edited by Thomas Tinnefeld
Volume 10 (2019) Issue 1 (PDF)


Andrew Schenck (Songdo, South Korea) & Matthew Baldwin (Daejeon, South Korea):

Is Form-Focused Instruction Really a Waste of Time? A Review of Past Mistakes and Future Possibilities through the Analysis of Input Enhancement


Abstract
When viewed through a generic, one-size-fits-all perspective, use of input enhancement does not appear effective. Through analysis of individual grammatical features and different learner proficiency levels, a significant impact may be revealed. To study the impact of input enhancement on diverse grammatical features, 16 short reading texts and writing activities (both timed) were given to a treatment group (n = 11) and control group (n = 9). While results suggest that average grammatical accuracy of the treatment group did not significantly differ from that of the control group (U = 11559.00; p = .30), input enhancement on individual morphosyntactic features yielded a significant result for the plural-s feature at (U = 122.50; p = .04). In addition to this less salient, redundant feature, input enhancement at specific proficiency levels appears to promote learner accuracy for some grammatical features. At CEFR level B1, for example, learners benefited most from input enhancement of grammatical features at intermediary stages of the Processability and Natural Orders of acquisition. Tailoring emphasis of grammatical features to learner proficiency during the communication process may foster greater accuracy.



Danijela Ikonic & Thomas Hawes (both Munich, Germany):

English Vocabulary Apps for Classroom Use? Results of an Empirical Survey


Abstract
Mobile apps (applications) are currently taking over as our most frequently used tools in many situations. As teachers we need to consider whether they ought to be employed in the language classroom, allowed in tests, or referred to for homework. This paper focuses on an experiment in a German vocational school to answer these questions by gauging, firstly, students’ performance in a vocabulary test, with and without access to an app named Quizlet and, secondly, their attitudes to the use of apps for English vocabulary learning via two questionnaires. Responses to the latter showed that every single pupil in the survey uses a mobile phone daily and that a clear majority in every class except one think it would make sense to use their mobile phones to help them with school subjects, primarily because these may be enjoyably employed anywhere, anytime. They feel that apps on their mobile phones motivate better than traditional paper-based classroom materials, especially when there is a game-like element. As for the test, the general improvement in results obtained with the app suggests that it could at the very least be used more extensively in schools. In the test, curiously, the youngest pupils failed to improve their results with Quizlet, but almost every other student category did benefit considerably and there is reason to believe that it would be worth exploiting such apps for vocabulary learning, testing and perhaps for other school subjects in the future. 



Todd Hernández (Milwaukee (WI), USA) / Paulo Boero (Nashville (TN), USA):

Acquiring Pragmatic Competence during Short-Term Study Abroad: The Service Encounter Request



Abstract (English)
The present study investigated the combined effects of pragmatic instruction and short-term study abroad (SA) on students’ service encounter requests after a four-week program in Valladolid (Spain). During pre-departure orientation, the SA participants received 90 minutes of explicit instruction about requests. While abroad, they were given structured tasks and guided reflection assignments designed to develop their pragmatic competence and language awareness. The data were collected through a discourse completion task (DCT) containing two request scenarios. In the first scenario, the students had to order a drink, while the second required them to exchange a pair of shoes without having the receipt. Based on native speaker performance ratings of the DCT, the students increased their pragmatic appropriateness over the course of their time abroad. Further, the SA participants’ request strategies also improved in both scenarios. Findings indicated that incorporating pragmatic instruction before and during students’ SA experience is an effective method for facilitating their L2 pragmatic development. 


