Cook, Vivian, Ed.
This collection of papers treats second language users in their own right rather than as failed native speakers, reflecting a new shift within the field of second language acquisition research. The 13 papers are: (1) "Background to the L2 User" (Vivian Cook); (2) "Lexical Representation and Lexical Processing in the L2 User" (Anette de Groot); (3)…
This study investigated the relationship of first language (L1) grammatical knowledge to English second language reading (ESLR), with the objective of understanding this relationship in the context of the transfer of L1 skills to second language (L2) academic processes. Fifty-five adult, native Spanish-speaking English-language learners were given…
Rodriguez, Astrid Sussette
Developing literacy and language proficiency in English is essential to thrive in school and in the workforce in American society. Research on cross-linguistic influences on text-level skills is scant, especially studies investigating reading comprehension among language-minority adults. The present study investigated the effects of…
Focuses on the relationship between languages and selves in adult bicultural bilinguals who learned their second language (L2) post puberty and became writers and scholars in this language. Autobiographic narratives are used to identify and examine subsequent stages of L2 learning. (Author/VWL)
Trofimovich, Pavel; Baker, Wendy
This study examines effects of short, medium, and extended second language (L2) experience (3 months, 3 years, and 10 years of United States residence, respectively) on the production of five suprasegmentals (stress timing, peak alignment, speech rate, pause frequency, and pause duration) in six English declarative sentences by 30 adult Korean…
O'Brien, Irena; Segalowitz, Norman; Freed, Barbara; Collentine, Joe
This study investigated the relationship between phonological memory and second language (L2) fluency gains in native English-speaking adults learning Spanish in two learning contexts: at their home university or abroad in an immersion context. Phonological memory (operationalized as serial nonword recognition) and Spanish oral fluency…
For immigrants, the acquisition of language, specifically the ability to communicate effectively, is one prerequisite of full integration into the host society. For an adult immigrant second language (L2) learner in Canada, access to opportunities that may enhance communicative ability are often limited to the ESL classroom. However, while…
Hummel, Kirsten M.
This study explores the relationship between aptitude, phonological memory (PM), and second language (L2) proficiency in nonnovice adult learners of English as an L2. Native speakers of French (N = 77) enrolled in a university Teaching English as a Second Language program were the participants in the study. Exploratory factor analysis revealed…
Hall, Joan Kelly; Hellermann, John; Doehler, Simona Pekarek
Drawing on data from a range of contexts, including classrooms, pharmacy consultations, tutoring sessions, and video-game playing, and a range of languages including English, German, French, Danish and Icelandic, the studies in this volume address challenges suggested by these questions: What kinds of interactional resources do L2 users draw on to…
A number of asymmetries in lexical memory emerge when monolinguals and early bilinguals are compared to (relatively) late second language (L2) learners. Their study promises to provide insight into the internal processes that both support and ultimately limit L2 learner achievement. Generally, theory building in L2 and bilingual lexical memory has…
Research into language acquisition and oral language use was examined in order to identify key factors that contribute to the successful acquisition of second language (L2) listening ability. The factors were grouped into three major domains: affective, cognitive, and interpersonal. It is claimed that in each domain, proficient L2 listeners have…
This study compares the linguistic knowledge of adult second language (L2) learners, who learned the L2 after puberty, with the potentially "eroded" first language (L1) grammars of adult early bilinguals who were exposed to the target language since birth and learned the other language simultaneously, or early in childhood (before age 5). I make…
Severino, Carol; Deifell, Elizabeth
Writing center tutors play a key role in advancing L2 writers' language learning because the tutorial interaction involves the introduction of new language and vocabulary at the point of need or interest. This tutor-research case study presents a detailed, complex portrait of how a second language writer in a US writing center learned and used…
Zyzik, Eve; Azevedo, Clara
Although the problem of word class has been explored in numerous first language studies, relatively little is known about this process in SLA. The present study measures second language (L2) learners' knowledge of word class distinctions (e.g., noun vs. adjective) in a variety of syntactic contexts. English-speaking learners of Spanish from…
The sociocultural perspective of second language teacher education (L2TE) (e.g., Johnson, 2009), unlike the traditional one, values the importance of teacher development through actual teaching practice. Student teachers' (STs) initial beliefs should be challenged and reconstructed by taking into account particular teaching contexts. This…
Cho, Jacee; Slabakova, Roumyana
This article investigates the second language (L2) acquisition of two expressions of the semantic feature [definite] in Russian, a language without articles, by English and Korean native speakers. Within the Feature Reassembly approach (Lardiere, 2009), Slabakova (2009) has argued that reassembling features that are represented overtly in the…
Characteristics of English for Academic Purposes students' second language (L2) motivation were examined by identifying underlying motivational factors. Using the motivation constructs created by first language reading researchers, a survey was developed and administered to 2,018 students from 53 English language programs in the U.S. Survey…
van Leussen, Jan-Willem; Escudero, Paola
We present a test of a revised version of the Second Language Linguistic Perception (L2LP) model, a computational model of the acquisition of second language (L2) speech perception and recognition. The model draws on phonetic, phonological, and psycholinguistic constructs to explain a number of L2 learning scenarios. However, a recent computational implementation failed to validate a theoretical proposal for a learning scenario where the L2 has less phonemic categories than the native language (L1) along a given acoustic continuum. According to the L2LP, learners faced with this learning scenario must not only shift their old L1 phoneme boundaries but also reduce the number of categories employed in perception. Our proposed revision to L2LP successfully accounts for this updating in the number of perceptual categories as a process driven by the meaning of lexical items, rather than by the learners' awareness of the number and type of phonemes that are relevant in their new language, as the previous version of L2LP assumed. Results of our simulations show that meaning-driven learning correctly predicts the developmental path of L2 phoneme perception seen in empirical studies. Additionally, and to contribute to a long-standing debate in psycholinguistics, we test two versions of the model, with the stages of phonemic perception and lexical recognition being either sequential or interactive. Both versions succeed in learning to recognize minimal pairs in the new L2, but make diverging predictions on learners' resulting phonological representations. In sum, the proposed revision to the L2LP model contributes to our understanding of L2 acquisition, with implications for speech processing in general. PMID:26300792
Hu, Xiaochen; Ackermann, Hermann; Martin, Jason A; Erb, Michael; Winkler, Susanne; Reiterer, Susanne M
Individual differences in second language (L2) aptitude have been assumed to depend upon a variety of cognitive and personality factors. Especially, the cognitive factor phonological working memory has been conceptualised as language learning device. However, strong associations between phonological working memory and L2 aptitude have been previously found in early-stage learners only, not in advanced learners. The current study aimed at investigating the behavioural and neurobiological predictors of advanced L2 learning. Our behavioural results showed that phonetic coding ability and empathy, but not phonological working memory, predict L2 pronunciation aptitude in advanced learners. Second, functional neuroimaging revealed this behavioural trait to be correlated with hemodynamic responses of the cerebral network of speech motor control and auditory-perceptual areas. We suggest that the acquisition of L2 pronunciation aptitude is a dynamic process, requiring a variety of neural resources at different processing stages over time. PMID:23273501
California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.
This handbook is designed to assist classroom teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) in meeting the needs of their adult students. The handbook is intended for use in a variety of settings and with a variety of teaching styles. The first chapter discusses adult learners' characteristics and the factors affecting their learning. The second…
Selman, Mary; And Others
To help improve English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for adult learners, this curriculum guide provides informative materials for the teacher and 30 sections of lessons suitable for adaptation by the teacher. Teacher information includes materials on language teaching and learning, use of the guide, needs assessment, adapting lesson plans,…
Perdue, Clive, Ed.
