, Volume 41 Issue 3 Previous Issue   
Academic Contention
On the Revision of The College English Teaching Guide in the New Era and Its Theoretical Basis
Jigang CAI
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 3-16.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.215
Abstract( 86 )   HTML( 16 )     PDF(1414KB)( 49 )

The College English Teaching Guide was published in 2013 and since then China has made the Belt and Road Initiative and state strategies as the building-up of world class universities and academic disciplines as well as technological innovation. Against the backdrop of new state strategies, it is necessary to revise and update the national College English Teaching Guideline if it is still expected to provide adequate guidance. To adapt to the new era, we propose a paradigm shift from the traditional emphasis of CET on the solid language foundation, the humanistic quality and cross-cultural communication to the development of students’ professional, academic and pragmatic abilities. To this end, we put forward the revised content and the theoretical basis for its revision in terms of teaching objectives, teaching requirement and curriculums. It is suggested that the objective should aim to satisfy the needs of socioeconomic development directly instead of addressing various individual needs of the students. Hence the linguistic requirement and CET courses should be tailored to match the objective. For example, the size of vocabulary should be doubled and the discipline-specific vocabulary should also be included. Courses of teaching general English should be marginalized and substantially replaced by courses of teaching English for academic purposes and for specific purposes.

Ten Relations between the Discipline of English Studies and Professional English: Predicament and Solutions
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 17-30.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.216
Abstract( 70 )   HTML( 7 )     PDF(1192KB)( 37 )

This paper points out that the recent controversy among English language academics stems from their misunderstandings of and different views over the differences between the discipline of English studies and professional English. More often than not, truth becomes clear through argument and debate. In essence, this debate brings about a most fundamental and urgent task of demarcating their boundaries. However, the fact that the discipline of English studies and professional English differ in purposes does not exclude cooperation and coordination. They are not in a tit-for-tat relationship. In order to help the current debate away from being further chaotic, this paper tries to distinguish the similarities and differences on the basis of clarifying the nature of the debate and discusses the current crises of the discipline of English studies and provides specific solutions in ten aspects. As they involve millions of teachers and learners, it is the author’s sincere hope that this paper will help contribute to the healthy development of the discipline of English studies and professional English.

Linguistic Studies
Review of Research on Cross-linguistic Influence in Third Language Acquisition
Jinfen XU,Liu YANG
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 32-44.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.221
Abstract( 52 )   HTML( 4 )     PDF(1267KB)( 38 )

Third language acquisition has been regarded as a unique phenomenon and should be studied as an independent field, which has attracted the attention of more and more researchers in recent years. Research on third language acquisition has focused on different areas of the complex phenomenon of language acquisition. Among the areas that have received more attention, cross-linguistic influence has been one of the hottest issues of concern. This paper briefly summarizes and reviews cross-linguistic influence in third language acquisition from the perspectives of psycholinguistics and generative linguistics. The authors mainly explore various levels of cross-linguistic influence and analyze the primary sources of cross-linguistic influence. Then the reasons for the occurrence of cross-linguistic influence (including the linguistic factor and the learners’ factor) and effects of cross-linguistic influence are analyzed in this paper. The parameter resetting and initial state are discussed from the perspective of generative linguistics. Subsequently, this paper makes a list of the common research methods and analyzes the weaknesses in this field in terms of theory construction, research content and methods. It is expected that this research on cross-linguistic influence in third language acquisition will be conducive to better understanding third language acquisition and promoting its development, and provide new insight into the research of third language acquisition and the teaching of third language in China.

How Does Processing Drive Language Development? — Introducing Processing Determinism
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 45-60.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.218
Abstract( 53 )   HTML( 2 )     PDF(1279KB)( 24 )

In the framework of processor-based emergentism, O’Grady proposes Processing Determinism, which states that the developmental profile of language is largely the product of processing-related pressures, in accordance with the thesis outlined as: the course of development is shaped by processing pressures (less costly > more costly). According to O’Grady, the course of development in the first and second language acquisition is shaped by two types of processing pressures—internal efficiency-related factors relevant to easing the burden on working memory and external input-related factors such as frequency of occurrence. With a special focus to document the important role of internal factors, he introduces a series of case studies involving contrasts that are rarely instantiated in the input, yet show early mastery. Based on Processing Determinism, O’Grady proposes the Uniformity Thesis to describe the nature of language development: Development is uniform, where processing cost is relevant. This paper introduces the basic ideas of Processing Determinism and gives a detailed analysis of all the case studies as evidence, with a comment on its theoretical and practical merits as well as some problems.