Abstract (Spanish)
Este estudio investiga el impacto de la enseñanza explícita de la pragmática y el estudio en el extranjero sobre la producción de peticiones de servicio por parte de estudiantes que participaron en un programa de cuatro semanas en Valladolid, España. Antes del viaje, los estudiantes recibieron 90 minutos de instrucción explícita sobre peticiones. Durante su estadía en el extranjero, ellos completaron tareas de producción y de reflexión diseñadas para ayudarles a desarrollar su habilidad pragmática y a pensar con mayor agudeza sobre características del lenguaje implicadas en el acto de petición. Antes de la intervención pedagógica y del viaje a España, y al final del programa de estudio en el extranjero, los participantes completaron por escrito dos diálogos sobre diferentes situaciones de pedido de servicio. En la primera situación, los estudiantes tenían que pedir algo para beber, y en la segunda ellos tenían que devolver un par de zapatos sin tener a mano el recibo. Según la evaluación de los diálogos llevada a cabo por nativo hablantes, los estudiantes mejoraron en relación a lo apropiado de las peticiones que ellos hicieron al final de su estadía en España. Además, en los diálogos también se nota que los estudiantes mejoraron con respecto a las estrategias de petición que ellos usaron. Los resultados indican que la incorporación de una intervención pedagógica antes de y durante el programa de estudio en el extranjero es un método eficaz para facilitar el desarrollo pragmático de los estudiantes. 

Sheri Dion (Exeter (NH), USA):

Addressing Process in L2 French Written Assessment



Abstract
The present article draws on Kristeva's (1977) notion of the “subject in process” to consider French second language (L2) writing. In particular, Kristeva's "subject in process" is used to underline the experiential dynamism unique to each “subject.” The author argues that a heightened emphasis on linguistic, psychological, and pedagogical processes in this lens can nurture students as they learn to write in a language. Further, integrating process in language writing is connected with development in identity inherent in Kristeva's work. While there ought to be evidence of support in the L2 French writing process, an examination of the literature reveals little evidence, just two of nineteen studies, formally integrating elements that highlight writing processes. Despite this limitation, four practical considerations apparent in Kristeva’s language-philosophy theoretical linguistics are offered for language teaching. 
Keywords: Julia Kristeva, second language writing, French, language learning, language teaching 



Abstract (Français)
Cet article emploie l'idée du “sujet en procès” de Kristeva (1977) pour envisager l’évaluation écrite française comme langue étrangère. Plus précis, le “sujet en procès” s’emploie en ce qui concerne le dynamisme expérientiel propre à chaque “sujet.” L’auteur affirme que l'évaluation vue sous cet angle est une façon efficace de soutenir les élèves de façon linguistique, psychologique, et pédagogique dans le procès d’apprendre à écrire dans une langue étrangère. En intégrant le procès dans l'acquisition du langage, on répond au développement de l'identité intrinsèque dans l'œuvre de Kristeva. Bien que les mesures du procès exister sans aucun doute dans cette espèce d'évaluation, des recherches préliminaires suggèrent que la didactique des langues étrangères néglige l'apprenant comme “sujet en procès,” et que dans très peu d’études, deux sur dix-neuf, le procès est intégré. En dépit de ces limitations, des recherches actuelles offrent quatre considérations pratiques à l’enseignement des langues étrangères, qui se rapportent à la philosophie linguistique théorique de Kristeva. 
Mots clés: Julia Kristeva, apprenant des langues étrangères, évaluation de langage, enseignement de langues



Ya-Ling Chang (Yilan, Taiwan (R.O.C.)):

Language Maintenance and Language Shift in a Taiwanese Aboriginal Village: A Domain Approach



Abstract
This study explores language shift by scrutinising language proficiency and habitual language use in one of the biggest aboriginal Pangch villages in Taiwan. It aims to better understand the factors attributed to the erosion of the Pangcah language and how language policy shaped its linguistic structures. In a limited perspective, data were drawn from a survey of language proficiency and language use in various settings. The domain analysis model by Fishman (1964, 1965, 1972), incorporating Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and Logistic Regression (LR) of SPSS was adopted. The results of the sociolinguistic survey show that age is a variable which is related to language change over time. Education has its impact on language proficiency in Mandarin (Mandarin Chinese). In language use, there is a general shift towards the dominant language(s), mainly Mandarin. The language choice among children, in the family domain in particular, appears to be shifting towards Mandarin Chinese monolingualism. This shows some evidence that the heritage language is not transmitted to future generations. Language use in in-group communication in other domains as friendship, religion and shop shows male Pangcah as a better language keepers than females However, in most of the domains, whether high or low, where Han Chinese are present, there is a general shift to Mandarin, which shows little resistance towards the domaince of Mandarin.. Thus, reflection on some of these findings shows that the Pancah language shift patterns are closely related to the long-term colonial hegemonic language policies and hierarchy which are integral to the sociopolitical economy of the district.
Key words: Language maintenance, language shift, Pangcah, language use, language proficiency, domain approach 


Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching
Volume 10 (2019) Issue 1


Foreword to the Issue

The present issue of JLLT, which opens up the journal's tenth year, comes with four articles on English language teaching and one article on linguistics with reference to a Taiwanese aboriginal language. The authors of these articles are based in Germany, South Korea, the USA, and Taiwan.

In the first article, Andrew Schenck (Songdo, South Korea) & Mathew Baldwin (Daejeon, South Korea) examine the question of whether form-focused instruction is an investment into students' learning or whether it is a waste of time. The authors hypothesise that, whereas a kind of input enhancement, which does not differentiate with regards to the grammatical features in question nor with regards to different levels of learner proficiency, may not really be efficient, it is fruitful when used in an individualised and differentiated way. Indeed, the results of their empirical study show that students' mastery of some individual features of English morphosyntax could be improved at the B1 level of CEFR using input enhancement. The findings hint to the fact that drawing students' attention to those grammatical features that are of special relevance to their respective proficiency level may offer considerable chances to improve their linguistic accuracy.

The second article presented in this issue deals with vocabulary and complements the previous one in a certain sense. Danijela Ikonic & Thomas Hawes (both Munich, Germany) present an empirical study on the use of English vocabulary apps for classroom use. Mobile apps presently taking more and more importance in our private and professional lives, language learning apps are become increasingly prevalent as well. More often than not, however, they are used for independent learning and not in classroom contexts, where many teachers take them as a disturbance rather than helpful learning tools. In the empirical study carried out at a German vocational school, students' performance in a vocabulary test was investigated, with them having or not having access to a corresponding app, i.e. Quizlet. A majority of students indeed performed better in the test when using the above-mentioned learning app. In addition, students' attitudes towards employing vocabulary learning apps were examined. A majority of students found employing apps for school to be reasonable and even more motivating than paper-based materials traditionally used in the classroom. The results, then, suggest that making wider use of language learning apps in the future may be promising for learning, teaching, and testing.

In a communicative approach, Todd Hernández (Milwaukee, (WI), USA) & Paulo Boero (Nashville (TN), USA) examine students’ chances of acquiring or improving their Spanish pragmatic skills while studying abroad. On the basis of service encounter requests, the authors present an empirical study in the framework of which students were offered a 90-minute lesson on theoretical instruction about requests, and during their stay abroad, they had to perform communicative tasks and were given assignments for guided reflection. The results indicate that students did improve their pragmatic skills during the time they spent abroad and, thus, suggest that awareness-raising instruction offered to students before going abroad represents an efficient way of boosting their pragmatic competence.

Looking into French L2 writing, Sheri Dion (Exeter (NH), USA) addresses Kristeva's notion of the subject in process. Her assumption is that taking the linguistic, psychological and pedagogical side of the writing process into consideration will foster students' foreign language writing skills. Basing her reflections on the as yet rather limited findings in the literature, the author indicates practical advice (not only) for language teaching.

A purely linguistic study is presented by Ya-Ling Chang (Yilan, Taiwan), who uses a domain approach to analyse language maintenance and language shift in one of the biggest aboriginal Pangch villages in Taiwan. In her empirical study, the author documents the erosion of Pangch and the role of language policy in shaping its linguistic structures, analysing data on speakers' language proficiency and language use in different everyday situations. Findings show that age is a decisive factor for language change through time and that education is of high importance with regards to the mastery of Mandarin Chinese, the latter representing the dominant language. Due to the dominance of Chinese, the heritage language is not really transmitted to the next generations. In those (everyday) contexts, in which Pangch is traditionally used, men appear to be the better language keepers than women.

