Eric Friginal's research while affiliated with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and other places

Publications (49)

Article
This study investigated listener-based assessment of the job performance of second language (L2) speakers employed as customer service agents in outsourced foreign-based call centers, focusing on agents’ job performance as a function of the comprehensibility, fluency, and accentedness of their speech. Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing pl...
Chapter
Corpus Linguistics (CL) is a research approach to the empirical investigation of language variation and use, utilizing a quantifiable collection of “texts” known as a corpus (corpora, plural) and various computer-based tools and applications.
Article
A major focus of Intensive English Programs (IEPs) in most universities in the United States (U.S.) is English for Academic Purposes (EAP), which prepares English language learners for undergraduate and graduate study, delivered or facilitated in English across scholarly and professional settings. The same EAP approach may also be successfully impl...
Article
Although structural complexity of learners’ oral production has often been correlated with proficiency, there has been less focus into whether high proficiency L2 learners use L2 forms that belong to higher levels in developmental sequences. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether an index based on the developmental levels of second lan...
Article
This paper presents an overview of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Non-AAC Workplace Corpus (ANAWC) ( Pickering & Bruce, 2009 ). The corpus is the first resource of its kind that makes it possible to systematically study the typical language patterns of both AAC users and comparable non-AAC users in the workplace. We discus...
Article
This study investigated the effects of Facebook and Twitter on foreign language (Chinese) learners’ written production in both short- (10 days) and long-term (50 days) pseudo-experimental settings. Adopting two concepts (i.e. symmetric vs. asymmetric) from matrix theory in social network analysis, we categorized Facebook as a symmetric social netwo...
Chapter
A key aspect of classroom interaction is the way teachers and students use evaluative language to express doubts, opinions, and judgment to establish meaning and to negotiate interpersonal relations. Through the use of evaluative language, particularly hedges and boosters, teachers and students are able to modify their assertions and indicate their...
Chapter
Research on spoken classroom discourse has a comparatively long tradition in linguistics, applied linguistics, and education in general. This, of course, is due to the fact that communication is central to educational contexts. It is through language that teachers conduct their work and students display what they have acquired. Language use in L2/f...
Chapter
While the preceding chapter looked at general semantic themes in the L2 Experience Interview Corpus, the present chapter turns to the psychological (learner-internal) and social (learner-external) themes in learner interviews. Specifically, we want to know how 22 psychosocial categories within the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program (LIWC; Pe...
Chapter
Chapters 11 and 12 have demonstrated the need for a corpus-based approach to further understand spoken learner-learner (peer response) interactions, and described one way of addressing this need: the L2PR corpus. We have also explored the results of a qualitative analysis of social dynamics in the corpus, and considered the relationship between the...
Chapter
In Chap. 5, we examined person deixis in the form of first and second person pronouns. In this chapter, we concentrate on spatial deixis, a highly common feature in face-to-face interactions but one that is under-researched in classroom settings. Specifically, we explore the use of demonstratives and adverbs of locations in the L2CD-S and L2CD-T, a...
Chapter
This chapter lists and briefly discusses seminal and recently collected corpora of spoken academic discourse and learner oral language (in English). We also provide descriptions of the texts and types of student oral language in these collections and some examples of corpus-based studies that utilize the same. Most are publicly available (e.g., MIC...
Chapter
As second language (L2) corpus studies expand into their third decade, innovations in computational technology and corpus creation have facilitated unprecedented access to authentic language in the classroom, including among non-native speakers (NNSs) of English. NNS writing across various written contexts (e.g., school essays, standardized tests/p...
Chapter
This chapter explores the social dynamics of peer conversations in the L2PR Corpus (Roberson 2015) using Storch’s (2002) patterns of interaction framework to understand how learners share control over the direction of the task, and how they engage with each other’s feedback on writing. We first provide a description of the data sources used in the...