The Theoretical Basis and Path for “Writing to Learn” in SLA
Shaopeng LI,Lianrui YANG
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 61-73.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.225
Abstract( 118 )   HTML( 2 )     PDF(1366KB)( 31 )

From the perspective of second language developing process, second language writing can facilitate second language development (SLD) by increasing second language learners’ attention to language input, promoting the creation of new knowledge of second language and the co-development of language form and meaning, accelerating the process of hypothesis testing and automation of second language. From the perspective of the path in which “writing to learn” can be realized, continuation task can shorten the distance between second language input and output by combining second language understanding and production, resulting in the collaboration effect, which means the production is becoming more consistent with the understanding of second language. It can gradually bridge the gap between second language understanding and output, thus facilitate second language learning by solving the problem of asymmetry between understanding and production. This article aims to explore second language writing—SLD interfaces from the perspectives of the relationship between “learning to write” and “writing to learn”, noticing input and shaping intake, creation of new second language knowledge, giving consideration to both meaning and form, processing and responding to feedback and hypothesis testing, trying to integrate the studies of second language acquisition (SLA) with second language writing and provide some suggestions for the teaching of second language writing.

Linguistic Distance and L2 Effect on the L3 Lexical Processing of Chinese-English-Japanese Trilinguals
Yanyan CHEN,Ping ZHANG
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 74-87.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.217
Abstract( 139 )   HTML( 6 )     PDF(1396KB)( 35 )

The languages used by a trilingual speaker can be of different linguistic distances. As for the trilinguals of closer linguistic distance, the L3 lexical processing is more significantly affected by the L2 lexical system due to the similarity of acquisition (L2 effect). Yet, the Chinese-English-Japanese (C-E-J) trilinguals encounter a more complex interactive relationship of linguistic distance and acquisition, for which there is still insufficient empirical evidence. This study employs semantic judgement tasks with word pairs of same/different L3→L2 translation and word pairs of same/different L3∩L1 orthography, so as to investigate whether and how the C-E-J trilinguals’ L3 lexical semantic processing is affected by L2 effect and linguistic distance. The results indicate that reaction times (RTs) and error rates (ERs) of L3→L2 congruent word pairs are significantly longer and slightly higher than those of the incongruent word pairs, showing no significant L2 effect; RTs and ERs of L3∩L1 orthographically similar word pairs are significantly shorter and lower than those of the orthographically different word pairs, which validates the dominant role of linguistic distance. The results are further discussed starting from the L2 effect and linguistic distance and the conclusion is drawn that close attention should be paid to the inter-lingual influence from both factors in the teaching of L3 vocabulary.

Translation Studies
On the Translation of Yi-related Expressions in Chinese Calligraphic Aesthetic Criticism —A Case Study of the English Version of Zhong Guo Shu Fa Yi Shu
Yi GU,Yue MA
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 88-97.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.214
Abstract( 56 )   HTML( 3 )     PDF(1361KB)( 24 )

Yi(逸)is a core concept in Chinese aesthetics, from which the two-character expressions like piaoyi(飘逸) and qingyi(清逸), and four-character expressions like xiaosapiaoyi(潇洒飘逸)are derived, thus forming a word family based on yi. On the basis of previous studies of yi, the paper first sums up its calligraphic meaning, and then with Chinese Calligraphy, the English version of Zhong Guo Shu Fa Yi Shu(《中国书法艺术》)as the case, discusses the translation of the yi-related expressions. The analysis shows that in light of the target readers and their limited cognition of Chinese calligraphy, the translator of Zhong Guo Shu Fa Yi Shu adopts a reader-oriented strategy and employs methods appropriate for the target readers, thus producing a group of expressions that corresponds approximately to the yi-related expressions. The suggestion for improvement is that the subtle differences between the expressions within the same word family, the complementary and derogatory meanings, and the deeper aesthetic meanings of these expressions should also be represented in the translation. For the rich cultural connotations embodied in the concept of yi, there is obviously no English equivalent for it, and the expediency is to adopt the method of amplification to make up for the loss of its cultural connotations.

