A Course in Applied Linguistics for Arab EFL/ESL Students

by Hashim H. Noor (Author) Nassir S. Al-Qadi (Author)
©2016 Textbook 146 Pages


A Course in Applied Linguistics for Arab EFL/ESL Students has been developed keeping in view the academic needs of native-Arabic speakers learning English as a second/foreign language. The book in the process of understanding how students acquire second language, sheds some light on how children acquire their first language. It reviews the observations of theorists on Contrastive Analysis, Error Analysis and Interlanguage as main factors that influence learners’ performance. Some examples from real performance of Arab EFL/ESL learners are discussed and analyzed. The book reviews the observations of linguists and psychologists on the role of extrinsic and intrinsic non-linguistic factors that affect SLA. The book also gives good consideration of the views of experts on the efficacy of strategy training.
At the end of each chapter, there are study questions to provide an opportunity for the readers to test their proficiency. Similarly, projects are also added for the students to practice. A list of references is added at the end of each chapter for further reading. The book has a rich Glossary to provide students with definitions of the most important terms.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: What Is Applied Linguistics?
  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Definitions of the Term
  • 1.3 Areas of Applied Linguistics
  • 1.3.1 Language Teaching and Learning
  • 1.3.2 Language Policy and Language Planning
  • 1.3.3 Speech Therapy/Pathology
  • 1.3.4 Lexicography and Dictionary Making
  • 1.3.5 Translation and Interpretation
  • 1.3.6 Computer assisted Language Learning/Instruction
  • 1.4 Conclusion
  • Study Questions
  • For Further Reading
  • References
  • Chapter 2: First Language Acquisition
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Outlook of Behaviorists/Environmentalists
  • 2.3 The Views of Innatists/Nativists
  • 2.4 The Viewpoint of Cognitists
  • 2.5 The Viewpoint of Interactionists
  • 2.6 Conclusion
  • Study Questions
  • Projects
  • For Further Reading
  • References
  • Chapter 3: Second Language Acquisition
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Historical Perspective
  • 3.3 Behavioristic Approach
  • 3.3.1 Critical Evaluation of the Behavioristic Approach
  • 3.4 Cognitive/Psychological Approach
  • 3.5 Creative Construction Approach
  • 3.5.1 The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
  • 3.5.2 The Monitor Hypothesis
  • 3.5.3 The Natural-order Hypothesis
  • 3.5.4 The Input Hypothesis
  • 3.5.5 The Affective-filter Hypothesis
  • 3.6 Sociological Approach
  • 3.7 Conclusion
  • Study Questions
  • Projects
  • For Further Reading
  • References
  • Chapter 4: Approaches To Learners’ Performance
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Contrastive Analysis (CA)
  • 4.2.1 The Rationale of CA
  • 4.2.2 Factors of Negative Transfer
  • 4.2.3 CA Assumptions
  • 4.2.4 CA Hierarchy of Difficulty
  • 4.2.5 CA Methodology
  • 4.2.6 CA Technique: An example
  • 4.2.7 CA and L2 Teaching
  • 4.2.8 CA Critics
  • 4.2.9 CA Defense
  • 4.3 Error Analysis (EA)
  • 4.3.1 The Importance of EA
  • 4.3.2 EA and CA Differences
  • 4.3.3 EA Methodology
  • 4.3.4 EA Critics
  • 4.4 Interlanguage (IL)
  • 4.4.1 IL Assumptions
  • 4.4.2 Cognitive Processes of IL
  • 4.4.3 IL and Similarities with Natural Languages
  • 4.4.4 IL and Natural Differences in Languages
  • 4.4.5 IL Methodology
  • 4.4.6 IL and L2 Teaching
  • 4.4.7 IL Critics
  • 4.5 Conclusion
  • Study Questions
  • Projects
  • For Further Reading
  • References
  • Chapter 5: Non-Linguistic Factors In L2 Learning
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Language Aptitude
  • 5.3 Intelligence
  • 5.4 Motivation
  • 5.4.1 Factors Affecting Motivation
  • 5.5 Anxiety
  • 5.6 Personality
  • 5.7 Age
  • 5.8 Conclusion
  • Study Questions
  • Projects
  • For Further Reading
  • References
  • Chapter 6: Language Learning Strategies
  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Definitions of Learning Strategies
  • 6.3 Characteristics of Language Learning Strategies
  • 6.4 Types of Language Learning Strategies
  • 6.4.1 O’Malley et al.’s Framework
  • 6.4.2 Oxford’s Classification
  • 6.5 Factors Affecting Strategy Choice
  • 6.5.1 Age
  • 6.5.2 Aptitude
  • 6.5.3 Motivation
  • 6.5.4 Personality
  • 6.5.5 The Learner’s Personal Background
  • 6.5.6 Situational and Social Factors
  • 6.6 The Strategies of Good Language Learners
  • 6.7 Language Learning Strategies & Language Teaching
  • 6.8 Conclusion
  • Study Questions
  • Projects
  • For Further Reading
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Appendix

