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And to be more specific, how do persons constitute a life course by narrating—a life course that they feel is coherent? Which linguistic means do narrators use to create a coherence that is supposed to appear plausible to the interviewers? On the basis of which observed properties do we constitute analyses, how do we determine the inner constitution of properties?

This is a much too ambitious program. But at least I will respond to the request "to do biographical research" by trying to consolidate observation posts. In this sense I would first like to explain a few terms and explicate the constitutive circle—the spiral constitution in the interview—which is the basis of my approach to the interview.

She mentions that she just needed six years to learn German. How does she explain it to her interview partners? How does she enact the process of language acquisition in the interview? Let us start with some explications of terms and general reflections on the constitution of autobiographical narrations. When persons tell their life history in an interview situation they select from an unlimited store of individual experiences: This could be a sufficiently general assumption about what a narrator is doing in an autobiographical interview.

Therefore, the first task of the narrator consists of a drastic selection and compression. Furthermore, the narration is being arranged and detailed from different perspectives with reference to the interviewer, and the declared and undeclared purpose of the interview; in doing so, the experiential units are selected and demarcated.

The dyad of interviewee and interviewer is constitutive for narrating an auto- biographical life course. I would like to use the term "biography" for designating the product of this interaction. This term denotes the product of this communication process that is shaped in a specific way in a moment together T with an interaction partner P. We feel as the same person from childhood, but we have already told more or less slightly different biographies. This freedom in adjusting and referring to the interviewer "recipient design" according to SACKS, is basically constitutive for biographical narration as well.

This becomes visible in the fact that objects of reference are constituted in the narratives that are designed for the specific comprehension of the respective interview partner. Telling about my memories of my grandmother differs when telling them to my son, my doctor or my partner. Just imagine the kinds of assumptions about what the interaction partner is familiar with with regard to knowledge, vocabulary, etc. I assume prior knowledge, make assumptions and anticipate possible reactions.

What I expect from my partner becomes so important that it has consequences for my verbal means: When are short allusions, technical terms, and paraphrases in everyday language adequate? The expectancies shape the choice of the linguistic form in every interaction situation. The dimension of interaction is the hic et nunc the moment T in which a biography is being told cf.

They are related to a moment T past events and experiences are compared or connected with present events and experiences, past events are explained to the interaction partner. On the one hand, the presentational dimension makes it possible to make inferences about events, attitudes, and circumstances concerning the narrator, on the other hand there are collective references as well for example, events of war, political circumstances, emigration practices of whole groups, etc.

Both individual and collective references con stitute what I would like to call the presentational dimension of the biography cf. Figure 1.

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The situation of interaction and the presentational dimension are closely related. The biography emerges in a spiral movement in this circular process in which actual circumstances of the interaction merge with references to the past. Both interview partners are active designers and take part in constituting the biography e. Figure 1: Biographical narrating: a feedback accomplishment [ 17 ]. This reveals itself not just in their further queries or in the types of questions asked , but also in the quite specific linguistic or, what is more, lexical design chosen by both sides.

By doing so, they present themselves as communication partners who have their own history. These are expectations that are grounded in her repeated experiences in the past. And when looking at her interview partners one can find the same process of reflexivity of taking into account their own experiences of communication. I am thus especially interested in the specific aspect of talking about language. I will concentrate on this aspect, since it is an especially interesting phenomenon:. She is talking about the years of to Before this remark and afterwards she talks about how it became necessary to authorize a lawyer because of her dismissal and how she had to manage everything by herself.

Because of the German language" g. In this context she talks about her growing linguistic skills and the important role played by the television in the process of her German language acquisition. To simplify matters, I present the sequence in German and English :. Excerpt 1: Language acquisition g.

This is also surprising because she had developed considerable linguistic competencies—even stylistic subtleties—during the six years of actively learning German as she says. The interview takes place in Her vocabulary is quite differentiated—much more so than the vocabulary that is necessary for her work, the communication in her immediate environment and for her dealings with authorities. Her vocabulary in medical matters is especially rich because of obvious critical events in her life. But she also knows special idiomatic expressions like "Sie koennen auch nich t tun und lassen, was sie wollen" "They cannot do as they like" [g.

She joins together the three terms "Menschlichkeit, Geselligkeit" "humaneness, society, and sociability" g. She knows alternatives with a special sarcastic flavor: "Ich bin nicht diese Hausmuetterchen oder Haustoechterchen.


