Inter-Cultural Language Use and Language Learning

287 Pages · 2007 · 1.94 MB · English

  • Inter-Cultural Language Use and Language Learning

    Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning Intercultural Language Use

    and Language Learning

    Edited by

    Eva Alcón Soler

    Universitat Jaume I,



    Maria Pilar Safont Jordà

    Universitat Jaume I,

    Spain AC.I.P.CataloguerecordforthisbookisavailablefromtheLibraryofCongress.













    andexecutedonacomputersystem,forexclusiveusebythepurchaserofthework. Contents

    Acknowledgements vii

    Introduction 1

    Eva Alcón Soler and Maria Pilar Safont Jordà

    1. What Is an ‘Intercultural Speaker’? 7

    Juliane House

    2. Linguistic Unity and Cultural Diversity in Europe: Implications

    for Research on English Language and Learning 23

    Eva Alcón Soler

    3. Rethinking the Role of Communicative Competence

    in Language Teaching 41

    Marianne Celce-Murcia

    4. Dealing with Intercultural Communicative Competence

    in the Foreign Language Classroom 59

    Maria José Coperías Aguilar

    5. A Role for English as Lingua Franca in the Foreign

    Language Classroom? 79

    Anne Ife

    6. Writing-to-learn in Instructed Language Learning Contexts 101

    Rosa M. Manchón and Julio Roca de Larios

    7. The Acquisition of Pragmatic Competence and Multilingualism

    in Foreign Language Contexts 123

    Jasone Cenoz

    8. Interindividual Variation in Self-perceived Oral Proficiency

    of English L2 Users 141

    Jean Marc Dewaele

    v vi Contents

    9. Pragmatic Production of Third Language Learners: A Focus

    on Request External Modification Items 167

    Maria Pilar Safont Jordà

    10. North Korean Schools in Japan: An Observation

    of Quasi-Native Heritage Language Use in Teaching

    English as a Third Language 191

    Robert J. Fouser

    11. Examining Mitigation in Requests: A Focus on Transcripts

    in ELT Coursebooks 207

    Patricia Salazar Campillo

    12. The Presentation and Practice of the Communicative Act

    of Requesting in Textbooks: Focusing on Modifiers 223

    Esther Usó-Juan

    13. Analysing Request Modification Devices in Films:

    Implications for Pragmatic Learning in Instructed Foreign

    Language Contexts 245

    Alicia Martínez-Flor

    Index 281 Acknowledgements

    First and foremost, we would like to thank all contributors in the volume

    for accepting to take part in this project. We are also very grateful to the

    reviewers of preliminary versions of some chapters for their comments and

    thoughtful suggestions.

    Special thanks to Elina Vilar, and also particularly to Otilia Martí, for

    their help regarding the format and layout of the volume. Our gratitude to

    the members of the LAELA (Lingüística Aplicada a l’Ensenyament de la

    Llengua Anglesa) research group at Universitat Jaume I for their involve-

    ment in this project.

    We would like to state that parts of the volume and some studies

    included in it have been conducted within the framework of a research

    project funded by (a) the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia

    (HUM2004-04435/FILO), co-funded by FEDER, and by (b) Fundació

    Universitat Jaume I and Caixa Castelló-Bancaixa.

    vii Introduction

    Eva Alcón Soler

    Maria Pilar Safont Jordà

    Universitat Jaume I, Spain

    The main purpose of the present book is to broaden the scope of research on

    the development of intercultural communicative competence. Bearing this

    purpose in mind, English learners are considered as intercultural speakers

    who share their interest for engaging in real life communication. According

    to Byram and Fleming (1998), the intercultural speaker is someone with

    knowledge of one or more cultures and social identities, and who enjoys

    discovering and maintaining relationships with people from other cultural

    backgrounds, although s/he has not been formally trained for that purpose.

    Besides, possessing knowledge of at least two cultures is the case of

    many learners in bilingual or multilingual communities. In these contexts,

    the objective of language learning should then focus on developing

    intercultural competence, which in turn may involve promoting language

    diversity while encouraging English as both a means and an end of

    instruction (see Alcón, this volume). This is the idea underlying the

    volume, which further sustains Kramsch’s argument (1998) against the

    native/ non-native dichotomy. Following that author, we also believe that

    in a multilingual world where learners may belong to more than one

    speech community, their main goal is not to become a native speaker of

    English, but to use this language as a tool for interaction among many

    other languages and cultures. Hence, pedagogical norms should adjust to

    that reality (Kramsch 2002) by accounting for diversity and variation in the

    English classroom (Valdman 1992). In this respect the establishment of

    such norms should be research-based (Bardovi-Harlig and Gass 2002), and

    it should also account for existing and ongoing studies in applied

    linguistics. From this perspective, the present book deals with research on

    English acquisition and use with a special focus on the development of

    communicative competence by intercultural speakers. Proposals deriving

    from the theoretical accounts and studies presented here may help cover the

    need for establishing variable pedagogical norms in English language

    teaching and learning. Furthermore, we believe that revisions of key notions


    E. Alcón Soler and M.P. Safont Jordà (eds.), Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning, 1–6.

    © 2007 Springer.