The field manual for a series of coordinated studies of the spontaneous acquisition of a second language by adult immigrant workers provides a theoretical and practical framework for the entire project and a source of information about it for other researchers. Chapters 1 and 2 describe the project's objectives and organization. Chapter 3 reviews…
Trevise, Anne; Porquier, Remy
Illustrates some of the problems of second language (French) acquisition by adult Spanish-speaking immigrants in a natural setting through analysis of the European Project data (Perdue, 1982) in three areas: acquisition and use of the over-generalized marker "c'est"; acquisition of reference to time; and acquisition of reference to space.…
This study, a partial replication of Bruhn de Garavito (1999a; 1999b), investigates the second language (L2) acquisition of Spanish reflexive passives and reflexive impersonals by French- and English-speaking adults at an advanced level of proficiency. The L2 acquisition of Spanish reflexive passives and reflexive impersonals by native French and…
Shum, Kathy Kar-man; Ho, Connie Suk-Han; Siegel, Linda S.; Au, Terry Kit-fong
Can young students' early reading abilities in their first language (L1) predict later literacy development in a second language (L2)? The cross-language relationships between Chinese (L1) and English (L2) among 87 Hong Kong students were explored in a longitudinal study. Chinese word-reading fluency, Chinese rapid digit naming, and Chinese rhyme…
Language proficiency is a crucial factor for immigrants to integrate successfully in the new society in all aspects of life, especially in the labor market. As a result, there is great importance in acquiring the new language as quickly and effectively as possible. Several factors affect second language acquisition, including motivation, age,…
Chai, Xiaoqian J; Berken, Jonathan A; Barbeau, Elise B; Soles, Jennika; Callahan, Megan; Chen, Jen-Kai; Klein, Denise
There is considerable variability in an individual's ability to acquire a second language (L2) during adulthood. Using resting-state fMRI data acquired before training in English speakers who underwent a 12 week intensive French immersion training course, we investigated whether individual differences in intrinsic resting-state functional connectivity relate to a person's ability to acquire an L2. We focused on two key aspects of language processing--lexical retrieval in spontaneous speech and reading speed--and computed whole-brain functional connectivity from two regions of interest in the language network, namely the left anterior insula/frontal operculum (AI/FO) and the visual word form area (VWFA). Connectivity between the left AI/FO and left posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) and between the left AI/FO and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex correlated positively with improvement in L2 lexical retrieval in spontaneous speech. Connectivity between the VWFA and left mid-STG correlated positively with improvement in L2 reading speed. These findings are consistent with the different language functions subserved by subcomponents of the language network and suggest that the human capacity to learn an L2 can be predicted by an individual's intrinsic functional connectivity within the language network. Significance statement: There is considerable variability in second-language learning abilities during adulthood. We investigated whether individual differences in intrinsic functional connectivity in the adult brain relate to success in second-language learning, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in English speakers who underwent a 12 week intensive French immersion training course. We found that pretraining functional connectivity within two different language subnetworks correlated strongly with learning outcome in two different language skills: lexical retrieval in spontaneous speech and reading speed. Our results suggest that the human
Elgort, Irina; Perfetti, Charles A.; Rickles, Ben; Stafura, Joseph Z.
New word learning occurs incidentally through exposure to language. Hypothesizing that effectiveness of contextual word learning in a second language (L2) depends on the quality of existing lexical semantic knowledge, we tested more and less proficient adult bilinguals in an incidental word learning task. One day after being exposed to rare words in an L2 (English) reading task, the bilinguals read sentences with the newly-learned words in the sentence-final position, followed by related or unrelated meaning probes. Both proficiency groups showed some learning through faster responses on related trials and a frontal N400 effect observed during probe word reading. However, word learning was more robust for the higher-proficiency group, who showed a larger semantic relatedness effect in unfamiliar contexts and a canonical N400 (central-parietal). The results suggest that the ability to learn the meanings of new words from context depends on the L2 lexical semantic knowledge of the reader. PMID:25984550
Alemán Bañón, José; Fiorentino, Robert; Gabriele, Alison
Different theoretical accounts of second language (L2) acquisition differ with respect to whether or not advanced learners are predicted to show native-like processing for features not instantiated in the native language (L1). We examined how native speakers of English, a language with number but not gender agreement, process number and gender…
Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2007
These English as a Second Language (ESL) Content Standards were developed to accommodate the local conditions Pennsylvania's ESL students and teachers face across the state and to align state standards with the National Reporting System Educational Functioning Levels. The standards are designed as a teaching tool in the development of…
Charles, Stephen Walkie
Dynamic Assessment is a new theoretical framework for language assessment, and it is particularly relevant for underrepresented languages and learners. For this study the process is investigated in the context of Yugtun second language learners at a university level. This qualitative teacher action research was a study that involved seven…
Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona
We investigated the perception of developmental changes in timing patterns that happen in the course of second language (L2) acquisition, provided that the native and the target languages of the learner are rhythmically similar (German and English). It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses. This development is captured by the tempo-normalized rhythm measures of durational variability. Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate. However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm. PMID:25859228
Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona
We investigated the perception of developmental changes in timing patterns that happen in the course of second language (L2) acquisition, provided that the native and the target languages of the learner are rhythmically similar (German and English). It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses. This development is captured by the tempo-normalized rhythm measures of durational variability. Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate. However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm. PMID:25859228
Carlo, Maria S.; Sylvester, Ellen Skilton
Research studies on how adults learn and develop second-language reading competence were considered in the context of a componential theory of reading. In particular, C. A. Perfetti's Verbal Efficiency Theory (VET) was used as a framework in which to organize and evaluate the studies' contribution to the field of second-language reading. The…
Chan, Alice Y. W.
This article reports on the results of a research study that investigated Cantonese English as a second language (ESL) learners' perception of English speech sounds, their perceived relations between "similar" English and Cantonese sounds, as well as the applicability of the claims of the Speech Learning Model (SLM) to second language (L2)…
It has been argued that the expectations of traditional L2 writing classroom can be problematic for Chinese students, particularly in the area of argumentation and critical thinking. On the other hand, writing on the Internet has been shown to be substantially different in ways that may liberate the students from the constraints of the classroom.…
This article seeks to apply the informal learning theory of guided participation to the formal primary L2 classroom. Utilising the concept of guided participation, in which the process of learning is defined as a collaborative interaction between expert and novice leading to a transformation of participation in community activity, the author…
This study explores the pragmatic awareness of instructed L2 learners of Greek (economic migrants) by examining the extent to which these learners display differences in their recognition and rating of pragmatic and grammatical violations. Methodologically, the study is largely based on the Bardovi-Harlig & Dornyei (1998) study on pragmatic…
This article presents a bilingual teaching strategy based on Noam Chomsky's universalist hypothesis, which emphasizes the "universal" aspects of human language. The strategy focuses on the matching process that all learners carry out between the first (L1) and second (L2) language, as well as the differences between L1 and L2. (58 references) (MDM)
Dudschig, Carolin; de la Vega, Irmgard; Kaup, Barbara
Converging evidence suggests that understanding our first-language (L1) results in reactivation of experiential sensorimotor traces in the brain. Surprisingly, little is known regarding the involvement of these processes during second-language (L2) processing. Participants saw L1 or L2 words referring to entities with a typical location (e.g., star, mole) (Experiment 1 & 2) or to an emotion (e.g., happy, sad) (Experiment 3). Participants responded to the words' ink color with an upward or downward arm movement. Despite word meaning being fully task-irrelevant, L2 automatically activated motor responses similar to L1 even when L2 was acquired rather late in life (age >11). Specifically, words such as star facilitated upward, and words such as root facilitated downward responses. Additionally, words referring to positive emotions facilitated upward, and words referring to negative emotions facilitated downward responses. In summary our study suggests that reactivation of experiential traces is not limited to L1 processing. PMID:24681402
The effects of language transfer have been amply documented in second language (L2) acquisition and, to a lesser extent, in the language contact/loss literature (Cook, 2003). In both cases, the stronger and often dominant language encroaches into the structure of the less dominant language in systematic ways. But are transfer effects in these two…
In order to identify the causes of inflectional variability in adult second-language (L2) acquisition, this study investigates lexical and syntactic aspects of gender processing in real-time L2 production and comprehension. Twenty advanced to near-native adult first language (L1) English speakers of L2 German and 20 native controls were tested in…
Smith, Jennifer J.