Chapter
This book explored learner oral production in university-level ESL (and specifically, EAP) classrooms in the USA from a corpus-based approach, utilizing specialized corpora of learner talk. We described and interpreted the structure of learner (and teacher) spoken language in the classroom, language experience interviews, and peer response/feedback...
Chapter
Personal pronouns are important markers of teacher-student relationships, as they permit both parties to locate themselves and each other in the varying conversational spaces in classroom settings. They also serve as critical indicators of degrees of personal involvement and interaction in the classroom. While a growing number of studies have exami...
Chapter
In contrast to the previous two chapters, which analyzed the themes and dimensions horizontally across the entire L2 Experience Interview Corpus, this chapter vertically analyzes and compares the psychosocial traits of each interview participant. We apply the methodological advantages offered by semantic content analysis and the L2 Experience Inter...
Chapter
The guiding question behind this section is straightforward: what can we learn about the L2 learning experience by asking L2 learners to discuss their own L2 learning? In order to answer this question, we use specialized software to analyze the semantic content of L2 learner talk as advanced English learners reflect on their learning experience in...
Chapter
This chapter addresses two research questions. First, what semantic clusters are identifiable in the L2 Experience Interview Corpus (Polat 2013a), and second, what can these clusters tell us about the participants’ L2 learning experience? Starting with our transcribed sentences (called “elementary contexts”) as the basic unit of analysis, the T-Lab...
Chapter
In the next three chapters (Part IV, Chaps. 11, 12, and 13), we examine spoken learner language by exploring the patterns of social interaction in a corpus of university-level ESL students’ spoken feedback to each other about their writing in a first-year composition course, as well as by triangulating corpus findings with student writing and stude...
Book
Full-text available
This book presents a corpus-based study of spoken learner language produced by university-level ESL students in the classroom. Using contemporary theories as a guide and employing cutting-edge corpus analysis tools and methods, the authors analyse a variety of learner speech to offer many new insights into the nature and characteristics of the spok...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the linguistic characteristics of English research article (RA) abstracts published in the United States (U.S.) and those published in Iraq, written by Iraqi authors. Because of their brevity, well-established purpose, and explicit format requirements, RA abstracts are ideal for genre-based studies (Hyland, 2004; Swales & Feak,...
Article
EAP professionals often desire to better understand writing in the disciplines (WID) to inform their pedagogical materials and practices. While genre analysis has increased our understanding of academic writing, quantitative, corpus-based approaches can supplement the area (Biber, Connor, & Upton, 2007). To that end, a multi-dimensional (MD) analys...
Chapter
This chapter is an application of a corpus-based, multidimensional approach to discourse analysis pioneered by Biber (Variation across speech and writing, 1988; Dimensions of register variation: A cross-linguistic perspective, 1995; University language: A corpus-based study of spoken and written registers, 2006) to examine linguistic co-occurrence...
Chapter
This study analyzes a corpus of call center interactions between Filipino call center agents and American callers engaged in a range of communicative tasks during a typical workday. Our primary focus is to contribute to the knowledge base surrounding miscommunication in intercultural interactions in Filipino–American customer service calls. Specifi...
Article
One important validity question with regard to writing assessment is the degree to which performance on a timed writing test can predict performance on future academic writing. Recent developments in corpus linguistics have allowed scholars to describe in detail the linguistic features of a variety of academic texts, including genres of disciplinar...
Article
In this paper, we explore the application of corpus-based multi-dimensional analysis (MDA) pioneered by Biber (1988, 1995, 2006) in understanding microscopic linguistic variation in an L2 writing corpus. The primary goals of our study are: (1) to identify the functional dimensions of L2 academic essays from the corpus collected for this special iss...
Article
This study explored multiple profiles of highly rated learner compositions following the model proposed by Jarvis et al. (2003). The composition of multiple profiles focused on the co-occurrence of linguistic features identified by Cluster Analysis and functionally interpreted across essays written by native speakers (NS) and non-native speakers (N...
Article
Because of the increasing need to trim customer service business expenses, many companies from the USA have outsourced telephone-based customer service operations to Asian countries, such as India and the Philippines. Available human resources and relatively cheap labor have been the incentives for US companies to move their customer service operat...
