Dilin Liu

Dilin Liu (刘迪麟) is Professor of the Applied Linguistics/TESOL program in the English Department at the University of Alabama, USA. His research focuses on the description and teaching of English grammar and vocabulary using cognitive- and corpus-linguistic approaches. He has published extensively with over 80 publications, including six books and numerous journal articles and book chapters. His articles have appeared in many different international journals in linguistics and applied linguistics, including Applied Linguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, ELT Journal, English for Specific Purposes, Foreign Language Annals, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Journal of English Linguistics, Language Teaching Research, Modern Language Journal, Research in the Teaching of English, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, TESOL Journal, and TESOL Quarterly. He has served on the editorial boards of ELT Journal, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Lingua, System, TESOL Quarterly, TESOL Journal, among others, as well as a reviewer for over twenty international journals and book publishers, such as Cambridge University Press, Palgrave-MacMillan, and Routledge.

Arguing for Exploring L1 and L2 Similarities for L2 Lexicogrammar Learning:The Case of Chinese SpeakersLearning English as an L2

Featured Presentation

There has been ample research on how L1 may interfere with L2 learning. Such research has produced many useful findings about the difficulties that L1-L2 differences may cause in L2 learning. However, while research on L1-L2 differences is certainly warranted, there does not appear to have been adequate research on L1-L2 similarities and how exploring such similarities may assist L2 learning. Using Chinese speakers learning English (an L1 and L2 that are two unrelated languages) as a case in point and guided by contemporary linguistic theories, this article tries to argue that more attention should be paid to exploring L1-L2 similarities to enhance L2 learning. It begins with an overview of the main linguistic theories about language and language acquisition to delineate their evolution and show their impact on language learning/teaching. Then, with concrete examples, it demonstrates that there are both obvious Chinese-English similarities and some important overlooked similarities underlying a few of the most well-known lexico-grammatical differences between the two language that have been regarded as the major sources of difficulties for Chinese EFL/ESL learners. In the process, the article also explains how exploring these similarities may help learners more effectively grasp the lexico-grammatical structures and usages they are learning. A few principles for conducting such explorations are also provided.

Understanding Near-synonyms that Chinese EFL/ESL LearnersOften Misuse in Academic Writing

Featured Workshop

Synonyms are lexical items that express the same or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses and contexts. In a strict sense, most synonyms are near-synonyms. While near-synonyms are ubiquitous in language, they are very difficult to grasp even for native speakers, but particularly so for L2 learners because often near-synonyms in one language may not be the same in another language. In this workshop, we will examine some near-synonyms which, based on the speaker’s published and ongoing research findings,Chinese EFL/ESL writers often misuse, including “demand/request/require,” “discrepancy/disparity/divergence,” and “important/significant/vital.” Effective ways for learning to differentiate near-synonymsand to use them correctly and effectively in academic writing will be explored via hands-on activities.