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International Journal of Language Studies

A Quarterly Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN: 2157-4898 | eISSN: 2157-4901

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Editor: Mohammad A. Salmani Nodoushan

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Impact Factor (IF): NA

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This journal is peer reviewed and indexed in: ERA, LB, IBZ, LLBA & more


October 2019 - Volume 13 Number 4 - Pages 1-158

ESP: Reflections and Perspectives - Guest Editors: Gabriella DI MARTINO, Vanda POLESE & Cristina PENNAROLA

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Editorial - The PhD Programme in ESP at the University of Napoli Federico II: Reflections and perspectives

Gabriella Di MARTINO, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy  | Contact Author

Vanda POLESE, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy  | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 1-6. |   Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

This special issue of the International Journal of Language Studies comprises a selection of articles written by some of the young and not so young scholars who hold the PhD Programme in English for Special Purposes from the University of Napoli Federico II, Italy. Owing to different angles and perspectives, the articles may be subsumed under three main headings each defining a particular field of research relating to ESP: Introducing and discussing ESP issues (Grego, Donadio, Fiorito); ESP Applications (Francomacaro, Naddeo and Zollo); Research in ESP discourses (Caliendo & Scotto di Carlo, Ortu and Guzzo & Gallo).

Citation: Di Martino, G., & Polese, V. (2019). Editorial - The PhD Programme in ESP at the University of Napoli Federico II: Reflections and perspectives. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 1-6.

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From knowledge to empowerment: The epistemologies of ESP

Cristina PENNAROLA, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 7-14. |  Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

So much has already been written about English for Specific Purposes since it made its first appearance more than fifty years ago that even writing a short introduction to a collection of essays on the new perspectives arising may feel like an arduous task and perhaps, and more worryingly, a futile endeavour. For this reason, rather than offering an overview of the state of the art in ESP studies (which would be doomed to be either incomplete or duplicate or both), I have decided to focus on just one of the issues that I consider particularly relevant in the current educational landscape characterized by increasing specialization as well as greater attention to employment opportunities (Biggs & Tang, 2007): epistemology, bridging the gap between the academy and the workplace.

Citation: Pennarola, C. (2019). From knowledge to empowerment: The epistemologies of ESP. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 7-14.

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The scientific debate in English-speaking texts: Between ESP and CDS

Kim S. GREGO, University of Milano, Italy   | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 15-30.  |  Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

The aim of this paper is to provide first a brief outline of the developments undergone by ESP as a field of study in applied linguistics from its onset to the present day and, second, to hypothesise a possible direction it may follow in future years. It has tried to show the main points of contacts and hybridisation with other perspectives in linguistics, evidencing the beneficial results and the occasional issues of these encounters. Finally, it has reviewed a few select studies conducted by the author over the past decade along the methodological lines exposed, as an illustration of one possible evolutionary pattern in ESP studies. These investigations have focused on the medical and scientific domains, and especially on the representation of scientific debates raising bioethical concerns with social repercussions by institutions, popular sources and the media, and have employed various perspectives in applied linguistics, also combining them with methods in social sciences.

Citation: Grego, K. S. (2019). The scientific debate in English-speaking texts: Between ESP and CDS. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 15-30.

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Special languages vs. languages for special purposes: What’s in a name?

Paolo DONADIO, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 31-42. |   Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

The approaches to the study of Languages for Special Purposes (LSP) stem from different scientific traditions and research interests. The naming of the research object mirrors different perspectives and might seem quite confusing. Actually, the metalanguage used in several languages reveals at least the existence of two parallel views: one that is more concerned with lexical and morphosyntactic variations based on domain restrictions; the other more discourse-oriented and focused on users’ communicative purposes. This article, by comparing the approaches to Italian and English, attempts to explain this scientific divergence in terms of (a) a different professional and scientific interest in the language(s) under scrutiny—that is, English and/or other languages—and (b) the crucial impact that Swales’ (1990) notion of discourse community has had on the definition of the discipline in relation to English language and the development of research in ESP (English for Special Purposes).

Citation: Donadio, P. (2019). Special languages vs. languages for special purposes: What’s in a name? International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 31-42.