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She applies hypothetical sentence constructions like "if I had said that I would get married" e. These are elaborate linguistic forms which first-generation immigrants very rarely acquire persons who have spontaneously acquired their German in the context of immigration. Her German contains simplifications that seem to have fossilized. For instance, she regularizes the complex German flexion of possessives and adjectives that become similar in German according to gender, number and case with a system of endings like - es , - em , - e , - em , - s , etc.

She almost regularly says "meine Mann" when referring to "my husband" "mein Mann" , just like she says "unsere," "meine," "keine," "andere," "aeltere," "eigene," "soziale," "ihre,"—regardless of the gender, the number, and the case of the noun. In this way the German paradigm is being morphologically simplified which reminds us of the very regular Turkish morphological system. German has three genders: masculine, feminine, neutral. The placement and omission of the article, especially in the plural, follows difficult rules.

Her dominant strategy is to omit the article in plural occasionally, but much less so in the later part of the interview. One can also discover cases of the omission of the copula. Also the informal "kriegen" for "to get," and "to receive" is influenced by the oral register. She has acquired her competencies on her own. How did she accomplish this according to her narrative? One after the other:. In fact, this sequence does not just reveal passive and receptive strategies 1, 6, 10 , but also strategies of taking the initiative 2, 7 ; and there are both oral strategies and strategies of using the written form 3, 8.

When she says that she did not learn "in the right way," she apparently has in mind as happens so often the experience of spontaneous language acquisition, i. On one hand her motivation is oriented to specific practical things, such as emergencies like muddling through labor court disputes, and her struggles to combat illness and restore her health; on the other hand, she also expresses that she has more and more contacts with Germans. Contacts with Germans have especially positive consequences in this regard.

In longitudinal studies on language acquisition of immigrants in Germany, this variable—e. She just alludes to them: These are "people" whom she asked for the meaning of words with which she was unfamiliar—similar to the way of consulting a dictionary. This instrumental attitude is characteristic in her narrative about learning German. Since she generally describes her environment in a detailed way and can sensibly communicate her impressions, it is quite likely that her language perception had also been differentiated.

Reading the interview against this backdrop and looking for short depictions of linguistic or communicative events in general, one can find that this happens to be the case quite often. It is noticeable that references to language matters are rare in the beginning, but appear at significant points, and that they become more frequent in the course of the interview. The increase in the number of depictions of linguistic phenomena and communicative events, of interactions, of linguistic encounters in the course of the interview can be read in terms of iconicity.

One has the impression that the course of interaction maintains a certain iconicity with the presentational dimension, as if the process of language acquisition corresponds with the linguistic forms of the interview. A loose, but not accidental, connection joins things remembered with the modes of expression of hic et nunc. One can find one of the first references to verbal interaction when she refers to a conversation with her father g.

At this point the narrative moves into direct speech: "And then I was fourteen when I told my father, ' I also want to go to German '. By doing so, she accomplishes a lively communicative scene before the interviewers. The arrival of the letter in the village is presented in direct speech g. This recurring pattern consists in presenting not so much the monotonous, hard and regular everyday life in communicative events, but the incisive, abrupt incidents.

This procedure serves to emphasize a certain event against the background of a long time span and to put in the foreground. In this regard, direct speech is an especially suitable device. Putzen, wenn nicht, nach Tuerkei wollten sie mich schicken. Typically, foreigner talk has, among others, the following features: the infinitive form of the verb "putzen" , the lack of articles, a simplification and nominalization of the syntax without copula.

The domineering imperative form is connected with the use of the "Du" pronoun instead of the polite "Sie".

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Here she also omits the copula and the subject. She gives the impression that while narrating she falls back into the variety which she had spoken in the beginning: as if her memory brings about a regression of linguistic forms. In any case, one can note that at the time of the interview she can imitate this variety which she had probably been exposed to quite often. These persons are presented in a normal German, i. In the first part of the interview the direct speech of Germans frequently appears in short and staccato statements: "nix schlimm" "nix schlimm" g. The verbal contacts are presented as short and formal during the interaction, they are described as short and limited in the presentational dimension.

This might be an example of iconicity again: the form reflecting the experiential substance. While in the beginning she just responds to her boss by way of gestures cf. But there are also interesting breaches. Such a breach appears in the following passage. In terms of the presentational dimension she refers to that phase in which she does not yet attribute to herself sufficient German language competencies. In the English version: "And..

And one and a half weeks after the appendectomy I had to start working again because he said that I am "able to work" again, but I didn't feel like it at all. Of course, this breach between the competencies which she ascribes to herself in the presentational dimension and the words reported in the interaction do not allow us to draw direct conclusions about her linguistic competencies at that time.

