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Series: Vernon Series in Language and Linguistics Vernon Series in Language and Linguistics

Usage-Based Instruction: Teaching students to orally communicate in a foreign language

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-061-2
August 2018
Availability: Forthcoming

This book is about Usage-Based Instruction, an innovative approach to teaching students to orally communicate in foreign languages. The approach was inspired by Usage-Based Model of language and language acquisition which differs radically from the traditional view of language underlying today’s dominant teaching paradigm. Usage-Based view of language is largely unknown to language educators: its main tenets are still tucked away in scholarly books and articles. The main goal of the book was to connect this refreshingly novel perspective on how language is learned with L2 pedagogy. The result is Usage-Based Instruction (UBI), a highly structured and carefully conceived sequence that has been successfully applied in teaching beginning students to speak in a foreign language. Students taught by the UBI demonstrate higher language gain, better pronunciation and grammatical accuracy, as well as more ease in expressing their ideas in the foreign language than those taught by more traditional, usually textbook-driven, methods. The first part of the book describes the main tenets of Usage-Based theory, such as intimate relation between language experience and the development of the linguistic system, the role of frequency, entrenchment, associative learning, constructions, and chunking, and discusses their relevance to L2 pedagogy. The main feature of the UBI which distinguishes it from more conventional approaches is that it uses constructions as units of learning. In the UBI course, constructions are learned through use: students begin to use linguistic units without necessarily being exposed to metalinguistic knowledge but rather through memory-based automatization in meaningful semi-communicative and communicative activities. Based on the premises discussed in the first part of the book, the second part of the book presents detailed step-by-step description of the UBI instructional sequence which includes Modeling, Focused Input, Forced-Choice Output, Scaffolded Practice, and Recycling, with each step considered in separate chapters, each containing a wealth of ready-to-use classroom activities.


Explorations in Language
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-193-0
September 2017
Availability: Forthcoming

Wordscapes: Explorations in Language conveys readers on a comprehensive and entertaining linguistic gambol through the diverse components of our evolving language. Wordscapes prisms words to reveal their spectral facets, investigating such sundry elements as their curious origins, their semantic changes, and their baffling quirks. In addition, Wordscapes explores how we use words—from the like awesome realm of fadspeak and the pretentious embellishments of buzzwords, to the smoke-screen domain of bafflegab and the sugarcoated world of euphemism. This survey of our word panorama is presented in an unconventional, engaging, and visually appealing format; each page is a montage, enticing the eyes to land on islands of information—linguistic probes which serve to explain, juxtapose, complement, and reinforce. Every page serves a linguistic ragout of ingredients that will fascinate, amuse, and educate. Wordscapes investigates the biology of words. Whether used as tools or weapons, words are humankind’s most significant and most potent invention. We have given words a morality, a sociology, and a psychology. Words induce laughter, incite anger, instill hope, inflict pain, and inspire love. We use words to heal, motivate, manipulate, and deceive. They haunt and taunt; amuse and bemuse. Because of their power, words and the uses to which we put them, warrant the scrutiny they are given in Wordscapes. Not one of the books currently on the market encompasses the variety of content contained in Wordscapes. Other books focus on a specific aspect of words, a single ingredient in the linguistic salmagundi. There are books about euphemisms, slang, etymologies, or clichés; there are books that focus on eggcorns, snowclones, or mondegreens; there are books exploring eponyms, contronyms, retronyms, or bacronyms; and there are books about fadspeak, sportspeak, buzzspeak, or doublespeak. Wordscapes has all of these. And much more.

Fish in the Bible

Psychosocial Analysis of Contemporary Meanings, Values, and Effects of Christian Symbolism
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-201-2
May 2017
Availability: In stock

Fish in the Bible: Psychosocial Analysis of Contemporary Meanings, Values, and Effects of Christian Symbolism analyzes why and to what end tales and truths about fish presented in the Bible hold water in Christian societies today. Fish in the Bible argues that portraits of fish and fishermen presented in the Bible have been both embraced and rejected by contemporary cultures with primarily Christian constituents (e.g. American culture). This book does not make an ethical argument; rather, it explores manners in which Christians have selectively rejected or accepted depictions and symbols of fish and fishermen. It explores differences between Christian maxims presented in Bible verses and the beliefs and actions of societies operating under Christian moral majorities. Fish in the Bible also considers the evolution of symbolism and metaphors in Christian society using parables and tales found in the Bible. Fish in the Bible works on several specialized topics to argue that, overall, depictions of fish and fishermen in the Bible significantly and subtly shape Christian cultures even when Christians ignore or dismiss the robust ways in which fish and fishermen are characterized and treated in the Bible. Fish serve as a metaphor for God’s power, judgment, sin, and fertility; they are used to instill boundaries and standards in practitioners; and sometimes fish are worshiped, demonized, and subjugated. There is no clear or singular message regarding fish or fishermen; and Christian societies are left to abide by a patchwork of representations to formulate their own opinions and judgments. Social and behavioral science, as well as cultural customs, commerce, and current events demonstrate Christians’ navigation and interpretations of what their understandings and treatment of fish and fishermen ought to be. An Introduction and Conclusion summarize and synopsize implications raised by symbolism and literalism in certain contexts, stories, and verses demonstrating potentially pervasive significances of fish in Christian cultures throughout the world. The foundations of this research are law, social and behavioral science, policy and politics, history, cultural studies, religious studies, animal studies, animal welfare, criminal justice, sociology, anthropology, and current events.

Communication Images in Derek Walcott's Poetry

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-132-9
October 2016
Availability: In stock

This book investigates the potential purpose of recurrent communication images in the poetry of Derek Walcott. The recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992, Walcott is one of the most important postcolonial poets of the 20th century. His poetry delves into the dynamics of Caribbean marginalization and seeks to safeguard the paradigms characteristic of his island home. Several major studies have examined themes in his poetry but the images of communication in his poetics have not been explored. This book examines Walcott’s poetry expressions that the poet brings into play in order to demonstrate the relevance of the Caribbean in the contemporary world—firstly through a study of communication imagery, and secondly through an examination of the conclusions he reaches through these means. The quantitative chart demonstrates that Walcott is especially reliant upon images of communication from the 1980s. Extensive textual analysis indicates that the place and contextual meaning of communication imagery, for example, page mirrors the historical plight of the Caribbean region; likewise, line expresses an identity deficit. Finally, this book validates that Walcott’s extensive use of communication imagery in his poetry contributes to a fluid notion of self that embraces multiculturalism while maintaining the imaginary intact.

Understanding Core French Grammar

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-068-1
July 2016
Availability: In stock

This book contains an explanatory treatment of the core areas of difficulty for the English speaking learner of French. It deals with the key issues in tense formation and use and verbal structures and processes such as negation, passives and subjunctives along with a highly exemplified treatment of pronouns and a section dealing with adjectives and other elements of the grammar. It fills a gap between general text books of French in which grammatical issues are frequently treated piecemeal and scattered throughout the book in between more communicative information on one hand and exhaustive reference grammars aimed at graduate and research students on the other which would be beyond the level of intellectual maturity of most school children and some non-specialist undergraduates. It has the advantage of treating each grammatical issue in detail but without being too long-winded, explaining the systems and processes which underlie the facts of the language. The emphasis is on explanation and not merely the listing of facts, enabling the learner to master the system and become an independent user of the language. It could be used highly successfully either as a classroom aid alongside the more usual textbooks which are organized typically around topics and themes in society or for self-study for the committed individual learner of any age. There are extensive exercises and answers for all topics covered.