This short overview shows that the articles presented in this issue cover a relatively large range of topics between language acquisition and linguistics, with the linguistic topic, for the first time in JLLT, featuring an Asian minority language. I am therefore convinced that readers will find some insight and inspiration for further research of their own – which may then be published in this journal.

Thomas Tinnefeld
JLLT
Editor



Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching
Volume 10 (2019) Issue 1


Addressing Process in L2 French Written Assessment


Sheri Dion (Exeter (NH), USA)


Abstract
The present article draws on Kristeva's (1977) notion of the “subject in process” to consider French second language (L2) writing. In particular, Kristeva's "subject in process" is used to underline the experiential dynamism unique to each “subject.” The author argues that a heightened emphasis on linguistic, psychological, and pedagogical processes in this lens can nurture students as they learn to write in a language. Further, integrating process in language writing is connected with development in identity inherent in Kristeva's work. While there ought to be evidence of support in the L2 French writing process, an examination of the literature reveals little evidence, just two of nineteen studies, formally integrating elements that highlight writing processes. Despite this limitation, four practical considerations apparent in Kristeva’s language-philosophy theoretical linguistics are offered for language teaching.
Keywords: Julia Kristeva, second language writing, French, language learning, language teaching


Abstract (Français)
Cet article emploie l'idée du “sujet en procès” de Kristeva (1977) pour envisager l’évaluation écrite française comme langue étrangère. Plus précis, le “sujet en procès” s’emploie en ce qui concerne le dynamisme expérientiel propre à chaque “sujet.” L’auteur affirme que l'évaluation vue sous cet angle est une façon efficace de soutenir les élèves de façon linguistique, psychologique, et pédagogique dans le procès d’apprendre à écrire dans une langue étrangère. En intégrant le procès dans l'acquisition du langage, on répond au développement de l'identité intrinsèque dans l'œuvre de Kristeva. Bien que les mesures du procès exister sans aucun doute dans cette espèce d'évaluation, des recherches préliminaires suggèrent que la didactique des langues étrangères néglige l'apprenant comme “sujet en procès,” et que dans très peu d’études, deux sur dix-neuf, le procès est intégré. En dépit de ces limitations, des recherches actuelles offrent quatre considérations pratiques à l’enseignement des langues étrangères, qui se rapportent à la philosophie linguistique théorique de Kristeva.
Mots clés: Julia Kristeva, apprenant des langues étrangères, évaluation de langage, enseignement de langues


1 Introduction

This article explores Julia Kristeva’s (1977) sujet en procès as a theoretical lens for conceptualizing ‘process’ in second language (L2) French writing. The term 'process' can be broadly defined as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end” (Oxford dictionary (2019). In this analysis, nineteen empirical studies in L2 French writing are examined in the lens of Kristeva’s work. Although the majority of available research in L2 French writing does not emphasize 'process' per se, four methodological considerations in critique of the literature offer practical ways that language teachers can integrate le sujet en procès in L2 writing. This examination includes studies in L2 French writing. Research that did not take these criteria into consideration was excluded from this examination. The range in L2 writing spans from the early years through university levels (K-16).


2 Research Design

The goal of this study is to contribute to the understanding of how and in which ways Kristeva’s (1977) theoretical underpinnings of le sujet en procès are evident in L2 French writing. In the synthesis and analysis of empirical studies, the primary research question was: How do different studies in L2 French writing incorporate aspects of Kristeva’s sujet en procès? Additional goals of this research were to examine (1) which practical implications suggested in the literature might support the process of L2 writing development in Kristeva’s theoretical lens, and (2) how teachers in empirical studies account for individual variation within that process. Findings from this analysis offer four specific pedagogical recommendations for teaching language writing. These suggestions may have implications for language teaching and teacher education.