The use of closed-caption television (CCTV) to help teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults was studied with a group of adult students in the Arlington, Virginia, Education and Employment Program. Although CCTV is designed for the hearing impaired, its combination of written with spoken English in the visual context of television makes…
This study identified the second language acquisition, culture shock, and language stress of adult Latinas in New York as related to language, culture, and education. Participants were eight adult Latinas, for whom Spanish was the first language, who had come to the United States 10-15 years previously and developed some functioning English as a…
Baker, Wendy; Trofimovich, Pavel; Flege, James E; Mack, Molly; Halter, Randall
This study evaluated whether age effects on second language (L2) speech learning derive from changes in how the native language (L1) and L2 sound systems interact. According to the "interaction hypothesis" (IH), the older the L2 learner, the less likely the learner is able to establish new vowel categories needed for accurate L2 vowel production and perception because, with age, L1 vowel categories become more likely to perceptually encompass neighboring L2 vowels. These IH predictions were evaluated in two experiments involving 64 native Korean- and English-speaking children and adults. Experiment 1 determined, as predicted, that the Korean children were less likely than the Korean adults to perceive L2 vowels as instances of a single L1 vowel category. Experiment 2 showed that the Korean children surpassed the Korean adults in production of certain vowels but equaled them in vowel perception. These findings, which partially support the IH, are discussed in relation to L2 speech learning. PMID:19348154
Bundgaard-Nielsen, Rikke L.; Best, Catherine T.; Kroos, Christian; Tyler, Michael D.
This paper tests the predictions of the vocabulary-tuning model of second language (L2) rephonologization in the domain of L2 segmental production. This model proposes a facilitating effect of adults' L2 vocabulary expansion on L2 perception and production and suggests that early improvements in L2 segmental production may be positively associated…
Serafini, Ellen Johnson
This study examined the second language (L2) development of adult learners of Spanish at three levels of proficiency during and after a semester of instruction. A fundamental goal was to identify cognitive and psychosocial individual differences (IDs) that can explain between-learner variation over time in order to expand our understanding of the…
Schlegel, Alexander A; Rudelson, Justin J; Tse, Peter U
Traditional models hold that the plastic reorganization of brain structures occurs mainly during childhood and adolescence, leaving adults with limited means to learn new knowledge and skills. Research within the last decade has begun to overturn this belief, documenting changes in the brain's gray and white matter as healthy adults learn simple motor and cognitive skills [Lövdén, M., Bodammer, N. C., Kühn, S., Kaufmann, J., Schütze, H., Tempelmann, C., et al. Experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3878-3883, 2010; Taubert, M., Draganski, B., Anwander, A., Müller, K., Horstmann, A., Villringer, A., et al. Dynamic properties of human brain structure: Learning-related changes in cortical areas and associated fiber connections. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 11670-11677, 2010; Scholz, J., Klein, M. C., Behrens, T. E. J., & Johansen-Berg, H. Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 1370-1371, 2009; Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Busch, V., Schuirer, G., Bogdahn, U., & May, A. Changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature, 427, 311-312, 2004]. Although the significance of these changes is not fully understood, they reveal a brain that remains plastic well beyond early developmental periods. Here we investigate the role of adult structural plasticity in the complex, long-term learning process of foreign language acquisition. We collected monthly diffusion tensor imaging scans of 11 English speakers who took a 9-month intensive course in written and spoken Modern Standard Chinese as well as from 16 control participants who did not study a language. We show that white matter reorganizes progressively across multiple sites as adults study a new language. Language learners exhibited progressive changes in white matter tracts associated with traditional left hemisphere language areas and their right hemisphere analogs. Surprisingly, the most significant changes
Gibb, Tara L.
Employing critical discourse analysis (CDA), this paper examines the attempt to bridge a Canadian adult second language policy with an employment skills policy. The result is a third policy intended to improve language education and employment skills training for immigrants. The analysis reveals that the knowledge economy and human capital theory…
Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Yoo, Jeewon; Van Hecke, Stephanie
Purpose: The goal of this research was to examine whether phonological familiarity exerts different effects on novel word learning for familiar versus unfamiliar referents and whether successful word learning is associated with increased second-language experience. Method: Eighty-one adult native English speakers with various levels of Spanish…
Collins, Vickie L., Ed.
This bibliography lists instructional materials for teaching adult learners of English as a Second Language (ESL). The resources listed are print materials made available through the Free Library of Philadelphia's Reader Development Program. All are on or below the eighth grade reading level, as determined with the Gunning Fog readability formula.…
Marinelli, Diane, Ed.
This packet contains four Competency-Based Adult Education/English as a Second Language (ESL) lessons in the health content area designed for beginning level students. Each lesson revolves around one central character who, in the course of the four lessons, successfully performs four life-coping skills: (1) calling for a doctor's appointment, (2)…
Prins, Esther; Toso, Blaire Willson
This article uses interview and questionnaire data to examine how adult English as a second language (ESL) providers in rural Pennsylvania perceive community receptivity toward immigrants and the factors they believe foster or hinder receptivity and immigrants' integration. ESL providers' depictions of local responses to immigrants ranged from…
Bickley, Celeste; Rossiter, Marian J.; Abbott, Marilyn L.
Effective and appropriate communication is critical for the successful integration of newcomers in Canada. In this paper, we describe the intercultural communicative competence beliefs and practices of 70 adult English as a second language (ESL) instructors. Responses to an online survey indicated a strong belief in the value of integrating…
Campbell, Joyce Fowlkes
This collection of techniques used in adult English-as-a-Second-Language instruction consists of practices that complement or supplement regular instruction. These techniques have been contributed by classroom teachers, and are categorized by language proficiency level (beginning, intermediate, and advanced). The activities focus on: vocabulary…
Roberts, Leah; Liszka, Sarah Ann
In this article, we report the results of a self-paced reading experiment designed to investigate the question of whether or not advanced French and German learners of English as a second language (L2) are sensitive to tense/aspect mismatches between a fronted temporal adverbial and the inflected verb that follows (e.g. *"Last week, James has…
White, Erin Jacquelyn; Genesee, Fred; Steinhauer, Karsten
This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2) grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner’s first language (L1) background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese). Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1–L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1) higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2) with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., “grammaticalization”) are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning. PMID:23300641
White, Erin Jacquelyn; Genesee, Fred; Steinhauer, Karsten
This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2) grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner's first language (L1) background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese). Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1-L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1) higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2) with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., "grammaticalization") are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning. PMID:23300641
Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Yoo, Jeewon; Van Hecke, Stephanie
Purpose The goal of this research was to examine whether phonological familiarity exerts different effects on novel word learning for familiar vs. unfamiliar referents, and whether successful word-learning is associated with increased second-language experience. Method Eighty-one adult native English speakers with various levels of Spanish knowledge learned phonologically-familiar novel words (constructed using English sounds) or phonologically-unfamiliar novel words (constructed using non-English and non-Spanish sounds) in association with either familiar or unfamiliar referents. Retention was tested via a forced-choice recognition-task. A median-split procedure identified high-ability and low-ability word-learners in each condition, and the two groups were compared on measures of second-language experience. Results Findings suggest that the ability to accurately match newly-learned novel names to their appropriate referents is facilitated by phonological familiarity only for familiar referents but not for unfamiliar referents. Moreover, more extensive second-language learning experience characterized superior learners primarily in one word-learning condition: Where phonologically-unfamiliar novel words were paired with familiar referents. Conclusions Together, these findings indicate that phonological familiarity facilitates novel word learning only for familiar referents, and that experience with learning a second language may have a specific impact on novel vocabulary learning in adults. PMID:22992709
Jordens, Peter, Ed.; Lalleman, Josine, Ed.
Essays in second language acquisition include: "The State of the Art in Second Language Acquisition Research" (Josine Lalleman); "Crosslinguistic Influence with Special Reference to the Acquisition of Grammar" (Michael Sharwood Smith); "Second Language Acquisition by Adult Immigrants: A Multiple Case Study of Turkish and Moroccan Learners of…
Models of teacher training have tended to emphasize development of competencies in teachers that emphasize cognitive aspects of learning, and minimize affective factors. Second language teacher education has adopted this emphasis on learning as cognitive rather than as a strong interaction of cognitive and affective factors. In fact, affective…
Silliman, Anna, Ed.
These six issues of a periodical intended for teachers and tutors of adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students offer articles and features including the following: readers' comments and questions; in-class map practice ideas; songs for English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) learning; suggested films to show in class; conversation activities;…
Sagarra, Nuria; Ellis, Nick C.
