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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Ecological perspectives on foreign language education
Author: Claire Kramsch
Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Linguistic Theories
Abstract: Ecological approaches to language learning and teaching have captured the interest of language educators as both native and non-native speakers find themselves operating in increasingly multilingual and multicultural environments. This paper builds on Kramsch & Whiteside (in press) to conceptualize what an ecological perspective on foreign language education, based on complexity theory, would look like. It first explains some of the major tenets of complexity theory, and analyzes transcriptions of exchanges taking place among multilingual individuals in multicultural settings using the ecological approach offered by complexity theory. Based on what these analyses reveal about the ability of these individuals to shape the very context in which language is learned and used, it discusses the notion of ‘symbolic competence’ recently proposed by Kramsch (2006) and explores how symbolic competence might be developed through foreign language education in institutional contexts.


This article appears IN Language Teaching Vol. 41, Issue 3.

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