2.1 Methods

A keyword search performed on April 25, 2018, using the database Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) for the keywords “L2,” “French,” “assessment,” and “written” and again with “L2,” “French,” and “writing” identified thirty-one and thirty-three peer-reviewed journal articles, respectively. The examination of a total of sixty-four retrieved articles included article titles, abstracts, keywords, and content to determine their appropriateness for inclusion. From this process, it was found that twenty-six articles met the inclusion criteria in both the written and writing strands: fifteen from the former and eleven in the latter. Between searches, the removal of eight duplicated articles resulted in eighteen studies. An article from previous research was added, adjusting the total articles examined to nineteen. Articles were then grouped into eight clusters and divided into three groups: (1) technology-assisted writing (TA), (2) collaborative and self-assessment (C/SA), and (3) other (O), indicating study abroad contexts, translation, and portfolio work in L2 writing:



Study


Author(s)


Sample (n=)


Level


Year


Group

1
Arens; Jansen
4,257
9th grade
2016
C/SA
2
Bissoonauth-Bedford; Stace
24
University
2015
O
3
Caws
67
University
2006
TA
4
Chenoweth; Ushida; Murday
354
University
2013
TA
5
Cohen; Brooks-Carsen
39
University
2001
O
6
Dagenais; Toohey; Fox; Singh
Ethnographic
6th grade
2017
TA
7
Enjelvin
1
University
2009
TA
8
Gabaudan
3
University
2016
TA
9
Garrido-Iñigo; Rodriguez-Moreno
108
University
2013
TA
10
Godfrey; Treacy; Tarone
8
University
2014
O
11
Granfeldt; Agren
40
Secondary
2014
TA
12
Nicol
94
University
2009
C/SA
13
Meara; Rodgers; Jacobs
36
University
2000
O
14
Orprayoon
12
University
2014
C/SA
15
Paesani
15
University
2006
O
16
Pavis
29
University
1989
C/SA
17
Pellerin
16
Grades 1-4
2014
TA
18
Thouësny
14
University
2011
C/SA
19
Van Reybroeck; Penneman; Vidick; Galand
24
University
2017
C/SA
Table 1: Descriptive Characteristics for Empirical Studies of L2 Written French (n = 19)
Legend: T: Technology; C/SA: Collaborative/Self-Assessment; O: Other (Portfolios, Translation, Study Abroad)

To address the main research question, a graph depicting the three categories – Technology (T) Collaborative/Self-Assessment (C/SA;), and Other (Portfolios, Translation, Study Abroad) (O) - is presented (Figure 1):


Figure 1: L2 Empirical Studies by Group (n = 19)

Next, an examination of French L2 empirical studies considered the theoretical application of Kristeva’s sujet en procès to language teaching. One measure of process in this lens is the implementation of a writing portfolio in Paesani’s (2006) study. A second example incorporates grade correlations to student writing progress for complexity, accuracy, and fluency in an online journal project (Gabaudan 2016). Although evidence of the measurement of process in L2 French writing is limited, four practical recommendations in critique of the literature offer insight into ways teachers can support the process of L2 writing development in Kristeva’s lens:
  1. L2 writing should account for individual differences among students,
  2. the sociocultural context in which L2 writing takes place ought to be considered,
  3. consistency between subjective and objective grading of written assessments should be maintained, and 
  4. clear definitions of writing achievement should be established.

3 Kristeva’s sujet en procès

In Julia Kristeva’s (1977) book Polylogue, multiple meanings of signifying processes that appear in language, discourse, linguistics, literature, and painting are analyzed. In her chapter Le sujet en procès, Kristeva considers primarily Lacanian psychoanalytic theory in order to relate this evolution of the subject to the evolution of language. Embedded within Kristeva’s concept of the subject in process, and by extension language, is a discussion of motion. In this sense, existence of the subject can be seen as antithetical to a static state. Kristeva writes:

Dans la machine des contradictions et des conflits sociaux, de production et de classe, l'homme reste une unité intouchable, en conflit avec d’autres, mais jamais en conflit à ‘lui-même’ et, dans ce sens, il reste neutre; [...] mais jamais sujet en procès correspondant au procès objectif. (Kristeva 1977: 60)

Here, the subject in process can be seen as representative of multidimensionality in societies, cultures, and dialogue. Therefore, in contrast with a view of language writing as an isolated event, L2 writing can integrate the subject in process with respect to social context, progress, ongoing feedback, and engaging in dialogue with others in L2 practices. In this way, adopting a view of students as subjects in process in L2 writing can simultaneously support the process of writing and the continual motion and evolution of the “subjects” throughout that process.