On the Content Homogenization in Translating Pre-Qin Chinese Classics and Their Explanations: With Special Reference to Zhouyi and R. Lynn’s English Translation
Xiaonong WANG,Fangjing SUN
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 98-109.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.219
Abstract( 49 )   HTML( 4 )     PDF(1397KB)( 23 )

The texts of pre-Qin Chinese classics are usually appended with explanations. In a unidirectional annotative relationship, the explanations are different from the original texts in regard to the use of Chinese characters, different times and purposes, thus there existing some differences between the original texts and their annotated counterparts. A translation of a pre-Qin classical text is usually based on comprehension of its later explanations, and the content difference tends to be blurred in their translated versions. Taking Zhouyi or Zhou Book of Change and its English translation as its research object and adopting such methods as theoretical analysis, comparative analysis of texts, and exemplification, this study explores the problem of unduly reducing the content differences between the original texts of ancient Chinese classics and their explanations in the translated versions and attempts to come up with some possible solutions. As is indicated by analyzing the version of the text and those of its explanations in Richard Lynn’s English translation of Zhouyi, there exists between the two types of texts the problem of undue content homogeneity, resulting in the loss of the original differences to the detriment of conveying well the documentary value of the original text. The advance in studying pre-Qin Chinese classics has made it feasible to distance the translation of the original texts from their explanations and properly reproduce the original difference, which should represent a new direction for contemporary efforts to re-translate pre-Qin Chinese classics.

Foreign Literature Studies
On the Aesthetics of Existence in Summer and Smoke
Xianping JIANG
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 110-122.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.220
Abstract( 72 )   HTML( 2 )     PDF(1390KB)( 29 )

Summer and Smoke is one of Tennessee Williams’s important plays. When this drama was published, many critics thought that it repeated the themes of The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. In addition, they thought this drama lacked the passion and strength presented in A Streetcar Named Desire and it was not as touching as The Glass Menagerie. In 1952, its production and performance were very successful and since then it has drawn attention from the academic critics. The conflict between spirit and body is the lasting focus of Tennessee Williams’ theatrical creation. This conflict is described more delicately in Summer and Smoke. In this play, the playwright not only displays the intensification of the conflict but also highlights its resolution. The author of this paper takes the female protagonist Alma of the drama as the subject of study. From the perspective of Foucault’s idea of Aesthetics of Existence, the author explores how the Southern belle takes advantage of the self-knowledge to undergo the transformation from spiritual purity to body experience and achieves her self-construction. Alma goes through phases of spiritual pilgrimage and returning to the body experience guided by the notion of “self-enlightenment”. By combining spirit and body, Alma reaches the Aesthetics of Existence and achieves self-realization.

Book Review
A Review of Creativity in Language Teaching: Perspectives from Research and Practice
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(3): 122-128.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.222
Abstract( 65 )   HTML( 1 )     PDF(1248KB)( 31 )

Creativity in Language Teaching: Perspectives from Research and Practice is compiled by Rodney H. Jones and Jack C. Richards. It is the most systematic and comprehensive book on creativity in language teaching so far, which covers the theoretical foundations, case studies and the research spaces of creativity in language teaching. This paper briefly introduces the main content of this book, which consists of four sections: (1) theoretical perspectives; (2) creativity in the classroom; (3) creativity in the curriculum; (4) creativity in teacher development. By analyzing the academic value of the book, this paper points out that this book provides a new concept for creativity in language teaching, exploring its linguistic, cognitive, socio-cultural, and pedagogic dimensions; makes an important contribution to the ongoing debates about creativity in education in general and in language teaching and learning in particular; gives language researchers and teachers both a set of conceptual tools with which to think and talk about creativity in language teaching and a wealth of practical advice about principles and practice that can be applied to make their lessons more creative. Unique in the field, this book takes a broader and more critical look at the notion of creativity in language teaching, reflecting the latest achievement in the research of creativity in language teaching, to which close attention should be paid by academia.

10 articles