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An integrated Concept-Based Instruction and Sociocultural Theory Informed Narrative Inquiry Approach to Language for Specific Purposes Teaching instruction| April 28

The Linguistics Colloquium series presents Alba Garcia Alonso discussing “An integrated Concept-based Instruction and Sociocultural Theory informed Narrative Inquiry approach to Language for Specific Purposes Teaching Instruction” on Friday, April 28, from 12:55 to 1:50 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.


Alonso is Ph.D. Candidate in Applied Linguistics at Penn State University and an alumna of the B.A. in Linguistics program at OHIO.


For more information, contact Dr. David Bell, Chair of Linguistics at Ohio University, at


Abstract: In general language classrooms, it may be the case that learners enter such environments with rich, authentic, and potentially expert level cultural understandings of language practices (e.g., Smolcic, 2011). In the case of Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) pedagogies, which are an extension of English for Specific/Academic Purposes (ESP/EAP) pedagogies, many of the traditional assumptions regarding teacher knowledge and expertise may be complicated due to context specific characteristics of the pedagogical sites.

ESP/EAP as a scholarly and pedagogical tradition emphasizes the development of explicit knowledge of both linguistic and rhetorical concepts, ideally in terms of each other (Casal, 2020), rather than the discipline-specific content knowledge itself. However, ESP/EAP directs the application of these formal and rhetorical domains of knowledge towards a specified genre context. Therefore, instructors must possess sophisticated knowledge of the linguistic and rhetorical features occupying instructional focus, as well as the ability to connect these contexts with genre activity in a specified disciplinary community. As a result, LSP educational contexts often represent a space where many of the more traditional assumptions regarding teaching and teacher knowledge are complicated due to various context specific characteristics of the pedagogical sites.

This project analyzes the application of Concept-Based Instruction and Sociocultural Theory informed narrative inquiry as a form of language teacher professional development for novice instructors in LSP contexts. In particular, the analysis focuses on how Concept-Based Instruction provides a means of orienting novice instructors towards content-specific scientific concepts, which, for this study, are linguistic and rhetorical in nature (e.g., shell nouns as cohesion devices), at the center of pedagogical endeavors and on how both Concept-Based Instruction and narrative inquiry can create important sites of reflection on personal and pedagogical challenges that encourage and support the development of conceptions of expertise and legitimacy as a source of instruction.

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