Within the process of developing an identity incorporative of his or her L2 language, the student may feel the pull of a divided self (Kristeva 1977: 55). Although the student is divided, he or she remains a subject of society which “institue aussi la distinction signifiant / signifié dans laquelle Lacan voit la détermination de ‘toute censure d'ordre social’” (Kristeva 1977: 56). Kristeva's psychoanalysis sets the sujet unaire ('unary subject') in motion, or en procès, and in this motion, the evaluation of the process of language development can be applied. An L2 student as a sujet unaire perceives a pull and a lack simultaneously throughout language development, altering the student's original perceptions of language and, by extension, one's self. In this sense, the L2 sujet unaire experiences a continual motion antithetical to a static state.

Further, the motion of the subject in a Kristevean context argues against invariability in language. By extension, corporeal movement effectively demonstrates this fluidity:

Cette labilité et cette mobilité des engrammes se montrent dans la mobilité du corps – corps dansant, gesticulant, volume théâtral. (Kristeva 1977: 80).

Tying the struggle of finding meaning between motility and resistance, Kristeva emphasizes struggle itself as an intrinsic feature of life (Kristeva 1977: 86). Here, recognizing the struggle to develop fluid meaning in language writing reflects this motility as well as dualism in the nature of the process of language learning. In terms of a practical implication of measuring motility, a teacher may implement an area for essay drafts within student portfolios or incorporate a separate section dedicated to journaling, documenting improvement throughout the process. An example of this is evident in Paesani’s (2006) study during which students prepared several written drafts that were evaluated by peers, self-assessment, and instructor feedback.

An additional component of L2 assessment is its relationship with heterogeneity. More specifically, studying an L2 integrates sociocultural, educational, economic, historical, and psychological factors, among others. Citing heterogeneity as an additional layer of the subject in process, Kristeva perceives the process of identity as a component to the subject in process:

S’identifier au procès de l'identité signifiante, subjective, sociale, s'identifier à une identité impossible, c'est précisément avoir la pratique du procès, mettre en procès le sujet et ses stases, faire de la sorte que les lois de la signifiance correspondent aux lois objectives, naturelles, et sociales. (Kristeva 1977: 90)

Extending this discussion, one might also consider Kristeva's psychoanalytic work in the context of national identity. For Kristeva, the undertaking of learning a second language is analogous to the development of one's identity, highlighting the dangers of fixed identities. Kristeva calls upon Artaud to address the “irreplaceable experience” in an argument against the initiation of surrealism: “Toute expérience est résolument personnelle, et l'expérience d'un autre ne peut servir hors lui” (Kristeva 1977: 101). To this point, measuring the process on an individual level may provide a more meaningful context to the student as he or she develops in the language.

3.1 Chora, Metaphor, and the Process of Renewal

Contrasted with stasis, the development of one's self in the context of language learning is an active process that may flourish with continual nurturing. L2 assessment can be a source of stress and anxiety for L2 French students, whose limited experiences in the target language can affect their ability to confidently navigate certain L2 tasks (Kusçu 2016, Aslim Yetis 2017). Making syntactical and morphological errors is common for an L2 student, yet knowledge that such errors often occur does not necessarily alleviate his stress. In the context of challenges to developing proficiency in L2 writing, it can be a stressful experience to know that certain errors, depending on a variety of assessment factors, can have a dramatic impact on overall performance. As a student, working to transmit meaning in L2 assessment also necessitates a metaphorical social space that fosters understanding of errors and a respect for the experiences of the L2 student, both past and present.

