Applied Language


A Study of the Concept of Exile and Dislocation in Layla Atrash ‘s “la Toshbeh Thatoha “(2014) : Critical Discourse Analysis (Hijazi Eman)

Layla Atrash , a Palestinian Jordanian female novelist, has been devoting intensive efforts in spreading the values of love, tolerance and justice. She pays great attention to defend the humanitarian and social issues, especially representing the Arab women's image in their society and the issue of dislocation . The study aims to analyze the used language to represent the concept of exile and dislocation linguistically in the light of Layla Atrash “la Toshbeh Thatoha”. The researcher employs critical discourse analysis (CDA) as a tool to analyze the linguistic features of the language used by the protagonist “ Habeba Al-Ein” who is the only narrator in the novel. Habiba narrates her story through the interior monologue to convey a message for the people who seek to replacement in other countries and the dream of better life is just illusion . Therefore the researcher will rely on the Norman Fairclough‘s theory of discourse to identify the narrative discursive strategies by focusing on the concept of the exile and enforced emigration as represented by both lexical and syntactic choice of this discourse in addition to the ideological and social implications. Consequently, this study is considered as the first one focusing on analyzing the used language by AL-Atrash linguistically in the light of the CDA techniques such as lexicalization, figurative speech, verbalization and normalization , passivity and activity personifications, and finally symbolism. The result shows that Layla Al-Atrash succeeded in utilizing her discourse linguistically to introduce the pain and the sufferance that the emigrants encounter in the exile.

Practical Literacies in a Multilingual Prison: A community-based approach (Rodney Jones and Suzanne Portch, University of Reading)

Mastering the literacies of institutions involves the complex interaction of individual competencies, institutional agendas, and the range of social practices with which these literacies are associated. Mastery of institutional literacies is even more complex in contexts in which individuals are brought together around regimes of practice over which they have limited control — contexts such as hospitals and prisons. In such contexts literacy practices sometimes act to constrain the agency of individuals or create barriers to them accessing the services they need. This paper reports on a project to examine the institutional literacy practices in a foreign-national prison in the UK. The aims of the project were to examine how literacy practices create communication problems for prisoners and prison staff, to understand the strategies people developed these problems, and to explore ways to facilitate solving these problems by inviting prisoners and staff to work together with students and researchers in applied linguistics.

The part of the project reported here involved students studying English Language and Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading working together with prisoners and staff to solve two specific problems: one having to do with the difficulty prisoners had in understanding the signage in the prison alerting them to the availability of various services; and the second having to do with the difficulty prisoners had understanding the legal language in deportation notices and in completing the documentation necessary for their immigration cases. This paper describes the processes by which the students, prisoners and staff worked together to formulate ways to address these literacy challenges, each group contributing different kinds of linguistic expertise, and showcases results: a set of redesigned signs to be placed in the corridor leading to the prison’s residential wings, and a short handbook for peer advisors helping them to deal with language related issues around immigration cases.

Implications for community based responses to issues around institutional literacies in other contexts are explored.

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