That would be a misunderstanding; the presentational dimension would be taken for granted in a positivist sense. The key sequence that has been previously presented marks the threshold at which she slowly develops a consciousness of a process that had been latent for a long time.

She realizes that she can learn German and has to if she wants to defend herself; if she wants to know what kind of illness she has and why she had undergone an operation. They indicate the communicative windows of being exposed to and coping with the new linguistic reality. In doing so, she presents the German language in unfriendly, hierarchical contexts of work, afterwards in contexts of accidents and illness, and only later in contexts of friendship.

One can observe this phase not only among immigrants, but also among children in their very first language acquisition periods. These processes do not seem to be immediately accessible to the consciousness of the speakers. Here and there : cross-linguistic studies on deixis and demonstration 17 editions published in in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide Deixis - the rooting of utterances in the speech situation - is one of the most salient universals of natural language. The ways in which different languages link utterances to pragmatic factors such as speech time, speech place, and speech participants show a rich variation.

This makes deixis a particular fruitful domain for the study of universals, language comparison, and the relationship between language and reality. This volume presents and discusses deictic systems of both Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages, including Russian, Czech, Spanish, German standard and dialect , Hun. The expression of time by Wolfgang Klein 20 editions published between and in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide Time is the most fundamental category of human cognition and action, and all human languages have developed many devices to express it.

Klein, Wolfgang 1946 February 3-

These include verbal categories, such as tense and aspect, but also adverbials, particles, and principles of discourse organisation. This book is intended as a tutorial for the study of how time is expressed in natural languages. Its chapters take the reader through a number of foundational issues, such as the various notions of time and the various means to express it; other chapters are devoted to more specific questions, such as the acquisition of time, its.

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Second language acquisition by Wolfgang Klein Book 41 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide This textbook presents an account of the main concerns, problems and theoretical and practical issues raised by second language acquisition research. Research in this field has until recently been mainly pedagogically oriented, but since the s linguists and psychologists have become increasingly interested in the principles that underlie second language acquisition for the light these throw on how human language processing functions in general.

Moreover, it is only through an understanding of these principles that foreign language teaching can become maximally effective. In the first part of his book, Wolfgang Klein provides a critical assessment of the current state of the art. The second part, 'from the learner's point of view', is devoted to four central problems which anyone learning a second language either through everyday communication or in the classroom is faced with, and whose solution constitutes the acquisition process. Looking at language by Wolfgang Klein 7 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide The series publishes state-of-the-art work on core areas of linguistics across theoretical frameworks as well as studies that provide new insights by building bridges to neighbouring fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science.

The series considers itself a forum for cutting-edge research based on solid empirical data on language in its various manifestations, including sign languages. It regards linguistic variation in its synchronic and diachronic dimensions as well as in its social contexts as important sources of insight for a better understanding of the design of linguistic systems. Crossing the boundaries in linguistics : studies presented to Manfred Bierwisch by Wolfgang Klein Book 13 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide It was in the course of that it dawned upon several friends and colleagues of Manfred Bierwisch that a half century had passed since his birth in Manfred's youthful appearance had prevented a timely appreciation of this fact, and these friends and co11eagues are, therefore, not at ali embarrassed to be presenting him, almost a year late, with a Festschrift which willleave a trace of this noteworthy occasion in the archives of linguistics.

It should be realized, however, that the deIay would have easily extended to if alI those who had wanted to contribute to this book had in fact written their chapters. Under the pressure of actuality, several co11eagues who had genu ineIy hoped or even promised to contribute, just couIdn't make it in time. According to some English professionals, reading for pleasure is an important component in the teaching of both native and foreign languages: [25].

As with most languages, written language tends to use a more formal register than spoken language. There is also debate about "meaning-focused" learning and "correction-focused" learning. Supporters for the former think that using speech as the way to explain meaning is more important. However, supporters of the latter do not agree with that and instead think that grammar and correct habit is more important. Language has a very significant role in our lives.

It symbolizes the cultures in our societies where individuals interact and use it to communicate between each other. The development of transportation has influenced global relations to be more practical where people need to interact and share common interests. However, communication is the key power to facilitate interactions among individuals which would provide them with stronger relationships. In places like the United States where immigration plays a role in social, economic and cultural aspects, there is an increase in the number of new immigrants yearly.

Although many non-English speakers tend to practice English classes in their countries before they migrate to any anglophone country to make it easier for them to interact with the people, many of them still struggle when they experience the reality of communicating with a real anglophone. Therefore, society forces them to improve their communication skills as soon as possible.

