ERIC Number: EJ798114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Scholarly Writers Who Use English as an Additional Language: What Can Goffman's "Stigma" Tell Us?
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, v7 n2 p77-86 Apr 2008
This paper begins by highlighting the disadvantage that EAL (English as an Additional Language) writers experience in international publishing. It then explores Goffman's (1959, 1968) ideas on stigma and illustrates how, subject to certain caveats, what he has to say provides important insights into understanding the situation of EAL scholars. This would include, in particular, his characterization of stigma, and his suggestions for the management of stigma and for how stigmatization may be resisted. The paper concludes by pointing out that EAL writers and English L1 writers coming together in the promotion of understanding and tolerance of the predicament of the EAL writer, a plan of action recommendable in the EAL context based on Goffman's rationale, may still be a relatively weak one. To effectively alleviate the situation, the paper emphasizes that judgements regarding the acceptability or otherwise of EAL authors' English might better be accorded to individual disciplinary communities. Thus intelligibility, rather than conformity to "standard English," might be established as a primary criterion. Large corpora of EAL-authored disciplinary texts might help to identify what is acceptable in terms of intelligibility in written academic English and what is not.
Descriptors: Standard Spoken Usage, English (Second Language), Writing Instruction, Second Language Learning, Publishing Industry, Bias, Writing (Composition), Academic Discourse, Computational Linguistics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A