Adult learners have persistent difficulty processing second language (L2) inflectional morphology. We investigate associative learning explanations that involve the blocking of later experienced cues by earlier learned ones in the first language (L1; i.e., transfer) and the L2 (i.e., proficiency). Sagarra (2008) and Ellis and Sagarra (2010b) found…
Schumann, John H.
It is generally accepted that second language (L2) acquisition becomes more difficult as one grows older and that success in adult L2 acquisition is highly variable. Nevertheless, humans in language contact situations have to cope with intergroup communication. This article examines the ways society has responded to this challenge. It describes…
Babcock, Laura; Stowe, John C.; Maloof, Christopher J.; Brovetto, Claudia; Ullman, Michael T.
It remains unclear whether adult-learned second language (L2) depends on similar or different neurocognitive mechanisms as those involved in first language (L1). We examined whether English past tense forms are computed similarly or differently by L1 and L2 English speakers, and what factors might affect this: regularity (regular vs. irregular…
This paper examines the impact of L1/L2 form-meaning differences in the domain of aspect to investigate whether L2 learners are able to acquire properties of the L2 that are different from the L1. Oral data were collected from English- and German-speaking university learners of French L2 (n = 75) at two different levels of proficiency. The results…
Mamiya, Ping C; Richards, Todd L; Coe, Bradley P; Eichler, Evan E; Kuhl, Patricia K
Adult human brains retain the capacity to undergo tissue reorganization during second-language learning. Brain-imaging studies show a relationship between neuroanatomical properties and learning for adults exposed to a second language. However, the role of genetic factors in this relationship has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was twofold: (i) to characterize the relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and second-language immersion using diffusion tensor imaging, and (ii) to determine whether polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affect the relationship. We recruited incoming Chinese students enrolled in the University of Washington and scanned their brains one time. We measured the diffusion properties of the white matter fiber tracts and correlated them with the number of days each student had been in the immersion program at the time of the brain scan. We found that higher numbers of days in the English immersion program correlated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. We show that fractional anisotropy declined once the subjects finished the immersion program. The relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and immersion varied in subjects with different COMT genotypes. Subjects with the Methionine (Met)/Valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes showed higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity during immersion, which reversed immediately after immersion ended, whereas those with the Met/Met genotype did not show these relationships. Statistical modeling revealed that subjects' grades in the language immersion program were best predicted by fractional anisotropy and COMT genotype. PMID:27298360
Mamiya, Ping C.; Richards, Todd L.; Coe, Bradley P.; Eichler, Evan E.; Kuhl, Patricia K.
Adult human brains retain the capacity to undergo tissue reorganization during second-language learning. Brain-imaging studies show a relationship between neuroanatomical properties and learning for adults exposed to a second language. However, the role of genetic factors in this relationship has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was twofold: (i) to characterize the relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and second-language immersion using diffusion tensor imaging, and (ii) to determine whether polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affect the relationship. We recruited incoming Chinese students enrolled in the University of Washington and scanned their brains one time. We measured the diffusion properties of the white matter fiber tracts and correlated them with the number of days each student had been in the immersion program at the time of the brain scan. We found that higher numbers of days in the English immersion program correlated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. We show that fractional anisotropy declined once the subjects finished the immersion program. The relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and immersion varied in subjects with different COMT genotypes. Subjects with the Methionine (Met)/Valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes showed higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity during immersion, which reversed immediately after immersion ended, whereas those with the Met/Met genotype did not show these relationships. Statistical modeling revealed that subjects’ grades in the language immersion program were best predicted by fractional anisotropy and COMT genotype. PMID:27298360
Gruspe, Michael Angelo M.; Marinas, Christian Joshua L.; Villasin, Marren Nicole F.; Villanueva, Ariel Josephe Therese R.; Vizconde, Camilla J.
This research probed into the reading experiences of adult readers in their first language (L1) and second language (L2). Qualitative in nature, the investigation focused on twelve (12) adult readers , six (6) males and six (6) females, whose first language is Filipino. Data were gathered through interviews and focus-group discussions. Based on…
Glass, J. Conrad, Jr.; Denny, James B.
Reviews second-language learning literature concerning factors which may affect adult students. Focuses on cognitive mechanisms, cerebral dominance theories, formal operations, motivation, and second-language teaching and learning. Offers suggestions for community college teaching and programs. (DMM)
Lim, Jung Hyun
The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the processing mechanisms of non-native English speakers at both the sentence level and the morphological level, addressing the issue of whether adult second language (L2) learners qualitatively differ from native speakers in processing linguistic input. Using psycholinguistic on-line techniques…
Clahsen, Harald; Martzoukou, Maria; Stavrakaki, Stavroula
This study reports results from four experiments investigating the perfective past tense of Greek in adult second language (L2) learners. The data come from L2 learners of Greek with intermediate to advanced L2 proficiency and different native language (L1) backgrounds, and L1 speakers of Greek. All participants were tested in both oral and…
This study compared the reading and oral language skills of children who speak English as a first (L1) and second language (L2), and examined whether the strength of the relationship between word reading, oral language, and reading comprehension was invariant (equivalent) across the two groups. The participants included 183 L1 and L2 children…
Since its inception at the turn of the last century, adult education English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in the United States has been entwined with immigration processes and ideas of the nation. In spite of current uncertainty about the overhauling of federal immigration policy, increasingly anti-immigrant laws in states such as…
Robinson, Byrl Elmer
The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of the initial teaching alphabet (ITA) would have a beneficial effect upon English language learning when used with adult Spanish speaking students. The study consisted of five randomly selected English as a Second Language classes in the Los Angeles City Unified School District divided…
Lane, Martha A.
This bibliography contains annotated citations of primarily non-commercial instructional materials for adult literacy education in English as a Second Language (ESL). All are for learners at beginning to intermediate English language skill levels, and were selected for ease of use by volunteers, relevance to an urban area, overall applicability to…
Silliman, Anna, Ed.
These six issues of the periodical offer teachers and tutors practical ideas for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults. The publications include such teaching activities as multilevel crossword puzzles, multilevel dictation, a grammar grab-bag, role play games, an ESL board game, and a newspaper search activity. They also offer…
This mixed method research study explored the role of metacognitive awareness in reading among adult English as a Second Language (ESL) students of various academic levels enrolled in a university in the southeastern part of the United States of America while engaged in academic reading. In addition, this study examined metacognitive reading…
Silliman, Anna, Ed.
The six issues of this newsletter for teachers and tutors of adult English as a second language (ESL) contain articles on classroom teaching techniques and activities, including dictations, presentations, hints for teaching beginners, multi-level crossword puzzles, conversation activities, reading exercises, guessing and describing games, use of…
While the viva voce (oral) examination has always been used in content-based educational assessment (Latham 1877: 132), the assessment of second language (L2) speaking in performance tests is relatively recent. The impetus for the growth in testing speaking during the 19th and 20th centuries is twofold. Firstly, in educational settings the…
Studied the factors that govern immigrants' acquisition of a second language through 22 interviews with illiterate Kurdish refugees in Sweden and immigrants with at least 6 years of schooling. The pedagogic conclusions that can be drawn relate mainly to measures for increasing motivation and the need for achieving greater contact with target…
Because of a growing community of non-English speakers in British Columbia, there is an urgent need for effective teaching programs in English as a Second Language (ESL). Non-English speakers frequently face educational deprivation, difficulty in using their skills and in finding employment, dependency on government assistance, and, if children,…
Longfield, Diane M.
Although English-as-a-second-language (ESL) practitioners are generally making good progress in teaching listening and speaking skills, the entire area of teaching literacy skills to ESL students is barely in the formative stage. The teaching of ESL is further complicated when students are not only lacking in English literacy skills but are also…
Fassihi Langroodi, Sayedeh Parvanak
In an English as a second language (ESL) or English as a foreign language (EFL) class, special emphasis is often put on interaction and negotiation as a means of learning and understanding the language being taught (Long, 1981; Pica, 1994). However, student-student interaction as well as student-teacher interaction could be difficult to achieve in…
This article describes the effects of an interventionist form-focused course on the written English of first-year second language university learners. For two semester courses the form (or grammar) of the language was concentrated upon. During the first semester the use of correct grammar was focussed on intensively, while during the second…
Smith, Philip D., Jr.