Immigrants cannot afford to waste time learning to speak English especially for those who come with certain financial issues. The most common choice people make to build up their communication skills is to take some ESL classes. There are many steps that need to be followed in order to be successful in this aspect. However, the use of new technology makes the learning process more convenient, reliable and productive.


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Computers have made an entry into education in the past decades and have brought significant benefits to teachers and students alike. Studies have shown that one of the best ways of improving one's learning ability is to use a computer where all the information one might need can be found. In today's developed world , a computer is one of a number of systems which help learners to improve their language.

It provides a stress-free environment for learners and makes them more responsible. Computers can provide help to the ESL learners in many different ways such as teaching students to learn a new language. The computer can be used to test students about the language they already learn. It can assist them in practicing certain tasks. The computer permits students to communicate easily with other students in different places.

For instance, blogs can allow English learners to voice their opinions, sharpen their writing skills and build their confidence. However, some who are introverted may not feel comfortable sharing their ideas on the blog. Class wikis can be used to promote collaborative learning through sharing and co-constructing knowledge. The learning ability of language learners can be more reliable with the influence of a dictionary. Learners tend to carry or are required to have a dictionary which allows them to learn independently and become more responsible for their own work.


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  6. In these modern days, education has upgraded its methods of teaching and learning with dictionaries where digital materials are being applied as tools. Most of them contain native-language equivalents and explanations, as well as definitions and example sentences in English. They can speak the English word to the learner, and they are easy to carry around. However, they are expensive and easy to lose, so students are often instructed to put their names on them. Teaching English therefore involves not only helping the student to use the form of English most suitable for their purposes, but also exposure to regional forms and cultural styles so that the student will be able to discern meaning even when the words, grammar, or pronunciation are different from the form of English they are being taught to speak.

    Some professionals in the field have recommended incorporating information about non-standard forms of English in ESL programs. For example, in advocating for classroom-based instruction in African-American English also known as Ebonics , linguist Richard McDorman has argued, "Simply put, the ESL syllabus must break free of the longstanding intellectual imperiousness of the standard to embrace instruction that encompasses the many "Englishes" that learners will encounter and thereby achieve the culturally responsive pedagogy so often advocated by leaders in the field.

    ESL students often suffer from the effects of tracking and ability grouping. Students are often placed into low ability groups based on scores on standardized tests in English and math. Students have voiced frustration that only non-native students have to prove their language skills, when being a native speaker in no way guarantees college level academic literacy.

    Dropout rates for ESL students in multiple countries are much higher than dropout rates for native speakers. The National Center for Education Statistics NCES in the United States reported that the percentage of dropouts in the non-native born Hispanic youth population between the ages of 16 and 24 years old is Schools that risk losing funding, closing, or having their principals fired if test scores are not high enough begin to view students that do not perform well on standardized tests as liabilities. ESL students face several barriers to higher education.

    Most colleges and universities require four years of English in high school. In addition, most colleges and universities only accept one year of ESL English. This results in many ESL students not having the correct credits to apply for college, or enrolling in summer school to finish the required courses. ESL students can also face additional financial barriers to higher education because of their language skills. Those that don't place high enough on college placement exams often have to enroll in ESL courses at their universities. In addition, while many ESL students receive a Pell Grant , the maximum grant for the year — covered only about a third of the cost of college.

    ESL students often have difficulty interacting with native speakers in school. Some ESL students avoid interactions with native speakers because of their frustration or embarrassment at their poor English. Immigrant students often also lack knowledge of popular culture , which limits their conversations with native speakers to academic topics. These interactions have been found to extend to teacher—student interactions as well.

    In most mainstream classrooms, teacher-led discussion is the most common form of lesson. In this setting, some ESL students will fail to participate, and often have difficulty understanding teachers because they talk too fast, do not use visual aids, or use native colloquialisms. ESL students also have trouble getting involved with extracurricular activities with native speakers for similar reasons. Students fail to join extra-curricular activities because of the language barrier , cultural emphasis of academics over other activities, or failure to understand traditional pastimes in their new country.

    Supporters of ESL programs claim they play an important role in the formation of peer networks and adjustment to school and society in their new homes. Having class among other students learning English as a second language relieves the pressure of making mistakes when speaking in class or to peers. ESL programs also allow students to be among others who appreciate their native language and culture , the expression of which is often not supported or encouraged in mainstream settings. ESL programs also allow students to meet and form friendships with other non-native speakers from different cultures, promoting racial tolerance and multiculturalism.

