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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."

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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: Impact of literacy on oral language processing: implications for second language acquisition research
Author: Elaine Tarone
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Minnesota
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: In this chapter we describe a body of research on oral language processing that we believe has important implications for applied linguistics. This research documents the effects of literacy on human oral language processing. Studies in this area show that illiterate adults significantly differ from literate adults in their performance of oral processing tasks that require an awareness of linguistic segments. These studies provide evidence that the acquisition of the ability to decode an alphabetic script changes the way in which the individual processes oral language in certain kinds of cognitive tasks. At the same time, based on research establishing a clear reciprocal relationship between oral language processing skills and literacy, researchers on first language acquisition are extending the scope of their study to explore the way in which an individual's language competence is altered and extended by literacy itself. In this discussion, we describe the broad outlines of this new body of research and scholarship, and explore the implications for our understanding of second-language acquisition, and particularly for theories and research that explore the impact of "noticing" on SLA. We conclude by stressing the social and theoretical importance of including clearly-identified illiterate adults in our growing database on second language acquisition research.


This article appears IN Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol. 25, Issue 1.

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