A pre-vocational English-as-a-second language course for adults was developed for the non-native speaker based upon the following assumptions: the teacher does not have to speak the language of the student; students in a class do not have to speak each others' language; the teacher need not be professionally trained in the field of teaching ESL;…
Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC. Div. of Adult Education and Literacy.
A summary of state activities to serve the limited English proficient (LEP) adult population includes the following: (1) brief state-by-state descriptions of programs and services offered; (2) a table of educational program enrollment rates for all the states listed, the District of Columbia, and territories for July 1, 1987-June 30, 1988; (3) a…
Hilger, Allison I.; Loucks, Torrey M. J.; Quinto-Pozos, David; Dye, Matthew W. G.
A study was conducted to examine production variability in American Sign Language (ASL) in order to gain insight into the development of motor control in a language produced in another modality. Production variability was characterized through the spatiotemporal index (STI), which represents production stability in whole utterances and is a…
Andreou, G.; Vlachos, F.; Andreou, E.
The present study investigated the influence of sex, handedness, level in second language (L2) and Faculty choice on the performance of phonological, syntactical and semantic tasks in L2. Level in L2 and sex were the most affecting factors. Subjects who achieved higher scores on L2 tasks had strong second language aptitude skills since they were…
The author discusses the preparation of a test of reading comprehension in Italian as a Second Language for Spanish university students and analyzes the results of the test. The article includes the reading passage and the test. (CFM)
Whitford, Veronica; Titone, Debra
This study addressed a central yet previously unexplored issue in the psychological science of aging, namely, whether the advantages of healthy aging (e.g., greater lifelong experience with language) or disadvantages (e.g., decreases in cognitive and sensory processing) drive L1 and L2 reading performance in bilingual older adults. To this end, we used a gaze-contingent moving window paradigm to examine both global aspects of reading fluency (e.g., reading rates, number of regressions) and the perceptual span (i.e., allocation of visual attention into the parafovea) in bilingual older adults during L1 and L2 sentence reading, as a function of individual differences in current L2 experience. Across the L1 and L2, older adults exhibited reduced reading fluency (e.g., slower reading rates, more regressions), but a similar perceptual span compared with matched younger adults. Also similar to matched younger adults, older adults' reading fluency was lower for L2 reading than for L1 reading as a function of current L2 experience. Specifically, greater current L2 experience increased L2 reading fluency, but decreased L1 reading fluency (for global reading measures only). Taken together, the dissociation between intact perceptual span and impaired global reading measures suggests that older adults may prioritize parafoveal processing despite age-related encoding difficulties. Consistent with this interpretation, post hoc analyses revealed that older adults with higher versus lower executive control were more likely to adopt this strategy. PMID:26866589
Children are thought to learn second languages (L2s) using primarily implicit mechanisms, in contrast to adults, who primarily rely on explicit language learning. This difference is usually attributed to cognitive maturation, but adults also receive more explicit instruction than children, which may influence their learning strategies. This study…
Thomson, Ron I.
This paper first provides an overview of factors that constrain ultimate attainment in adult second language (L2) pronunciation, finding that first language influence and the quantity and quality of L2 phonetic input account for much of the variation in the degree of foreign accent found across adult L2 learners. The author then evaluates current…
Sianipar, Agnes; Middelburg, Renée; Dijkstra, Ton
To determine when and how L2 learners start to process L2 words affectively and semantically, we conducted a longitudinal study on their interaction in adult L2 learners. In four test sessions, spanning half a year of L2 learning, we monitored behavioral and ERP learning-related changes for one and the same set of words by means of a primed lexical-decision paradigm with L1 primes and L2 targets. Sensitivity rates, accuracy rates, RTs, and N400 amplitude to L2 words and pseudowords improved significantly across sessions. A semantic priming effect (e.g, prime "driver"facilitating response to target "street") was found in accuracy rates and RTs when collapsing Sessions 1 to 4, while this effect modulated ERP amplitudes within the first 300 ms of L2 target processing. An overall affective priming effect (e.g., "sweet" facilitating"taste") was also found in RTs and ERPs (posterior P1). Importantly, the ERPs showed an L2 valence effect across sessions (e.g., positive words were easier to process than neutral words), indicating that L2 learners were sensitive to L2 affective meaning. Semantic and affective priming interacted in the N400 time-window only in Session 4, implying that they affected meaning integration during L2 immersion together. The results suggest that L1 and L2 are initially processed semantically and affectively via relatively separate channels that are more and more linked contingent on L2 exposure. PMID:26656502
Prat, Chantel S; Yamasaki, Brianna L; Kluender, Reina A; Stocco, Andrea
Understanding the neurobiological basis of individual differences in second language acquisition (SLA) is important for research on bilingualism, learning, and neural plasticity. The current study used quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) to predict SLA in college-aged individuals. Baseline, eyes-closed resting-state qEEG was used to predict language learning rate during eight weeks of French exposure using an immersive, virtual scenario software. Individual qEEG indices predicted up to 60% of the variability in SLA, whereas behavioral indices of fluid intelligence, executive functioning, and working-memory capacity were not correlated with learning rate. Specifically, power in beta and low-gamma frequency ranges over right temporoparietal regions were strongly positively correlated with SLA. These results highlight the utility of resting-state EEG for studying the neurobiological basis of SLA in a relatively construct-free, paradigm-independent manner. PMID:27164483
Latham Keh, Melissa Anne
It is well documented that ELLs face significant challenges as they develop literacy skills in their second language (NCES, 2007, 2011). This population is diverse and growing rapidly in Massachusetts and across the nation (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2013; NCELA, 2011; Orosco, De Schonewise, De Onis, Klingner,…
Abrahamsson, Niclas; Hyltenstam, Kenneth
The incidence of nativelikeness in adult second language acquisition is a controversial issue in SLA research. Although some researchers claim that any learner, regardless of age of acquisition, can attain nativelike levels of second language (L2) proficiency, others hold that attainment of nativelike proficiency is, in principle, impossible. The…
Bundgaard-Nielsen, Rikke L.; Best, Catherine T.; Tyler, Michael D.
Adult second-language (L2) learners' perception of L2 phonetic segments is influenced by first-language phonological and phonetic properties. It was recently proposed that L2 vocabulary size in adult learners is related to changes in L2 perception (perceptual assimilation model), analogous to the emergence of first-language phonological function…
Sianipar, Agnes; Middelburg, Renée; Dijkstra, Ton
To determine when and how L2 learners start to process L2 words affectively and semantically, we conducted a longitudinal study on their interaction in adult L2 learners. In four test sessions, spanning half a year of L2 learning, we monitored behavioral and ERP learning-related changes for one and the same set of words by means of a primed lexical-decision paradigm with L1 primes and L2 targets. Sensitivity rates, accuracy rates, RTs, and N400 amplitude to L2 words and pseudowords improved significantly across sessions. A semantic priming effect (e.g, prime “driver”facilitating response to target “street”) was found in accuracy rates and RTs when collapsing Sessions 1 to 4, while this effect modulated ERP amplitudes within the first 300 ms of L2 target processing. An overall affective priming effect (e.g., “sweet” facilitating”taste”) was also found in RTs and ERPs (posterior P1). Importantly, the ERPs showed an L2 valence effect across sessions (e.g., positive words were easier to process than neutral words), indicating that L2 learners were sensitive to L2 affective meaning. Semantic and affective priming interacted in the N400 time-window only in Session 4, implying that they affected meaning integration during L2 immersion together. The results suggest that L1 and L2 are initially processed semantically and affectively via relatively separate channels that are more and more linked contingent on L2 exposure. PMID:26656502
Crowther, Dustin; Trofimovich, Pavel; Isaacs, Talia; Saito, Kazuya
The current study investigated task effects on listener perception of second language (L2) comprehensibility (ease of understanding). Sixty university-level adult speakers of English from 4 first language (L1) backgrounds (Chinese, Romance, Hindi, Farsi), with 15 speakers per group, were recorded performing 2 tasks (IELTS long-turn speaking task…
Salsbury, Tom; Crossley, Scott A.; McNamara, Danielle S.