Moreover, L2 written work measuring process relates to Kristeva's (1977) use of the Greek term chora which means ‘womb’ to help us interpret our own experience. Kristeva draws upon Plato's theory of chora which “désigne un réceptacle mobile du mélange, de contradiction et de mouvement, nécessaire au fonctionnement de la nature” (Kristeva 1977: 57). For Kristeva, the body becomes a mobile chora, “mutation cosmique et sociale, lieu essentiel des opérations naturelles et sociales” (Kristeva 1977: 99). Linguistic structures in Kristeva's writing are the arêtes ('edges')1 of the process, and the body (chora) serves as receptacle for pulsations, rhythms, and forces of experience and knowledge (Kristeva 1977: 97-99). Thereby, the interconnectedness of the body as chora to natural and social operations cannot be solely limited to linguistic function.
Atwell-Vasey (1998) develops the use of the term chora to “help us imagine our own sensual receptacle of experience” (Atwell-Vasey 1998: 11). In this sense, Kristeva's (1977) chora for Atwell-Vasey presents a metaphor for the “nourishing placenta, which binds together templates and patterns of language” (Atwell-Vasey 1998: 11). Although Atwell-Vasey recognizes that the metaphor of a placenta is not entirely interchangeable for language experience, she presents a perceptive comparison:

Our language experience is not a placenta, but thinking of language in the position of one, helps us focus on how language surrounds and fulfills us. (Atwell-Vasey 1988: 12).

Mapping the metaphor of the placenta onto L2 learning, the immersed experience of L2 learning can engage the student holistically. L2 student knowledge develops over time with experience; hypothesizing language learning as unique to a specific area of knowledge undermines the receptacle (student) as an aggregate entity.

Further, the nurturing process of renewal can also be applied to the needs of L2 students and the experiential L2 process.. One example of this may feature a student who feels anxiety or fear surrounding potential errors during an L2 writing assessment. Britzman & Pitt (2004) discuss trauma in learning and the potential psychological and pedagogical problems which this type of trauma can pose (Britzman & Pitt 2004: 353). For example, misunderstandings in learning can be a source of trauma such as “profound distress, hopelessness, and helplessness made from the feelings of misunderstanding and being misunderstood” (Britzman and Pitt 2004: 359). Here, addressing the psychological process of L2 learning as a component of Kristeva's semiotic chora, and thus related to the process of renewal, may reassure L2 students as they grapple with pedagogical trauma.

4 Discussion and Pedagogical Recommendations

The examination of the literature pointed to four specific areas that failed to support the process of students’ development in writing and may represent sources of pedagogical and psychological trauma (Britzman & Pitt 2004). That is, improvement to the following areas can sustain the evolution of the subject (Kristeva 1977) and methodologically strengthen L2 writing practices. Moreover, the existing body of literature (Clavel et al. 2016) supports this claim, suggesting that teaching practices can have a measurable impact on student achievement. Although outside the scope of this discussion, the investigation of which types of teaching practices may be related to student achievement (Olson, 2003) is also a consideration.

4.1 Accounting for Differences Among Students

Several studies point to the limitations of L2 French writing that fail to account for individual differences in ability among students. The lack of attention to variation between students presented challenges in certain studies (Caws 2006, Godfrey et al. 2014). For example, Godfrey, Treacy, & Tarone (2014) examined four participants in study-abroad programs and four in on-campus courses during the course of one semester. A complicating factor in this study involved evaluating writing across the two groups, as the levels of student proficiency “differed from one another even before the beginning of the semester” (Godfrey et al. 2014: 60). More specifically, the study-abroad group consisted of three French majors, whereas the domestic group only had one. In addition, the study-abroad group may have benefited from heightened “access to resources, may have been less likely to be first-generation college students, and may have been more likely to have traveled abroad” (Godfrey et al. 2014: 60). Furthermore, inattention to individual variation in ability can affect the student’s relationship with the language and his confidence as he navigates certain linguistic tasks. In Kristeva’s (1977) view, these considerations alter the continual development of the student as a sujet unaire ('unary subject') throughout the process of language learning.

