreign, to a current college student. For example, as it stands, the readings use the words pesetas (pp. 7, 66), “yuppies” (p. 43), duros
GREENIA, GEORGE D. Generaciones: Composici? n o y conversaci? n en espa? ol . 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: o n University Readers, 2007. Pp. xxvii, 207. $49.95, paper. ISBN 0–9763162–9–3. Generaciones is designed for use in an intermediate Spanish composition and conversation course. Each of the nine chapters is divided into two parts: (a) Conversaci? n y exploraci? n, which uses o o both structured discussions and open-ended conversations to help students gather information on the theme of the chapter; and (b) Composici? n y o concreci? n, which aims to help students write in o various registers of Spanish. The book pays particular attention to writing as a process, writing as a
Reviews (p. 124), and “Walkman” (p. 84). They mention Junior as Schwarzenegger’s latest movie (p. 77) and refer to a Paul Simon concert as an example of unbearable noise (p. 84). Second, and more important, an opportunity is missed to explore current interpretations of the themes proposed in the chapters. For example, a reading lists the number of worldwide HIV-infected people at between 8 and 10 million (the end of 2007 re?ected a number closer to 34 million). A passage in chapter 4 on La feminizaci? n de los hombres (p. 70) does o not include references to metrosexuality, which is an issue with which all millennials are familiar. Similarly, the chapter on the environment and technology includes an article on the Biosfera 2 (p. 101) and an article on the development of the barcode (p. 103) but makes no mention of sustainable farming and organic foods, iPods, mp3s, or podcasts. In chapter 7, which treats friendship and relationships, there is an article on the night net (p. 124) that discusses connecting online but does not mention Facebook, texting, or Twitter. This same chapter has a reading that includes a reference to the magazine Sassy, which has not been published since 1996. Finally, chapter 8 has a reading dealing with the projected increase in the Hispanic workforce for the year 2000. Even in the text itself, independent of the readings, there are references to a grabadora and a radio Walkman (p. 100), and in chapter 8 there is a list of professions for which it would be helpful to be bilingual (p. 143) that fails to mention nursing and other health ?elds or elementary education. A chart on page 148 on the population and productivity of certain countries shows the U.S. population as 248,710 million (it is currently closer to 304,059 million), and on page 158 a maquina ? el? ctrica is listed as a necessary item to have before e one starts a job search. In summary, the textbook does an excellent job of developing writing as a multistep task (including assessment) but could bene?t from contemporary readings to guide classroom discussion and the generation of ideas. MARIA C. GARRIGA Thomas More College
177 however, until now no single monograph has addressed all major Spanish dialects spoken in the United States. In an engaging style and impeccable publication, Varieties of Spanish in the United States brings together research done on the subject over the last century. Although considering each of the main dialects of Spanish separately, Lipski emphasizes the permanent place that Spanish occupies in U.S. society, making a compelling case for recognizing it as a national language. In fact, in this era of anti-immigrant sentiment and bilingual education bans, Lipski’s book comes as an eloquent attempt to legitimize U.S. Spanish as a protagonist in the weaving of the nation, as the book’s cover so well illustrates. In the introduction, Lipski presents a readable personal narrative about his career as a linguist, during which he has developed his “enduring relationship not only with the Spanish language as used in the United States but also with the people who use the language” (p. xi). Here, the author sets the tone of his book: Each chapter reveals not only his vast knowledge about the Spanish language but also a great deal of information about the social and historical contexts within which it ?ourishes within U.S. territory. Chapter 1 introduces the dialects discussed in the book and provides historical and demographic information about U.S. Spanish-speaking communities. The book’s purpose is presented as to “compile in a single volume useful descriptions of the major varieties of Spanish found in the United States at the beginning of the twenty-?rst century” (p. 12), a survey that organizes and documents work to date and serves as a useful source of information for future researchers. Chapter 2 will be particularly valuable for researchers in the ?eld. Here, Lipski shows his archival research skills and presents a comprehensive survey of scholarship on U.S. Spanish drawn from journals, bulletins, dissertations, conferences, and textbooks dating from as early as 1906 through the proli?c civil rights era, and up to the last two decades of the 20th century, when, according to Lipski, the most incisive scholarship on U.S. Spanish was produced. If it is true that we need to know where we come from in order to know where we are heading, then this chapter is essential for today’s researchers in a ?eld that is evolving incredibly fast. Chapter 3 discusses the popular and often contradicted view of U.S. Spanish as “Spanglish.” Here, Lipski explores the origins of this term and surveys works that de?ne it as a mixed code. Reading Lipski’s well-informed explanations of the nature of U.S. Spanish and his critique of its treatment by nonlinguists as a third language, I was
LIPSKI, JOHN M. Varieties of Spanish in the United States. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2008. Pp. vii, 303. $29.95, paper. ISBN 978– 1–58901–213–4. The varieties of Spanish spoken in the United States have long been a subject for scholarship;
178 left hoping for a more direct criticism of the term. Not until the conclusion do Lipski’s views become clear, when he takes a stand against the term Spanglish as so inaccurate as to be “meaningless” (p. 70). He meticulously builds his argument about the inaccuracies behind the term by reviewing misconceptions in the works of scholars such as Stavans, clarifying fundamental characteristics of language-contact situations, and differentiating them from ones encountered in second language acquisition. In addition, he illustrates his discussion of vestigial bilingualism with brief discussions of common linguistic variables, providing a good starting point for scholars interested in studying language attrition in these communities. In chapters 4 through 12 Lipski covers each of the major Spanish dialects: Mexican; Cuban; Puerto Rican; Dominican; Central American in general and speci?cally Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, and Guatemalan; and the traditional varieties of New Mexico and Louisiana. Each chapter opens with a historical overview of the country where the dialect originated, including the main sociopolitical events that triggered waves of emigration to the United States. Next comes detailed and current demographic information about each group’s main U.S. communities. The section that follows adheres to the tradition of dialectology manuals. Here, Lipski