ALIS Newsletter - October 2015 (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
LEADERSHIP UPDATES
•  LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
•  LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
•  LETTER FROM THE INCOMING CHAIR
ARTICLES
•  A NEW ACADEMIC VOCABULARY LIST
•  PLAY AND COGNITION IN THE EAP CLASSROOM
•  LEARNING GRAMMAR BY EAR
•  MAKING HUMOR TEACHABLE: A FOCUS ON MICROSKILLS DEVELOPMENT
ABOUT THIS COMMUNITY
•  APPLIED LINGUISTICS INTEREST SECTION (ALIS)

 

LEADERSHIP UPDATES

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS


Ben White


Monika Ekiert

Greetings Fellow ALISers!

Welcome to our second issue of 2015! We hope that, depending on your side of the equator, you are off to a great start to the fall or spring.

In this issue, our chair, Nihat Polat, and our chair-elect, David Olsher, brief us on upcoming special ALIS sessions at TESOL 2016 in Baltimore. You will also find four short articles written by presenters at TESOL 2015 in Toronto, where there were plenty of outstanding applied linguistics presentations. The articles come from presentations that particularly caught our eye, presentations with a multitude of potential applications to the classroom.

In the first article, “A New Academic Vocabulary List,” Dee Gardner introduces us to the new Academic Vocabulary List (AVL) and explains how it differs from the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000). That the AVL is based on lemmas rather than word families and allows for more precision in identifying exactly which words are the most frequent in academic discourse. This list and the web interface tool that allows teachers and researchers (and possibly students) to gain information about academic and technical words could be a game-changer for the teaching of English for academic purposes (EAP).

In the next article, “Play and Cognition in the EAP Classroom,” Snezhana Harizanova encourages us to consider incorporating play into the classroom. She outlines the cognitive and psychological benefits of play and challenges instructors to introduce play and playfulness to EAP contexts.

In “Learning Grammar by Ear,” Elizabeth O’Dowd considers the context of English language learners (ELLs) in school. She addresses the grammar deficits often exhibited by ELLs and then demonstrates ways to help students build their grammar mastery and academic literacy. ESOL teachers are encouraged to focus students’ attention on the meanings grammatical patters contribute to academic texts.

Finally, in our last article, “Making Humor Teachable: A Focus on Micro-Skills Development,” Anne Pomerantz and Nancy Bell argue for more attention to humor in language instruction. They outline not only why but importantly how to teach humor. The authors offer insightful suggestions on how instructors can help learners identify, comprehend, produce, and respond to humor.

We hope you enjoy the articles and all the other information that can be found in this issue.

Ben and Monika

References

Coxhead, A. (2000). A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 213–238.