4.2 Considering Sociocultural Context

A second pedagogical concern evident in the literature is how sociocultural context is taken into account when teaching students how to write in second language courses. This relates to Kristeva’s (1977) conceptualizations of multidimensionality, heterogeneity, and the process of identity. Considering additional context(s) in which writing takes place is a suggested improvement in certain studies (Gabaudan 2016, Van Reybroeck et al. 2017). Recognizing that social context can take on diverse interpretations, teaching practices might afford a particular sensitivity to (a) inclusivity of gender, (dis)ability, student level or age, and other social, environmental, and possibly virtual factors, and (b) various interpretations of context as they relate to the social setting(s) in which language writing occurs (e.g. urbanicity, class size, and socioeconomic status, among others).

4.3 Consistency between Objective and Subjective Assessments

Another implication supporting the development of the sujet en procès is how consistency is maintained across writing assessments. How certain types of objective measurement tool(s) are implemented alongside subjective teacher assessment and whether these tools conflict with teacher recommendations are additional concerns. For example, Granfeldt & Agren’s (2014) qualitative analyses revealed relative agreement among teachers’ subjective assessment of student work. Yet, when compared with an objective online diagnostic tool (Direkt Profil), findings showed some discrepancies between the objective tool and subjective teacher's analyses. This suggests that when using an automated profile analysis to interpret results, some insight may be valuable, yet a diagnostic “cannot replace teacher's evaluation of strengths and weaknesses in learner production and their constructive feedback to individual learners” (Grandfeldt & Agren 2014: 303). In particular, this lack of consistency conflicts with the perpetual motion of Kristeva’s (1977) semiotic chora and can also complicate student understandings of development in writing.

4.4 Clear Definitions of Writing Achievement

Teachers’ incorporation of clear and consistent definitions of writing achievement throughout coursework is paramount to student support. The lack of clear definitions of writing achievement (Arens & Jansen 2016, Dagenais et al. 2017, Gabaudan 2016) was evident in several studies. For students, a lack of clarity may also represent forms of pedagogical trauma and risks fractures in the process of renewal (Kristeva 1977). For example, Granfeldt & Agren’s (2014) work features not only a lack of uniformity into what exactly is being measured, there is also the question of how it was being measured. Otherwise put, “no special instructions about any particular criteria preceded the teachers’ assessments” (Granfeldt & Agren 2014: 288). This presents challenges to measurement and has implications for validity, reliability, and attempts to draw inferences from the data.

5 Conclusion

Julia Kristeva’s (1977) sujet en procès serves as one example of how psychoanalytical-linguistic theory might draw attention to the role of process in L2 writing assessment. Although examined studies in L2 French writing varied in nature and type, an emphasis on the process of L2 writing may serve as an additional pedagogical support to students. Within the application of the subject in process to L2 written assessment, the perpetual motion of chora can provide an emotional support addressing stress and potential trauma that may arise in L2 writing. Although evidence of the measurement of process is limited in available empirical studies, acknowledgment of the process of L2 writing may enhance students’ learning experience.

Ultimately, the ability to incorporate the subject in process into L2 written assessment seems to support L2 students holistically. Dissimilar from subjects in which one learns in his or her native language(s), L2 learning involves more than language skills: it can involve learning about other ways of life and affect identity. Therefore, the process of learning a language is entwined with multifaceted development, which in Kristeva's (1977) theory exists in perpetual motion. An elevated emphasis on process in L2 writing would not only assist the L2 student, it may also be representative of a need to address varying adaptations and developments in students' cultural understandings and identity.


Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Professor Paula M. Salvio for her input and guidance throughout this project. This research received no funding or grants. Comments on a previous version of this article by Professors Murray Monroe and Danièle Moore were highly appreciated. Thank you also to the anonymous reviewers and the editor of JLLT for their comments on this work.


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Author:
Sheri K. Dion
Ph.D. Candidate
University of New Hampshire
Department of Education
86 Court St
Exeter
NH USA 03833
Email: sheridion@gmail.com

1 Kristeva (1997) explains that linguistic structures, as edges of the process, capture and immobilize it, rendering process in some sense conditional upon linguistic expression.