This study uses word information scores from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Psycholinguistic Database to analyse word development in the spontaneous speech data of six adult learners of English as a second language (L2) in a one-year longitudinal study. In contrast to broad measures of lexical development, such as word frequency and lexical…
Sabourin, Laura; Stowe, Laurie A.; de Haan, Ger J.
In this article second language (L2) knowledge of Dutch grammatical gender is investigated. Adult speakers of German, English and a Romance language (French, Italian or Spanish) were investigated to explore the role of transfer in learning the Dutch grammatical gender system. In the first language (L1) systems, German is the most similar to Dutch…
This experimental study investigates the acquisition of Italian accusative and dative clitics by English adult speakers. These pronouns are non-existent in English. Results from a grammaticality judgement task show that Italian accusative and dative clitics develop slowly but gradually in Italian second language (L2) grammars. Interestingly, the…
Crowther, Dustin; Trofimovich, Pavel; Saito, Kazuya; Isaacs, Talia
The current study investigated first language (L1) effects on listener judgment of comprehensibility and accentedness in second language (L2) speech. The participants were 45 university-level adult speakers of English from three L1 backgrounds (Chinese, Hindi, Farsi), performing a picture narrative task. Ten native English listeners used…
Hazelrigg, Amy C.
Second language research and classroom practice have tended to sideline reading in favor of an emphasis on the oral language development of the English Language Learner (ELL). First-language (L1) reading research is well developed but has limited usefulness to the teacher or researcher interested in second-language (L2) reading. Developing L2…
Reviews a number of second-language (L2) classroom-based research projects undertaken at the University of Stirling in Scotland. It is argued that a full understanding of classroom-based L2 learning requires the integration of sociolinguistic studies of the classroom context with psycholinguistic studies of second language acquisition. (Author/VWL)
The study reported in this article describes second language (L2) vocabulary learning outcomes associated with adult L2 reading comprehension processes, thus connecting L2 learning with the complex cognitive and linguistic processing involved in reading. The study aimed to determine whether background knowledge moderated the relationship between…
Crossley, Scott; Salsbury, Thomas Lee
Six adult, second language (L2) English learners were observed over a period of one year to explore the development of lexical bundles (i.e., bigrams) in naturally produced, oral English. Total bigrams produced by the L2 learners over the year of observation that were shared with native speakers were compared using a frequency index to explore L2…
This book explores the social construction of age in the context of EFL in Mexico. It is the first book to address the age factor in SLA from a social perspective. Based on research carried out at a public university in Mexico, it investigates how adults of different ages experience learning a new language and how they enact their age identities…
McDonald, Janet L.; Heilenman, Kathy L.
Investigates the determinants of adult usage of various syntactic and semantic cues in sentence interpretation. Native French speakers and advanced English/French bilinguals were tested for the strength of usage of word order, clitic pronoun agreement, verb agreement, and noun animacy cues in the assignment of the role in French sentences. (46…
The purpose of this study was twofold. First, this study was conducted to compare English communicative competency achievement between two different models of instruction. Adult English language learners (AELLs) participated in either the communicative task-based (CTB) or in a more traditional (MT) language instructional approach. The goal of the…
Lichtman, Karen Melissa
Mainstream linguistics has long held that there is a fundamental difference between adult and child language learning (Bley-Vroman, 1990; Johnson & Newport, 1989; DeKeyser, 2000; Paradis, 2004). This difference is often framed as a change from implicit language learning in childhood to explicit language learning in adulthood, which is…
Neighborhood density refers to the number of similar sounding words to a target word (Luce & Pisoni, 1998) and influences first language word learning in adults learning English (Storkel, Armbruster, & Hogan, 2006). There are two processes in word learning: lexical configuration and lexical engagement (Leach & Samuel, 2007). Lexical configuration…
Jackson, Carrie N.; van Hell, Janet G.
Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English "wh"-subject-extractions and "wh"-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient Dutch-English L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line reanalysis when reading subject-versus…
Jackson, Carrie N.; van Hell, Janet G.
Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient Dutch-English L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line reanalysis when reading subject- versus object-extractions in English. However, less-proficient Dutch-English L2 speakers exhibit greater processing costs on subject-extractions relative to object-extractions, similar to previously reported findings (e.g., Dussias and Piñar, forthcoming; Juffs 2005; Juffs and Harrington 1995). These findings are discussed in light of relevant research surrounding on-line processing among L2 speakers and their ability to adopt native-like processing patterns in the L2. PMID:22888175
Horwitz, Elaine K.
The possibility that anxiety interferes with language learning has long interested scholars, language teachers, and language learners themselves. It is intuitive that anxiety would inhibit the learning and/or production of a second language (L2). The important term in the last sentence is "anxiety". The concept of anxiety is itself multi-faceted,…
This article presents evidence that supports the claim that second language (L2) grammars arise in a domain-specific, informationally encapsulated module with contents provided by Universal Grammar and enriched by native language knowledge, as entertained by Schwartz (1986, 1987, 1999) contra Bley-Vroman (1990). I consider state-of-the-art…
The study investigated the role of word-level and verbal skills in writing quality of learners who spoke English as a first (L1) and second (L2) language. One hundred and sixty-eight L1 and L2 learners (M = 115.38 months, SD = 3.57 months) participated in the study. All testing was conducted in English. There was a statistically significant L1…
Investigating how visuals affect test takers' performance on video-based L2 listening tests has been the focus of many recent studies. While most existing research has been based on test scores and self-reported verbal data, few studies have examined test takers' viewing behavior (Ockey, 2007; Wagner, 2007, 2010a). To address this gap, in the…
This study investigates prospective teachers' language needs in L2 teacher training programmes. A questionnaire was constructed and administered to a total of 79 first, second and third year students in the teaching training school at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB). The questionnaire attempted to elicit student teachers' views on the…
This article provides a selective overview of recent event-related brain potential (ERP) studies in L2 morpho-syntax, demonstrating that the ERP evidence supporting the critical period hypothesis (CPH) may be less compelling than previously thought. The article starts with a general introduction to ERP methodology and language-related ERP profiles…
Dynamic systems theory (DST) is presented in this article as a suitable approach to research the acquisition of second language (L2) because of its close alignment with the process of second language learning. Through a process of identifying and comparing the characteristics of a dynamic system with the process of L2 learning, this article…
Lantolf, James P.; Beckett, Tracy G.
Second language acquisition (SLA) research informed by sociocultural theory (henceforth, SCT) began in earnest with the publication of Frawley & Lantolf's (1985) article on L2 (second language) discourse (described in the timeline proper). Since then, well over 300 journal articles, book chapters and doctoral dissertations have appeared in the…
Jacobs, George; Kimura, Harumi
This article begins by discussing whether students of second and foreign languages (hereafter, "second language" will be used to refer to both foreign and second languages) should be encouraged to use their second language (L2) with classmates when doing group activities. Reasons for both L2 and L1 (first language) use are discussed with reference…
Dowens, Margaret Gillon; Carreiras, Manuel
Clahsen and Felser (CF) analyze the performance of monolingual children and adult second language (L2) learners in off-line and on-line tasks and compare their performance with that of adult monolinguals. They conclude that child first language (L1) processing is basically the same as adult L1 processing (the contiguity assumption), with…
Chang, Li-Yun; Xu, Yi; Perfetti, Charles A.; Zhang, Juan; Chen, Hsueh-Chih
Learning to read a second language (L2) is especially challenging when a target L2 requires learning new graphic forms. Learning Chinese, which consists of thousands of characters composed of hundreds of basic writing units, presents such a challenge of orthographic learning for adult English speakers at the beginning stages of learning. In this…
In two experiments, this article investigates the predictive processing of gender agreement in adult second language (L2) acquisition. We test (1) whether instruction on lexical gender can lead to target predictive agreement processing and (2) how variability in lexical gender representations moderates L2 gender agreement processing. In a…
Hu, Guangwei; Lam, Sandra Tsui Eu
This paper reports on a study designed to investigate (a) whether peer review is an effective pedagogical activity with adult Chinese students in the teaching of second language (L2) academic writing and (b) how factors such as perceptions of the influence of peer reviewers' L2 proficiency, previous experience with peer review, feedback…
Mandell, Paul B.
