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New Trends and Methodologies in Applied English Language Research II

Studies in Language Variation, Meaning and Learning

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Edited By David Tizón Couto, Beatriz Tizon-Couto, Iria Pastor-Gomez and Maurizio Gotti

This volume has its origin in a selection of the papers presented at the Second ELC International Postgraduate Conference on English Linguistics (ELC2), held at the University of Vigo in October 2009 and designed and organised by postgraduate students belonging to the English Departments of the Universities of Vigo and Santiago de Compostela. The purpose of the conference was to allow young professional researchers to share and survey their current views on linguistic research. Four of the ten chapters included address the diachronic change undergone by particular lexical items, namely the morphosemantic change illustrated by the development of the morpheme punk, the historical evolution of including and included, the origin and semantics of the expletive form adsheartlikins, and the structure and distribution of nominalisations referring to actions or processes. Variation is also approached from a diatopic perspective in the study of expressions of obligation and necessity ( must and have to) in New Englishes, the distribution and functions of the discourse marker eh in Channel Island English, and regional variability of vowel phonology in Scottish Standard English. Lastly, three studies address semantics and culture in the field of L2 learning. These contributions focus on the assessment of Lexical Frequency Profile applications in the analysis of Romanian learner English, the role of cultural knowledge in the learning process of English as an International Language, and L1 typicality effects in L2 vocabulary learning.

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KAREN JACOB - EIL as a Global Cultural Phenomenon 73

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KAREN JACOB EIL as a Global Cultural Phenomenon1 1. Introduction A considerable amount of recent research into English as an interna- tional language (EIL) focuses on the context of communication be- tween non-native speakers of English. One major issue within this paradigm is the role of culture in this new phase of English language learning and teaching (ELT). However, a high percentage of this re- search is essentially pursued from a pedagogical perspective and does not account for the cultural implications on societies using EIL. The learning of English seems not only to have become a social necessity but also a thriving business. Can we therefore talk of EIL as though it were a cultural phenomenon that has managed to worm its way into the daily lives of people worldwide, so much so that it has uncon- sciously become part of their native culture? This chapter presents some of the results obtained in a larger study which argues that the entire process of English language learn- ing has become a cultural phenomenon that has in turn become part of a more global culture. This study considers the role of the English language in Majorca and to what extent our learners associate, or do not, the English language with the cultures of English-speaking coun- tries. In order to fully understand the context of this chapter, we will provide some basic background information on the current debate concerning the status of EIL and a theoretical model taken from cul- tural studies to...

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