EDITORIAL WELCOME FOR VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1 (APRIL 2008)

Welcome to Volume 2, Issue 1 of Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language). Following the success of the first two issues, this issue again includes a wide array of articles that will be conducive to the development of ideas and new conceptions within the broad area of applied linguistics. As Lorimer & Lindsay (2003) put it, “the online environment restructures access to research, bridging it to the desktops of users rather than confining it to the upper reaches of a vast building at some distance from one’s home or office, where one might, or might not, find the volume, issue and article for which one is searching” (p. 41). En route to contributing to the enlightenment of international academic community by making scientific information easily accessible and free of charge, Novitas-ROYAL has taken important steps in order to become one of the prestigious online journals in its area.

This is not merely my personal opinion, but is a reasonable belief that was supported by the reviewers of Linguistics Abstracts (Blackwell Publishing), who indexed Novitas-ROYAL in April, 2008. Novitas-ROYAL is now indexed in this prestigious database, in addition to being indexed in Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Index Copernicus, Directory of Open Access Journals, New Jour, Journal Seek, Academic Index, and WorldCat. Therefore, the credit should go to our editors Dr. Arıkan, Dr. Bernat and Dr. Saraç-Süzer; to our international editorial and advisory board; to the authors of articles published in our journal; and most importantly to our readers and potential contributors without whom such a journal would not mean anything. This community-supported journal is now turning out to be a community-supporting one, as Novitas-ROYAL is sponsoring The 3rd Newcastle Postgraduate Conference in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics that will be held on 9th July 2008 in the Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University, UK. Please visit the official website of the conference for further information: http://conferences.ncl.ac.uk/pglinguistics/2008/index.php.
 
Given that postgraduate students sine qua non are the prospective pioneers of scientific development, the editors of Novitas-ROYAL believe that contributing to such conferences is a necessity concerning the long term goals of the journal. Nevertheless, it is an enormous step forward to achieve this in our very first year, especially in a conference the co-supporter of which is CRILLS (Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences), which is referred to as one of the largest teams of linguists across Europe. Knowing that guest speakers of the conference are Prof. Andrew Radford and Prof. Mike Sharwood-Smith, sponsoring such a well-credited international organisation is an obvious indication of how Novitas-ROYAL has become a community-supporting academic journal.

A further testament to the quality of our journal is our co-operation with Cambridge University Press, who have recently come on board to work with us in disseminating information on their most recent publications. In this issue, we announce a new Review Section, where a list of some of the most recent CUP publications is found. We call on all who wish to review one of the listed publications to fill out our online form. We aim to publish book reviews in each upcoming issue.

Numbers sometimes tell more than words. Our website has been visited more than 80,000 times by our readers and contributors. According to the web statistics, the countries of the visitors range from Germany, Australia, United States, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Singapore, among many others. The figures indicate that our journal has been visited most frequently by readers from Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany respectively. This means that one of our most important goals, namely, gaining international recognition has come through. This could never be possible, as I mentioned before, without support from our readers, editorial and advisory board, and of course from the authors, who kept on contributing to the so called ‘Information Age’ with their thought provoking articles.

The current issue includes a wide array of articles covering different topics. Bezci discusses Jerome David Salinger’s short story “Franny” from an Eriksonian viewpoint. He tackles the general perception of Salinger critics and discusses that Franny is not an adolescent to look up to when approached with Erikson’s theories on adolescence and identity formation.

In his thought provoking and enjoyable study, Caldwell describes interpersonal meanings expressed in the lyrics of political rap and gangsta rap following a Systemic Functional Linguistic perspective. He hypothesizes why it is that a white, suburban, middle-class youth audience seeks to affiliate with gangsta rap rather than political rap.

A Functional Systemic Linguistic framework is also applied by Iddings, who examines how writing differs in both English departments and Biochemistry departments in realization at the lexico-grammatical level. Using various methodological tools, he discusses the implications of current strategies of teaching basic writing composition for academic purposes.

Considering that Web 2.0 applications are conducive to second/foreign language development in general, Franco specifically refers to peer-correction through wikis as a creative way of enabling learners to profit from writing. Analyzing data by means of qualitative and quantitative methods, the findings reveal that an increasing interest in belonging to an online community emerges from students altogether with a high degree of motivation. It is found out that learners developed their social skills in that they cooperated instead of competing.

In his article, Elyas investigates the impact of 9/11 on the educational system in Saudi Arabia. The paper presents how this phenomenon influenced the English language teaching system and discusses the general impact of 9/11 on Saudi society. The discussions are built upon a quantitative analysis of data gathered from 65 students studying English at university. The findings, as the author claims, may shed some light on how the Saudi youth feel towards western ideology, learning English and the western culture.

In their study on the role of given information on the speed of the comprehension of context and non-context based information, Ketabi and Ketabi reveal the significant role of given information on comprehension at sentential level. While analyzing data gathered from 80 students, they measure the taken time for comprehending the sentences. Lastly, in his thought provoking article, Paradowski discusses how native speaker norms are losing in English both in relevance and in reverence. The immediate consequences of the phenomenon are discussed for the language classroom.

As these very short summaries of the articles may indicate, the papers published in this issue are of interest to readers from various disciplines. We thank all the contributors who have submitted their articles to Novitas-ROYAL. We look forward to our meeting again in October 2008. We would be glad to receive your comments and suggestions.

Sincerely,

Olcay SERT
Associate Editor

Newcastle University , Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

References:

Lorimer, R. & Lindsay, A. (2003). Online Publishing and Canadian Social Science and Humanities Journals: Financial and Publishing Survey and the SYNERGIES Project. Canadian Journal of Communication, 28 (5), 1-44.