    2 Alcón Soler and Safont Jordà

    like those of communicative competence and intercultural speakers (see

    chapters 1 and 3) may facilitate the adoption of a more realistic perspective

    in the study of language learning and teaching, that of multilingualism.

    As the title suggests, our focus will be that of the intercultural language

    use and language learning. In so doing, the volume may be subdivided into

    three main parts. First, we deal with the theoretical tenets that support our

    view of the intercultural speaker. This first part includes chapters 1 to 3

    with references to the notion of the intercultural speaker, an account of the

    multilingual reality in European countries, and an updated revision of the

    construct of communicative competence. Drawing on these ideas, the

    second part of the volume includes the issue of English as lingua franca

    (henceforth ELF) as described in chapter 4 to 7 by referring to particular

    learning settings. Within the global context of ELF, each chapter includes

    a state-of-the-art revision of the following aspects: (i) materials for the

    teaching of English as a lingua franca, (ii) benefits deriving from such

    teaching, (iii) the issue of text creation, and (iv) pragmatic development in

    the classroom. Finally, the third part of the book comprises empirical

    research conducted in instructed settings where English is the target

    language. These studies may be distributed into two subgroups: those

    dealing with multilingual and multicultural issues, and those focusing on

    pragmatic input in EFL settings. On the one hand, chapters 8 to 10 focus

    on individual variation in oral production of language learners, the role of

    bilingualism in the use of request acts, and identity in the teaching of

    English. On the other hand, chapters 11 to 13 focus on the presence of

    request mitigation devices in three different sources of pragmatic input that

    are available to language learners, namely those of oral transcripts, EFL

    textbooks and films. Pragmatic competence is regarded in these studies as

    a key issue when dealing with the development of communicative

    competence in English language learning contexts.

    Although the whole volume is devoted to the issue of communication in

    intercultural encounters, the concepts of intercultural language use and

    language learning are tackled from different perspectives in each chapter.

    As has been previously mentioned, the first three chapters (see House,

    Alcón and Celce-Murcia, this volume) provide the theoretical framework

    for the volume. They present and develop the three main notions that arise

    in subsequent chapters, and that also constitute our proposal for the study

    of English acquisition and use in intercultural settings. These are the

    notions of the intercultural speaker, the construct of intercultural

    communicative competence, and the use of English as a lingua franca.

    House argues for a description of the term intercultural speaker which may

    differ from the notion adopted in publications following an educational

    perspective. In this first chapter, the author provides us with an in-depth Introduction 3

    analysis of the term intercultural and its use in education and in applied

    linguistics literature. Her analysis involves deconstructing the term

    intercultural by pointing to the notion of culture and the meaning of inter.

    In so doing, the author sets the basis for the idea of intercultural speaker

    that underlies the whole volume, and suggests that one of the various

    languages of that intercultural speaker will be English, given its

    international scope as means of communication. In the second chapter,

    Alcón discusses the spread of English in continental Europe as a

    controversial issue that needs to be clarified if a language policy towards

    plurilingualism is to be accomplished. The author also proposes a research

    agenda on English in Europe, taking into account that the notion of

    communicative competence is the objective of language learning. In this

    line, Celce-Murcia revises previous models of communicative competence

    and justifies her new proposal of the construct of communicative

    competence on the basis of previous research in the third chapter.

    Chapters 4 to 6 (see Coperías, Ife and Machón and Roca, this volume)

    specifically deal with the idea of English as a lingua franca by pointing to

    various language learning settings. In chapter 4 Coperías presents an

    overview of existing foreign language teaching material by raising the

    need to consider intercultural competence as a teaching goal. The author

    also points to recent proposals that include intercultural communicative

    competence as part of the foreign language teaching and learning process.

    In chapter 5 Ife focuses on the benefits of the lingua franca in language

    learning. The author particularly refers to added L2 benefits in a context

    where both first (henceforth L1) and second language (henceforth L2)

    speakers find themselves on neutral territory. Written communication is

    the focus of chapter 6. Manchón and Roca refer to the process of text

    creation by users of English as a lingua franca in an instructed context. The

    authors present an extensive overview of research dealing with the writing

    process. They also include a research agenda and some pedagogical

    implications deriving from existing studies.

    One aspect that has traditionally received less attention in language

    learning contexts has been that of pragmatic development. Chapter 7

    focuses on one particular aspect of pragmatic development, that of

    pragmatic acquisition from a multilingual perspective. Cenoz deals with

    the multicompetence model in describing pragmatic competence of foreign

    language learners. In so doing, we are provided with a different view of

    pragmatic development to that presented by other scholars (Kasper and

    Rose 2002; Barron 2003), who have mainly considered second language

    learning contexts or who have not paid much attention to individual

    variables, like those of the learners’ mother tongue or bilingualism. Some

    of these variables like the typological distance between the learners’ L1

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