Compared grammaticality judgment (GJ) test data with dehydrated sentence test data, collecting data about verb movement from three levels of adult second-language (L2) Spanish learners. The GJs of L2 learners were consistent, suggesting that a relationship exists between a standard GJ test and a dehydrated sentence test and noting that GJ data are…
Morgan-Short, Kara; Faretta-Stutenberg, Mandy; Brill-Schuetz, Katherine A.; Carpenter, Helen; Wong, Patrick C. M.
This study examined how individual differences in cognitive abilities account for variance in the attainment level of adult second language (L2) syntactic development. Participants completed assessments of declarative and procedural learning abilities. They subsequently learned an artificial L2 under implicit training conditions and received…
Rossiter, Marian J.
This paper reports a study that investigated the development of second language (L2) communication strategies (code-switching, all-purpose words, word coinage, approximation, and circumlocution) over time. In the study, 8 adult learners in a full-time English as a second language program provided oral narrations of an eight-frame picture story at…
Sparks, Richard L.; Patton, Jon; Ganschow, Leonore; Humbach, Nancy
Fifty-four students were followed over 10 years beginning in first grade to determine best predictors of oral and written second language (L2) proficiency. Predictor variables included measures of first language (L1) skill administered in first through fifth grades, L1 academic aptitude, L2 aptitude (Modern Language Aptitude Test), and L2 affect…
This study investigated the longitudinal development of L2 vocabulary by 17 individual adult L2 learners in an English as a second language (ESL) instructed context over one academic year, combining a longitudinal case study design with two cross-sectional comparisons in order to enhance (a) detailed documentation addressing the idiosyncrasy of L2…
Nisbet, Deanna L.
Over the past 20 years, research has consistently affirmed the importance of explicit vocabulary instruction for adult learners of English as a second language (ESL). Given the significant vocabulary demands faced by adult second language readers, ESL teachers must carefully target their instruction for maximum impact and to foster meaningful…
Measuring Adult Learners' Foreign Language Anxiety, Motivational Factors, and Achievement Expectations: A Comparative Study between Chinese as a Second-Language Students and English as a Second-Language Students
This dissertation focuses on interpreting the impacts of foreign language anxiety and individual characteristics on the achievement expectations of Chinese second-language learners and English second-language students at the university level. Four research questions are examined through quantitative design. In relation to methodology, this study…
Silverberg, Stu; Samuel, Arthur G.
In this study, the effects of second language (i.e., L2) proficiency and age of second language acquisition are assessed. Three types of bilinguals are compared: Early L2 learners, Late highly proficient L2 learners, and Late less proficient L2 learners. A lexical decision priming paradigm is used in which the critical trials consist of first…
First-language (L1) reading theories are examined from second- language (L2) perspectives to identify significant research voids related to L2 problems. Unique aspects of L2 reading are considered and three distinct areas are discussed: consequences of prior reading experience, effects of cross-linguistic processing, and compensatory devices for…
As is the case in traditional second language (L2) acquisition research, a major question in the field of L2 real-time sentence processing is the extent to which L2 learners process the input like native speakers. Where differences are observed, the underlying causes could be the influence of the learner's first language and/or differences…
Figueroa Flores, Jorge Francisco
One major competence for learners in the 21st century is acquiring a second language (L2). Based on this, L2 instruction has integrated new concepts to motivate learners in their pursue of achieving fluency. A concept that is adaptable to digital natives and digital immigrants that are learning a L2 is Gamification. As a pedagogical strategy,…
Barrios, Shannon L.
Adult second language (L2) learners often experience difficulty producing and perceiving non-native phonological contrasts. Even highly proficient bilinguals, who have been exposed to an L2 for long periods of time, struggle with difficult contrasts, such as /r/-/l/ for Japanese learners of English. To account for the relative ease or difficulty…
This study examined the interrelationships of first language (L1) literacy, second language (L2) proficiency, and L2 reading comprehension with 246 Chinese college students learning English. L1 literacy and L2 proficiency were measured with college admission exams in Chinese and English. L2 reading comprehension was measured with the reading…
Sparks, Richard L.; Humbach, Nancy; Patton, Jon; Ganschow, Leonore
A factor analysis of a test battery that included early first-language (L1) achievement, L1 cognitive ability, second-language (L2) aptitude, and L2 affective measures to predict oral and written L2 proficiency was conducted. The analysis yielded 4 factors that were labeled Language Analysis, composed of L1 and L2 language comprehension, grammar,…
This study compares mastery of gender assignment and agreement in Italian by adult Italian-German bilinguals who have acquired two languages simultaneously (2L1), and by adult German highly proficient second language learners (L2ers) of Italian. Our data show that incompleteness in bilingual acquisition and in second language (L2) acquisition…
Eskildsen, Soren W.
This article explores the usage- and exemplar-based roots of second language (L2) negation construction learning. Based on two longitudinal case studies involving two adult L2 English learners and a corpus of 63 three-hour sessions of recorded classroom interactions, the study shows that L2 learning follows the predictions of usage-based models of…
This paper focuses on second language (L2) acquisition, and the extent to which Universal Grammar (UG) accounts for second language learners' behavior. A comparison of L2 research, especially research conducted within the UG framework, with first language (L1) research, reveals a striking difference in the evaluation of L2 results: while L1…
Researchers in second language acquisition (SLA) have increasingly discussed the role that attention plays in the learning of a second language (L2). This discussion has led to research on proposed pedagogical strategies aimed at directing L2 learners' attention to aspects of the L2 grammar that are difficult to learn or acquire. Research on one…
Coady, James, Ed.; Huckin, Thomas, Ed.