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English for Special Purposes as a research field: From practice to theory

Lorenzo FIORITO, Pegaso Online University, Napoli, Italy, and Pegaso International, Malta  | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 43-54. |   Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

In educational settings, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is mostly considered from a pedagogical point of view, since the main concerns are teaching materials and teaching methods, whose relevance is only judged in relation to the didactic process and outputs rather than as topics of research per se. However, in recent years, the need for a research foundation for ESP teaching and learning has been addressed by academics and ESP teachers. Discourse analysis and linguistic aspects of ESP have great potential for researchers, and are also proving relevant and thought-provoking for teachers and practitioners. Starting from the practical question on which the ESP approach is based (what specific needs does this language learner have?), this paper tries to define an ESP research construct, and suggests that the frontiers of ESP could be expanded by new studies aimed at strengthening its theoretical ground, including elements of both linguistic science and language education, in an all-inclusive theoretical framework. In short: Should the academic work on ESP attempt to bridge the gap between research and teaching in ESP?

Citation: Fiorito, L. (2019). English for Special Purposes as a research field: From practice to theory. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 43-54.

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The added value of teaching CLIL for ESP and subject teachers

Maria Rosaria FRANCOMACARO, ISISS MIUR Piedimonte Matese, Caserta, Italy    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 55-72.  |  Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is an innovative learning environment that deals with the teaching of a subject through a language different from the students’ first language. The integration of content and language requires skilled personnel who are both competent in the subject and in the language of instruction. However, those competences might not be the only ones that are required. The present paper aims to describe a CLIL teacher training course that has been implemented twice at the University of Napoli “L’Orientale” and that has proved to be adequate for the secondary school subject teacher. It focuses on the acquisition of “language awareness” which is the added value required from a CLIL teacher. Being aware of the function that language plays in learning/teaching school subjects becomes a crucial element in the set of necessary teaching competences, not only in CLIL learning contexts but also in ordinary subject teaching environments.

Citation: Francomacaro, M. R. (2019). The added value of teaching CLIL for ESP and subject teachers. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 55-72.

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ESP@school: CLIL Art

Maria NADDEO, Isis “Vincenzo Corrado”, Castel Volturno, Caserta, Italy    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 73-86.   | Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

This study concerns the practical application of English for Special Purposes (ESP) in Italian high schools in the specific experience of a CLIL Art class, examining its strengths (appealing, cross-cultural, flexible), but also some drawbacks. A CLIL Art class fosters an aesthetic mode of thought, promotes love for art and stimulates a deep awareness of World Heritage, enhancing cultural identity and offering an opportunity to develop the transversal themes of citizenship that are among the objectives of the High School reform in Italy. From a linguistic point of view, the study shows how all the communicative skills can be enhanced through CLIL Art classes by incorporating a wide variety of activities to be carefully planned from the perspective of enabling effective cooperation between the subject teacher and the language teacher, who have to be willing to take on a significant workload. This requires teamwork, planning, linguistic competence, awareness of objectives and the strategies needed to achieve the expected results, as well as continued checking, adjusting and possibly modifying the methodology on the basis of evaluation and assessment. CLIL Art is a highly ambitious project, but the potential benefits in terms of both specific and transversal areas of competence justify the efforts made.

Citation: Naddeo, M. (2019). ESP@school: CLIL Art. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 73-86.

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Experimenting transmodal storytelling in EFL classrooms to enhance literacy

Sole Alba ZOLLO, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy  | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 87-104.  |  Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

This paper focuses on transmodal storytelling and its pedagogical implications for the development of English literacy for non-native speakers. Transmodal storytelling, which utilizes more than one mode of expression to tell a story (drawing on performative arts including dance, music, theatre, mime and puppetry) and takes into account learners’ everyday experiences, can be a starting point for developing literacy skills. Testing it in the classroom by telling the students the same story through different modes and different media platforms, using a wide range of meaning-making resources, I explored whether transmodal storytelling can become a didactic instrument in an EFL classroom, in particular with students viewed at risk of falling behind in school, and can improve their language skills and creative capacities. In order to test the effectiveness of transmodal storytelling in the teaching and learning process, I carried out a preliminary empirical study on a group of 14 seven-year-old students in an Italian state primary school between March and May 2018. This research argues that transmodal storytelling could rejuvenate literacy in classrooms, in relation to students with behaviour/integration difficulties and children from disadvantaged backgrounds who receive less support with literacy at home.

Citation: Zollo, S. A. (2019). Experimenting transmodal storytelling in EFL classrooms to enhance literacy. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 87-104.