    Peer tutoring refers to an instructional method that pairs up low-achieving English readers, with ESL students that know minimal English and who are also approximately the same age and same grade level. The goal of this dynamic is to help both the tutor, in this case the English speaker, and the tutee, the ESL student. Monolingual tutors are given the class material in order to provide tutoring to their assigned ESL tutee.

    Once the tutor has had the chance to help the student, classmates get to switch roles in order to give both peers an opportunity to learn from each other. In a study, which conducted a similar research, their results indicated that low-achieving readers that were chosen as tutors, made a lot of progress by using this procedure. In addition, ESL students were also able to improve their grades due to the fact that they increased their approach in reading acquisition skills.

    Since there is not enough funding to afford tutors, and teachers find it hard to educate all students who have different learning abilities, it is highly important to implement peer-tutoring programs in schools. Students placed in ESL program learn together along with other non-English speakers; however, by using peer tutoring in classroom it will avoid the separation between regular English classes and ESL classes. These programs will promote community between students that will be helping each other grow academically. It was found that students with learning disabilities and low performing students who are exposed to the explicit teaching and peer tutoring treatment in the classroom, have better academic performance than those students who do not receive this type of assistance.

    It was proven that peer tutoring is the most effective and no cost form of teaching [46]. It has been proven that peer-mediated tutoring is an effective tool to help ESL students succeed academically. Peer tutoring has been utilized across many different academic courses and the outcomes for those students that have different learning abilities are outstanding. Classmates who were actively involved with other peers in tutoring had better academic standing than those students who were not part of the tutoring program.

    It was also found that the literature on the efficacy of peer tutoring service combined with regular classroom teaching, is the best methodology practice that is effective, that benefits students, teachers, and parents involved. Three different approaches were the focus in which immersing students in English from the very beginning and teaching them reading only in that language; teaching students in Spanish first, followed by English; and teaching students to read in Spanish and English simultaneously.

    This occurs through a strategic approach such as structured English immersion or sheltered instruction. Findings showed that the paired bilingual reading approach appeared to work as well as, or better than, the English-only reading approach in terms of reading growth and results. Researchers found differences in results, but they also varied based on several outcomes depending on the student's learning abilities and academic performance. Teachers in an ESL class are specifically trained in particular techniques and tools to help students learn English. Research says that the quality of their teaching methods is what matters the most when it comes to educating English learners.

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    There is a high need for comprehensive professional development for teachers in the ESL program. Template:Citatino needed. Although peer tutoring has been proven to be an effective way of learning that engages and promotes academic achievement in students, does it have an effect on the achievement gap?

    It is an obvious fact that there is a large academic performance disparity between White, Black, and Latino students, and it continues to be an issue that has to be targeted. However it was mentioned that by developing effective peer tutoring programs in schools could be a factor that can potentially decrease the achievement gap in the United States. Learners of English are often eager to get accreditation and a number of exams are known internationally: [52].

    Many countries also have their own exams. Between and , the Council of Europe 's language policy division developed its Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The aim of this framework was to have a common system for foreign language testing and certification, to cover all European languages and countries. Each of these levels is divided into two sections, resulting in a total of six levels for testing A1, A2, B1, etc.

    Qualifications vary from one region or jurisdiction to the next. Most people who teach English are in fact not native speakers [ citation needed ]. They are state school teachers in countries around the world, and as such they hold the relevant teaching qualification of their country, usually with a specialization in teaching English. Those who work in private language schools may, from commercial pressures, have the same qualifications as native speakers see below.

    Widespread problems exist of minimal qualifications and poor quality providers of training, and as the industry becomes more professional, it is trying to self-regulate to eliminate these. A certificate course is usually undertaken before starting to teach. Courses are offered in the UK and in many countries around the world. It is usually taught full-time over a one-month period or part-time over a period up to a year. Teachers with two or more years of teaching experience who want to stay in the profession and advance their career prospects including school management and teacher training can take a diploma course.

    These diplomas are considered to be equivalent and are both accredited at level 7 of the revised National Qualifications Framework. Some teachers who stay in the profession go on to do an MA in a relevant discipline such as applied linguistics or ELT. Many UK master's degrees require considerable experience in the field before a candidate is accepted onto the course. The above qualifications are well-respected within the UK EFL sector, including private language schools and higher education language provision. Often this requires completing an eight-month graduate certificate program at an accredited university or college.

    Some U. In many areas of the United States , a growing number of K public school teachers are involved in teaching ELLs English Language Learners, that is, children who come to school speaking a home language other than English.