uses his encyclopedic knowledge of dialects of Spanish to describe, ?rst, the national varieties prior to contact and, second, their counterparts spoken in the United States. Each chapter ends with a useful annotated bibliography of scholarship on the particular dialect. The ?nal chapter, chapter 13, explains the main contact phenomena common to all varieties: lexical borrowing, loan translation and calques, and codeswitching. Although basic and straightforward, it does not shy away from debates in the ?eld, and it includes a discussion about the dif?culties of classifying the insertion of the discourse marker so in bilingual speech as borrowing versus codeswitching. The book closes with a 45-page bibliography that compiles an amazing amount of scholarship on the subject. This book is suitable for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses as complementary readings in Spanish dialectology and English–Spanish contact phenomena. The sociolinguistic information about the dialects and their speakers makes it obligatory reading for teachers involved in bilingual or heritage language education. For researchers in the ?eld, the history of scholarship and its accompanying bibliography are major contributions, the only shortcoming being the sporadic lack of information about the sources of
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) examples used and some of the linguistic facts mentioned. What is unique in Lipski’s book and differentiates it from a traditional dialectology manual are the relationships he traces between demographic and historical facts and their consequences in the formation of U.S. Spanish varieties. The sociolinguistic pro?le of these communities is gradually constructed through references to issues of language attitude, national identity, social con?gurations, and cross-dialectal convergence. Lipski has argued that dialectology has evolved along with the rest of linguistics, as it is no longer reduced to butter?y-collecting-style drudgery but is best de?ned as the response to the question of how and why languages vary regionally and socially. Varieties of Spanish in the United States represents well this evolution. ANA MARIA CARVALHO University of Arizona TECHNOLOGY BLAKE, ROBERT J. Brave New Digital Classroom: Technology and Foreign Language Learning. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2008. Pp. xv, 189. $25.95, paper. ISBN 978–158901–212– 7. Brave New Digital Classroom serves many purposes and can be used within multiple levels of instruction, making it one of the best buys on the market. It can be used as a textbook for computer-assisted language learning (CALL)-related courses, as a reference guide for new as well as more experienced foreign language (FL) instructors, or as a resource guide for instructional technology staff such as instructional technology consultants or language resource directors looking for ways to motivate their instructors. Blake’s book answers one of the main CALL issues: “how these technologically assisted activities should ?t in with the foreign language curriculum” (p. 3) in a simple, user-friendly, yet complete and concise manner. At the same time, as expected, there are several technological terms that some FL instructors may ?nd overwhelming or intimidating. If used for teaching the pedagogy of technology in the FL curriculum, those instructors will ultimately be much more aware of and familiar with the terminology and material in general. The short but concise glossary at the end helps put into perspective the numerous terms and concepts one needs to understand
Reviews the world of FL technology. Although Blake does not include a corresponding list of Web sites related to these terms and some of their corresponding organizations, he does often reference pertinent Web sites in the “Notes” section of each chapter. Inevitably, these listings may soon become obsolete or inaccurate, which leads us to another issue associated with the wonderful world of technology. Keeping current in any ?eld is a main challenge for instructors, but in particular, those who incorporate technology are faced with a quickly changing world that constantly demands upgrades and revisions. As Blake addresses in chapter 1, books related to the digital classroom require constant review and analysis to stay relevant in today’s educational system. He also examines four myths about technology and second language acquisition, which provides helpful information and advice for department chairs, instructors, and language resource personnel who must confront the problem of faculty members who resist incorporating technology into their teaching. Chapter 2, which presents the history and basics of the World Wide Web, contains valuable information and background needed to understand the working fundamentals of the Internet. Important in this chapter is Blake’s thorough discussion on pedagogy for Web-based learning. Without this discussion, one would not be able to incorporate CALL resources into the FL classroom. Blake stresses the use of authenticating class material and examines useful strategies for content-based instruction. A concise history of CALL in chapter 3 is a fascinating journey of the ?eld’s evolution and progress over the past 50 years. As Blake explores the rapid changes in the technology and tools related to FL instructional technology, he invites instructors to evaluate the overwhelming amount of material available and to consider their pedagogical goals and ultimate effectiveness for successful language learning.
179 To facilitate authentic communication activities in an FL classroom setting, many instructors incorporate computer-mediated communication programs, which Blake reviews in chapter 4. Providing concrete examples and noting the advantages and disadvantages of several ?rstand second-generation tools, from email to synchronous chats, this chapter is key to understanding their ins and outs and to being able to evaluate which might be most useful in particular classes. For readers interested in developing, evaluating, or improving distance learning for FL classes, chapter 5 covers indispensable background information and clear evaluations to consider in the process. The case studies included help put into perspective the different goals and learning outcomes produced in traditional, hybrid, and distance-learning environments, validating the role that online learning plays and will continue to play in FL education. The “Discussion Questions and Activities” section at the end of each chapter is one of the highlights of Blake’s book. This section allows readers to evaluate their understanding of the material, or that of their students, depending on the use of the text as well as to put into action many of the techniques and tools explained throughout the chapter. The last chapter does an excellent job of concluding and measuring all of the information and suggestions Blake’s book provides. It is aptly titled “Putting It All Together.” As one questions, not if or what technology to use, but how to use it, this book can provide complete, concise, and effective answers. Brave New Digital Classroom is an indispensable tool within the CALL environment and will prove to be an essential resource for present and future FL educators. JEAN JANECKI University of Wisconsin–La Crosse