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The importance of Italian Mafia “culturemes” and their translation in the harmonisation of EU Anti-Mafia Legislation

Giuditta CALIENDO, University of Lille, France    | Contact Author

Giuseppina SCOTTO di CARLO, University of Napoli “L’Orientale”, Italy    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 105-124.  |  Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

Since the entry into force of the Schengen Treaty, transnational crime has risen to unprecedented levels, taking advantage of free movement across Europe. Against this scenario, great attention is being paid to Italian Anti-Mafia legislation (with specific reference to Article 416-bis) as a possible guideline to follow across Europe (de Magistris, 2012, p. 275) for the establishment of legislation against criminal organisations. However, translating Italian Mafia-related legislation is problematic, due to the peculiar organisation of Italian Mafias, and to the presence in Italian legislation against criminal organisations of “culturemes” that can be defined as “formalized, socially, and juridically embedded phenomena that exist in a particular form or function in only one of the two cultures being compared” (Nord, 2000, p. 34). The need to translate Mafia-related terminology is the starting point of this study, which analyses the possible translation solutions of the main “culturemes” used in Article 416-bis, namely associazione mafiosa and omertà, in a corpus of EU legislation on organised crime. The overall intents are to: address some of the culture- and language-related issues involved in the fight against transnational criminal organisations; and highlight the importance of being able to prosecute Mafia organisations also in those countries where loopholes still exist in national legislation against organised crime. Though recognising precedent relevant studies on Italian Mafia-related “culturemes”, the authors conclude that the aim of harmonisation can be reached only by neutralising all references to the Italian criminal system and to the “culturemes” present in Article 416-bis.

Citation: Caliendo, G., & Scotto Di Carlo, G. (2019). The importance of Italian Mafia “culturemes” and their translation in the harmonisation of EU Anti-Mafia Legislation. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 105-124.

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Saps-Speak: The language of the South African police in the post- apartheid era

Claudia ORTU, University of Cagliari, Italy, & University of Johannesburg, Africa    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 125-140.   | Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

This article analyses a corpus of internal documents of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the years after the end of the Apartheid regime (1997-2012) in order to offer an insight into the culture of the organisation through linguistic evidence. The linguistic evidence is operationalised in: choice of language used (SA has 11 official languages), genre characteristics and genre integrity (Bhatia, 2015; Bhatia, 2008; Fairclough, 2003; Leeuwen, 1993; Martin & Rose, 2003) intertextuality (Bakhtin, 1986; Fairclough, 1992, 2003; Voloshinov, 1973) and its meaning for the representation of voices in the corpus and, finally ideational metafunction (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). The corpus has been tagged and studied through the UAM corpus tool (O’Donnel, 2012), which allows quantitative as well as qualitative analysis according to systemic-functional grammar. The linguistic findings are interpreted according to the different trends in political science and anthropology on the issue of police operations in the neo-liberal context.

Citation: Ortu, C. (2019). Saps-Speak: The language of the South African police in the post- apartheid era. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 125-140.

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“Please accept my apologies”: English, food, and identity in TripAdvisor discourse

Siria GUZZO, University of Salerno, Italy    | Contact Author

Anna GALLO, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy    | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies13(4), 141-158.   | Add Print to Cart |  Download PDF

Discourse on food offers interesting viewpoints on diasporic identities. In the wake of previous research (Guzzo & Gallo, 2019), this paper investigates the multi-layered relationship between food, digital discourse and identity in the Loughborough Italian Community. New technologies are transfiguring social interactions and negotiations of social identities. In particular, the exponential growth of the Internet urges us to carefully explore digital networked environments, where people can communicate with each other with no space and time limits. The Web offers new interesting perspectives on the use of English for specific purposes (ESP), a broad research area that, according to Posteguillo (2002), should be sustained by related electronic fields, in order to gain better insights into cyberspace and its users. Our paper considers cross-cultural communication in online discourse and identity in migration contexts. It investigates TripAdvisor interactions in food-related practices through the CMC framework, by taking into account managers’ replies to negative reviews. In particular, we consider digital discourses to provide innovative perspectives on Loughborough Italians’ identity-marking processes in public asynchronous communication, by looking at how pragmatic strategies may be significantly culture-sensitive and how they may reveal cross-cultural differences and/or alignments. Specifically, we investigated two main categories, identified as our variables: apologising and denial of apologies.

Citation: Guzzo, S., & Gallo, A. (2019). “Please accept my apologies”: English, food, and identity in TripAdvisor discourse. International Journal of Language Studies, 13(4), 141-158.

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