Second Language Writing Systems

Edited by: Vivian Cook, Benedetta Bassetti

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm

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Second Language Writing Systems looks at how people learn and use a second language writing system, arguing that they are affected by characteristics of the first and second writing systems, to a certain extent independently of the languages involved. This book presents for the first time the effects of writing systems on language reading and writing and on language awareness, and provides a new platform for discussing bilingualism, biliteracy and writing systems.

The approach is interdisciplinary, with contributions not only from applied linguists and psychologists but also corpus linguists, educators and phoneticians. A variety of topics are covered, from handwriting to spelling, word recognition to the mental lexicon, and language textbooks to metalinguistic awareness. Though most of the studies concern adult L2 learners and users, other populations covered include minority children, immersion students and bilingual children. While the emphasis is on English as the L2 writing system, many other writing systems are analysed as L1 or L2: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Gujarati, Indonesian, Irish, Italian and Japanese. Approaches that are represented include contrastive analysis, transfer, poststructuralism, connectionism and corpus analysis. The readership is SLA and bilingualism researchers, students and teachers around the world; language teachers will also find much food for thought.

Vivian Cook is Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of Newcastle, previously having taught in London and Essex. After writing EFL course-books, he concentrated on linguistics and language learning in books such as Chomsky’s Universal Grammar and Second Language Learning and Language Teaching, and developed the concept of multi-competence through books such as Portraits of the L2 User.  He was founding President of the European Second Language Association (EUROSLA) . He has been exploring the English writing system through articles and books such as The English Writing System and Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary. 

Benedetta Bassetti holds a PhD from the University of Essex, where she wrote her thesis on Chinese as a Second Language Writing System. She previously has studied oriental languages and applied linguistics in Rome and London. She has presented her research at various international conferences.

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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