Article
This exploratory study investigates the use of corpora to develop the research report writing skills of college-level students enrolled in a professional forestry program. Specifically, the study identifies the contribution of a concordance program in highlighting the characteristics of effective writing in the field of forestry by focusing on a se...
Article
This study examines linguistic co-occurrence patterns in the discourse of individuals with communication impairments who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices in the workplace by comparing them to those of non-AAC users in similar job settings. A typical workweek (≈ 40 hours) per focal participant (four AAC; four non-AAC) was...
Article
This case study discusses the development and use of an oral performance assessment instrument intended to evaluate Filipino agents’ customer service transactions with callers from the United States (US). The design and applications of the instrument were based on a longitudinal, qualitative observation of language training and customer service sup...
Article
This paper investigates cross‐cultural and cross‐register variation from four corpora of internet blogs and online opinion columns written in English by Filipino and American authors. A multi‐dimensional analysis following established linguistic dimensions from Grieve, Biber, Friginal, and Nekrasova was used to compare the relative distribution of...
Article
This study explores the discourse of outsourced call centres involving Filipino call-takers (or "agents") and American customers engaged in various types of technical and service support transactions. The specific goals of this study are to establish the patterning of linguistic features in call centre discourse and to examine how the speakers use...
Chapter
A blog, short for a weblog, is a website containing an archive of regularly updated online postings. The postings are generally made by one person and presented in reverse chronological order. The archive is generally made freely available to the public. The postings tend to consist primarily of raw text, but may also contain hyperlinks and other m...
Article
This study overviews current threats to the sustainability of the outsourced call center industry in the Philippines and discusses implications for macro and micro language policies given the use of English in this cross-cultural interactional context. This study also summarizes the present state of outsourced call centers in the Philippines, and d...
Article
This study explores linguistic variation in outsourced call centers involving Filipino call-takers and American callers engaged in various types of customer service transactions. The specific goals of this study are: 1) to establish the statistical co-occurrence of linguistic features in outsourced call center discourse; and 2) to examine how the s...
Article
Full-text available
In 2005 faculty in the Northern Arizona University School of Forestry initiated a project to replace the required sophomore-level writing course taught by the English Department with a new course, “Writing in Forestry,” taught within the School. The goal of the course replacement was to improve students’ experience and competence with the types of...
Article
  The influx of outsourced call centers from the United States to the Philippines since the late 1990s has paved the way for the creation of thousands of jobs for Filipino professionals who are able to communicate in English and provide telephone-based customer services to American customers. The Philippines has become one of the major centers for...

Citations

... McNair et al. (2020) pushed personalized learning resources to students through digital textbooks, which effectively solved the solidification of learning content and rigid learning pace in a collaborative learning environment. They combined students' early ability evaluation and learning process trajectory to design three push strategies: the teacher-guided recommendation of personalized learning resources, the automatic system recommendation, and the individual student customization [20]. Zhou et al. (2018) clustered students and trained a Long Short-Term Memory model to predict students' learning paths and performances [21]. ...
... Since the late 1990s, businesses in English-speaking Western countries have increasingly outsourced their telephone-based customer service hubs to foreign locations, including India and the Philippines. Customer service agents working in these outsourced call centers use English to perform various tasks, including answering product enquiries, resolving administrative issues, and providing technical support for products and services in the retail, financial, and information technology industries (Forey & Lockwood, 2010;Friginal, 2009;Krishnamurthy, 2018). Because the spoken English proficiency of customer service agents is considered the "core commodity for business success" (Lockwood, 2015, p. 1), agents' performance has been investigated with respect to various characteristics of their speech, such as discourse markers and pragmatic routines (e.g., Friginal & Cullom, 2014;Hood & Forey, 2008), and their job performance, measured through performance reviews (e.g., Friginal, 2007) or breakdowns in communication (e.g., Forey & Lockwood, 2007). ...
