Scalar Approaches to Language, Time and Space: Further Directions

Room G39, School of Education, University of Birmingham
Thursday 23 April 2015 (14:00-15:00)

For further details contact Jaspreet Takhi:


MOSAIC Seminar Series, Spring 2015

Macro-micro models in sociolinguistics have come under criticism recently (e.g., Collins & Slembrouck, 2009) because they offer only a partial understanding of how language resources are mobilized in language practices. Common among these criticisms is the need to move beyond the rather dichotomous reasoning that local language practices are constrained by broader processes and that, conversely, these practices sometimes change global processes. This criticism has generated efforts (e.g., Blommaert & Dong, 2010; Canagarajah, 2013; Collins, 2012; Collins, Wortham & Rhodes, 2012) to better understand the complex temporal and spatial dimensions that underlie language use. In light of the growing interest in scalar-based models, this presentation examines the use of scales to investigate complex, dynamic, on-the-ground realities of language use in a variety of contact zones. The presentation takes scalar analysis in new directions, recommends useful social and educational implications, and generates new questions for further investigation.


Peter De Costa is an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages at Michigan State University, where he teaches on the Second Language Studies doctoral program and the MATESOL program. He holds a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While Peter’s primary area of research is the role of identity and ideology in SLA, he also conducts research on English as a lingua franca and critical classroom discourse analysis. Much of his current work focuses on conducting ethical applied linguistic research, scalar approaches to language learning and teaching, language learning and emotions, and corpus-based understandings of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) genre-related challenges encountered by international university students.

No registration is required for this free event.

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