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Concise Literature Review on a Few Articles About English as a Second Language

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By Leandro Machado,

English as a Second Language, ESL, has become a vast field of research among scholars of many fields of studies, especially Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. Considering its broad scope, the coexistence of contradictory thoughts and thesis on this subject is predictable to take place in many scientific production around the world. Moreover, ESL appliance and effectiveness are directly linked to the fact that once a wide range of experimental and theoretical endeavors have grown quite relevant since the boom of the Information Revolution which was strongly leveraged by Globalization, it is critical to conduct in-depth investigation on such complex subject.

Thousands of scientific production concerning ESL could be mentioned along the following lines of this paper; however, due to selective and objective reasons, just a few samples from this vast literature have been selected. Contributions from Yoon (2016), Hirvela (2013), Green (2013), Gao (2012), Ramanathan (1999) have enlightened the literature on ESL studies for almost two decades. Although all of them have in common a particular study object, i.e. the acquisition of English as a target or second language, each one of these scholars have applied different criteria prompted by different objectives concerning ESL.

For instance, Yoon (2016) researches how 6 Korean ESL graduate students in Canada used available digital reference resources for discovering linguistic problems resorting to individual digital reference as they completed authentic academic writing assignments in English. It can be stated that in this article a substantial coverage on internet based information, digital age and  proliferance of online language resources, is investigated, bringing contributions to the literature of ESL specifically in terms of information technology. Both research and everyday practice in classroom have proved that source texts are extremely challenging considering academic literacy tasks for L2 writers according to Hirvela (2013). Qualitative studies focusing on the impact of ESL graduate students’ native cultural and rhetorical conventions and the influence of classroom cultures on the learning process of academic English writing, all are discussed in contributions from Gao (2012). A different look at that kind of process is undertaken by Green (2013), whose work explores how ESL novice writers change disciplinary knowledge by writing. Last, but not least, mainly due to the fact that this investigation is the oldest among the selected literature, Ramanathan (1999) addresses that over the past 20 years, varying cultural “ideologies of the individual” have been established by researchers from a variety of fields, such as anthropology, education, linguistics, psychology, and sociology.’ This studies explores some of the implications of such variation for the teaching of university writing to non-native writers of English.

Although such literature provides diverse information on the same object of research, it could be assumed that it also widely contributes to many different kinds of fields of research resorting to different perspectives on ESL.  Therefore, from arguments about academic writing processes to the resorting of digital language resources by students, the association of how students acquire and manage to master their academic English writings vastly differ among ESL literature, selecting the most accurate or appropriate information in order to conduct further research about it can be quite challenging and that stresses how important it would be to take advice from a  university scholar so that an interesting selection of literature meets the expectations of the academia having a positive impact once implemented on society.

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