... L1 expositions, in general, are found to be more cohesive than narrations (Hoey, 1991) and persuasions (Berzlánovich and Redeker, 2012). Similarly, in L2 research, texts that are more expository tend to rely more on the use of lexical devices for creating continuity (Guo et al., 2013;Llosa et al., 2020). Studies that compare the linguistic and discourse features of TOEFL-iBT writing show that integrated essays that connect writing with reading and listening are not only more formal but also more cohesive than independent essays (Guo et al., 2013;Riazi, 2016;Kim and Crossley, 2018). ...
... RQ2: What are the metadiscursive functions of discourse markers as they relate to the management of change of discourse topic? This paper is based on data gathered from the Small Talk at Work corpus (STW, Di Ferrante, 2013), which is a 50,000-word sub-corpus culled from the AAC and Non AAC Workplace Corpus (ANAWC, Pickering & Bruce, 2009;Pickering et al., 2019). The corpus consists of spoken American English discourse, comprising only non task-oriented workplace interactions among over 200 coworkers. ...
... Hence, in this exploratory study, our departing research questions are kept at a very general (humble, as stated earlier) level and may be phrased in the following manner: To answer these questions, drawing mainly on Biber (1988 ) and reviews by Brezina (2018 ) and Friginal and Hardy (2019 ), we focus on the interpretative aspect of Biber's framework and proceed with an analysis involving a comparison to Biber's (1988 ) MDA results. In future research, we intend to conduct a full quantitative and qualitative study and pursue a full MDA of our corpora. ...
... Li and Stone (2018) on the other hand, in their investigation of the centrality and motivation of 95 eighth-grade students, found that centrality of the learner in the network significantly correlated with higher academic motivation. Other researchers have utilized SNA to explore language contact with native speakers (Alzughaibi & Alamrani, 2016), social interaction while studying abroad (Isabelli-Garc ıa, 2006), the effects of online social networks on second language communication (Paul & Friginal, 2019), and English for Academic Purposes students' willingness to communicate in an L2 (Gallagher & Robins, 2015). ...
... As its definition, distal means far from the participant, and proximal refers to a near deictic expression used from the participant (Grundy, 2008). Nevertheless, the findings are different from the study conducted by Friginal, Lee, Polat, & Roberson (2017), who found more various place deixis, for example, not only the use of 'that' and 'this', but they also found the other deictic words, such as 'here' and 'there' in the classroom setting. Despite the different results, the present study also follows their study in terms of the quantity between proximal and distal deixis, that is, proximal deixis was found to be more than the distal deixis (pp. ...
... The current finding contrasts with Plaza and Álvarez (2013) who realized that SS used more you than HS employed. The difference in the findings in the two studies can be attributed to the fact that the corpora for the two studies are from L1 and L2 lecturers, a factor which has been found to be responsible for differences in personal pronouns use in lectures (Friginal et al. 2017;Rounds, 1987a & b). ...
... Table 1 explains the patterns of interaction mentioned. Past literature mostly agreed with the model indicating that the collaborative and expert/novice patterns of interaction provided the students from different parts of the world (e.g., China, Thailand, New York and Indonesia) with a positive language learning process thus improving their writing skills (Zheng, 2012;Friginal et al., 2017;Chen, 2018;Kuyyogsuy, 2019). Zheng (2012) however discovered an additional pattern which is the passive/passive pattern where both of the students were unable to contribute any input in the peer feedback session which resulted in the lack of improvements in their writing performance. ...
... While the current literature has provided sufficient rationale and ample suggestions for teachers to establish and maintain their social presence in the classroom, the linguistic resources that they used are relatively unexplored. A corpus-based approach enables this study to empirically analyse actual patterns of language use in the online classroom context and further interpret such data both quantitatively and qualitatively (Friginal et al., 2017). This study, therefore, aims to bridge the gap between theory in instructional design and practice by providing a corpus-based analysis of the language lecturers use in synchronous online lessons to establish social presence. ...