← 16 | 17 →

Chapter 1: What Is Applied Linguistics?

This is an introductory chapter that deals with the following points:

1. Definitions of the term Applied Linguistics (AL).

2. Areas of AL:

  1. Language teaching and learning
  2. Language policy and language planning
  3. Speech therapy/pathology
  4. Lexicography and dictionary making
  5. Translation and interpretation
  6. Computer assisted language learning/ instruction

1.1    Introduction

The term applied linguistics (AL) is an Anglo-American coinage. As Strevens (1992:13) testifies, the term came to be used coincidentally both in Britain and in the United States of America. It has been in use in Britain since the establishment of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Applied Linguistics in 1956, and in the United States of America, since the establishment of the Center of Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C. in 1957. According to Mackey (1966:197), its use was promulgated by those who clearly wanted to be known as scientists and not as humanists because scientists had brought about much greater technological progress than humanists at that time. By applying linguistics, it was thought that the scientific status of the natural sciences would be conferred upon linguistics as well. ← 17 | 18 →

AL has, in the past, sometimes based itself solely on the findings of theoretical linguistics. The position then was, essentially, that in order to be able to teach a language, one needed to know how the language in question was structured (e.g. grammar and translation, and audio-lingual methods of language teaching were very common). Within foreign language teaching, it was especially linguists who had contributed so greatly to the language courses that had been designed for the US army during World War II. Contrary to this assumption, a large number of authors of the last few decades have expressed their conviction that there was more than one discipline as the basis of foreign/second language teaching or learning. In addition to linguistics and its sub-disciplines, one often finds related fields like psychology, sociology, pedagogy, and education.

The purpose of AL is to investigate problems related to language teaching and learning and to take some practical steps to solve these problems. AL originated in language education – first-language, second-language and foreign-language teaching and learning – but is now also an integral part of various specialized fields such as speech therapy, lexicography and dictionary making, translation and interpretation, etc.

1.2    Definitions of the Term

In order to define the term “applied linguistics”, two main questions should be answered: First, what branch of linguistics can be applied to the real-world language-based problems that AL presumes to mediate? Second, what kinds of problems can be solved through the mediation of AL? Arguing in depth about these two questions is well beyond the scope of this book. One can argue here that AL uses information taken from the social-scientific disciplines including linguistics to solve these problems. Unlike general linguistics, AL does not regard language as an isolated subject to be examined away from its social environment (Kaplan & Grabe, 1992). What is applied must concern itself with ← 18 | 19 → language because it is a central component which Corder (1974) spells out by saying:

“Applied linguistics is […] the utilization of the knowledge about the nature of language achieved by linguistic research for the improvement of the efficiency of some practical task in which language is a central component.”

Crystal (1985:19), however, indicates that AL is a branch of linguistics:

“[…] where the primary concern is the application of linguistic theories, methods and findings to the elucidation of language problems which have arisen in other areas of experience.”

The main concern of AL is the teaching and learning of foreign/second languages, and sometimes the term, AL, is used as if this were the only field involved.

Richards et al. (1985:15) maintain that AL covers two main points:

“1) the study of second and foreign language learning and teaching,
2) the study of language and linguistics in relation to practical problems, such as lexicography, translation, speech pathology, etc.”


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2016 (September)
Applied Linguistics Language Acquisition EFL/ESL Learner Strategies
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 146 pp.

Biographical notes

Hashim H. Noor (Author) Nassir S. Al-Qadi (Author)

Prof. Hashim H. Noor and Prof. Nassir S. Al-Qadi at present are working as Professors of Linguistics at the Department of Languages and Translation, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. They have been teaching EFL courses, Linguistics courses and Applied Linguistics courses to Arab EFL learners.


Title: A Course in Applied Linguistics for Arab EFL/ESL Students
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148 pages