Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Introducing English Linguistics Review

Book Cover

Information about the book

AUTHOR:  Charles F. Meyer
TITLE: Introducing English Linguistics
SERIES: Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics
PUBLISHER: Cambridge University Press
YEAR: 2009

Pages: 271 page


Charles F. Meyers is a professor at Massachusetts University where he teaches Linguistics to students aspiring to teach English as a second language. The book is designed for first year students, per se, so as to give them a strong introductory about Linguistics and therefore serves as a guideline for them and also as a course book for teachers. For beginners, it is a perfect first to-start-with with  the author aiming to convey most of the basic notions related to Linguistics that students need to know. The book is also designed as self-study work with the activities that are introduced by the end of each chapter. These activities are instrumental for students to check their understanding and grasp of the topic. The book even goes further by offering further reading at the end of each chapter for those who want to go deeper and find more information; however, I think that the author digressed in offering these suggested extensive reading which will likely to leave the reader, especially the beginner, perplexed on what reading needs more attention. It would have been better if the author has provided some required reading at the beginning including articles, online videos, etc to increase the chance of reading them by students. Having said that, the book won’t be too much beneficial for students who are already familiar with basic terms of Linguistics and they may find the book a bit simplistic in its structure except for some of the activities that they may enjoy while practicing their knowledge.

The book is organized in top-bottom approach by going from the largest unit of language to the smallest units one. In other words, the book started by giving an overview of the history and development of English, then moved the social context which is more or less related to Pragmatics, then moved to the topic of text in English. After that, the book delved into the syntax of English, and he went down the road to the words by looking at them with the lenses of morphology and ended it by looking at the smallest sound unit in the language, namely phoneme.
The book is not intended to raise questions that are discussed in the realm of Linguistics but only gives an account of what was or is being said in Linguistics and therefore, it is hardly to describe it as an attempt to ask new questions be it theoretically or empirically.

To download the full summary you can visit my Academia page here

About the Reviewer:

Mehdi ZOUAOUI is an Education and E-learning  Consultant with an ELT background and passion for Linguistics as well as Literature. He’s an evangelist for Non Formal Education and alternative approaches to schooling and deschooling. He has completed more than 40 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) from prestigious universities and the counter is still going on. He has co-authored two books related to Turkish and Arabic language learning.

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