A collection of essays on second language vocabulary learning includes: "Historical Trends in Second Language Vocabulary Instruction" (Cheryl Boyd Zimmerman); "The Lexical Plight in Second Language Reading: Words You Don't Know, Words You Think You Know, and Words You Can't Guess" (Batia Laufer); "Orthographic Knowledge in L2 Lexical Processing: A…
Bernhardt (2005) proposed a compensatory model of second language reading. This model predicted that 50% of second language (L2) reading scores are attributed to second language knowledge and first-language (L1) reading ability. In this model, these two factors compensate for deficiencies in each other. Although this model explains a significant…
This dissertation research investigates the cognitive mechanisms underlying second language (L2) listening comprehension. I use three types of sentential contexts, congruent, neutral and incongruent, to look at how L2 learners construct meaning in spoken sentence comprehension. The three types of contexts differ in their context predictability.…
Cho, Ji-Hyeon Jacee
This dissertation investigates second language (L2) development in the domains of morphosyntax and semantics. Specifically, it examines the acquisition of definiteness and specificity in Russian within the Feature Re-assembly framework (Lardiere, 2009), according to which the hardest L2 learning task is not to reset parameters but to reconfigure,…
Pecorari, Diane; Petric, Bojana
Plagiarism is a broad and multidisciplinary field of study, and within second-language (L2) writing, research on the topic goes back to the mid-1980s. In this review article we first discuss the received view of plagiarism as a transgressive act and alternative understandings which have been presented in the L1 and L2 writing literature. We then…
Compares different approaches to first- and second-language development. It is argued that the observed differences between first- and (adult) second-language acquisition can be accounted for by assuming that adult second-language learners can not use Universal Grammar principles as a learning device in the same way that first-language learners…
Osterhout, Lee; McLaughlin, Judith; Pitkanen, Ilona; Frenck-Mestre, Cheryl; Molinaro, Nicola
Research on the neurobiology of second language (L2) learning has historically focused on localization questions and relied on cross-sectional designs. Here, we describe an alternative paradigm involving longitudinal studies of adult, novice learners who are progressing through an introductory sequence of classroom-based L2 instruction. The goal…
This article calls attention to a facet of the expertise of second language (L2) learners of Japanese at the intersection of language, memory, gesture, and the psycholinguistics of a logographic writing system. Previous research has shown that adult L2 learners of Japanese living in Japan (similarly to native speakers of Japanese) often…
Children are thought to learn second languages (L2s) using primarily implicit mechanisms, in contrast to adults, who primarily rely on explicit language learning. This difference is usually attributed to cognitive maturation, but adults also receive more explicit instruction than children, which may influence their learning strategies. This study crosses instruction condition with age, teaching forty children aged 5;3 to 7;11 and forty adults an artificial mini-language under implicit or explicit training conditions. Participants produced novel sentences and judged sentence grammaticality equally well in either condition, but both children and adults in the explicit training condition developed greater awareness of the mini-language's structures - and greater awareness was associated with better performance for both age groups. Results show that explicit instruction affects children and adults in the same way, supporting the hypothesis that age differences in implicit vs. explicit L2 learning are not exclusively caused by maturation, but also influenced by instruction. PMID:26915737
Abrahamsson, Niclas; Hyltenstam, Kenneth
Results from a number of recent studies suggest that nativelike adult second language (L2) learners possess a high degree of language learning aptitude, the positive effects of which may have compensated for the negative effects of a critical period in these learners. According to the same studies, child learners seem to attain a nativelike…
Curcic, Svjetlana; Wolbers, Kimberly A.; Juzwik, Mary M.; Pu, Jiang
Second language (L2) writing research embraces a plurality of epistemological stances, theories, and occasionally, competing paradigms. Some researchers ask whether it is possible, or even desirable, to develop a comprehensive theory of second language writing. This is an important question in view of the fact that students learn their L2 under…
Cohen, Andrew D.; Aphek, Edna
A study was conducted to investigate some basic learning activities in order to identify strategies that make learning more effortless. Study topics focus on acquisition of new second-language vocabulary, students' organization of their notebooks, studying for tests, observation of classroom communication, and test-taking strategies. Nineteen…
The purpose of this volume is to provide a contemporary portrait of second language learning and teaching, to identify major trends and issues, to show where these trends and issues have come from, and to illustrate ways teachers can incorporate these ideas in their own teaching practice. The book is a personal account, tracing the author's…
Nelson, Peggy; Kohnert, Kathryn; Sabur, Sabina; Shaw, Daniel
The presence of background noise affects children more negatively than adults. Understanding speech in noise is a skill that continues to develop well into a child's adolescent years. Childrens' experience with a specific language also may affect their ability to make sense of incoming speech. Research suggests that even for adults the presence of background noise negatively affects the ability to listen in a second language. Two studies were conducted to investigate the effects of classroom noise on attention and speech perception in native Spanish-speaking second graders learning English as their second language (L2), as compared to English-only speaking peers (EO). In Study 1 we measured childrens' on-task behavior during instructional activities with and without soundfield amplification. In Study 2 we measured the effects of noise (+10 dB signal-to-noise ratio) using an experimental English word-recognition task. Findings indicate although there were no effects of amplification on on-task behavior, word-recognition performance declined significantly for both EO and L2 groups in the noise condition. In particular, the impact of the noise was disproportionately greater for the L2 group. Children learning in their L2 appear to be at a distinct disadvantage when listening in rooms with typical noise and reverberation.
Goldman, Susan R., Ed.; Trueba, Henry T., Ed.
A collection of articles on English-as-a-Second-Language literacy and literacy education include: "Contextual Issues in the Study of Second Language Literacy" (Susan R. Goldman); "Mexican Adult Literacy: New Directions for Immigrants" (Concha Delgado-Gaitan); "Factors Affecting Development of Second Language Literacy" (Richard Duran); "Reading in…
Sabourin, Laura; Stowe, Laurie A.
In this article we investigate the effects of first language (L1) on second language (L2) neural processing for two grammatical constructions (verbal domain dependency and grammatical gender), focusing on the event-related potential P600 effect, which has been found in both L1 and L2 processing. Native Dutch speakers showed a P600 effect for both…
Lyster, Roy; Saito, Kazuya; Sato, Masatoshi
This article reviews research on oral corrective feedback (CF) in second language (L2) classrooms. Various types of oral CF are first identified, and the results of research revealing CF frequency across instructional contexts are presented. Research on CF preferences is then reviewed, revealing a tendency for learners to prefer receiving CF more…
Daftarifard, Parisa; Shirkhani, Servat
Transfer has been discussed from different points of view since the advent of Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis , . Mishina-Mori  has defied transfer as merging grammatical properties from one language to another. The effect of transfer from a first language (L1) to a second language (L2) or a third language (L3) has been viewed…
O'Donnell, Mary E.
The use of marginal reading glosses by 18 second language (L2) learners is examined through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of audiotaped think-aloud protocols. How these readers interact with the glosses is identified and divided into five categories or gloss interactions. Examples from each are presented. The primary research question…
Huckin, Thomas, Ed.; And Others
This book contains 14 essays on reading and vocabulary learning in second language acquisition. Chapters include: "Research on ESL/EFL Vocabulary Acquisition: Putting It in Context" (James Coady); "Implications for L2 Vocabulary Acquisition and Instruction From L1 Vocabulary Research" (Fredricka Stoller and William Grabe); "Patterns and Perils of…
Hamid, M. Obaidul; Doan, Linh Dieu
The significance of errors in explicating Second Language Acquisition (SLA) processes led to the growth of error analysis in the 1970s which has since maintained its prominence in English as a second/foreign language (L2) research. However, one problem with this research is errors are often taken for granted, without problematising them and their…
Derrick, Deirdre J.
Second language (L2) researchers often have to develop or change the instruments they use to measure numerous constructs (Norris & Ortega, 2012). Given the prevalence of researcher-developed and -adapted data collection instruments, and given the profound effect instrumentation can have on results, thorough reporting of instrumentation is…
The term "genre" first came into the field of second-language (L2) writing and, in turn, the field of English for specific purposes (ESP) in the 1980s, with the research of John Swales, first carried out in the UK, into the introduction section of research articles. Other important figures in this area are Tony Dudley-Evans, Ann Johns…
Shin, Jeong-Ah; Christianson, Kiel
Structural priming (or syntactic priming) is a speaker's tendency to reuse the same structural pattern as one that was previously encountered (Bock, 1986). This study investigated (a) whether the implicit learning processes involved in long-lag structural priming lead to differential second language (L2) improvement in producing two structural…
Zhang, Weimin; Hu, Guiling
This pilot project investigates second language (L2) learners' attitudes towards three varieties of English: American (AmE), British (BrE) and Australian (AuE). A 69-word passage spoken by a female speaker of each variety was used. Participants were 30 Chinese students pursuing Masters or Doctoral degrees in the United States, who listened to each…
Marinis, Theodore; Roberts, Leah; Felser, Claudia; Clahsen, Harald
Four groups of second language (L2) learners of English from different language backgrounds (Chinese, Japanese, German, and Greek) and a group of native speaker controls participated in an online reading time experiment with sentences involving long-distance "wh"-dependencies. Although the native speakers showed evidence of making use of…
Schmidt, Gwen L.; Roberts, Timothy P. L.
In this review we show how magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a constructive tool for language research and review MEG findings in second language (L2) research. MEG is the magnetic analog of electroencephalography (EEG), and its primary advantage over other cross-sectional (e.g. magnetic resonance imaging, or positron emission tomography) functional…
Trenkic, Danijela; Pongpairoj, Nattama
The effect of referent salience on second language (L2) article production in real time was explored. Thai (-articles) and French (+articles) learners of English described dynamic events involving two referents, one visually cued to be more salient at the point of utterance formulation. Definiteness marking was made communicatively redundant with…
Cochrane, R. McCrae
Describes two experiments to evaluate acquisition of /r/ and /l/ involving native Japanese children and adults residing in the United States. The first required subjects to produce and discriminate English /r/ and /l/ in listening and speaking. Children's performance was better than adults'. In the second, the subject received programed training.…
Adult education literature generally acknowledges the appropriateness of the incorporation of instructional strategies that stress students' prior experience. Whether this appropriateness applies to students from diverse cultural backgrounds, such as adult students in ESL programs, is not clear. Based on the assumption that students from different…
Kissling, Elizabeth Maria
Traditional pronunciation instruction and instruction in second language (L2) phonetics have been shown to improve learners' L2 accent in some, though certainly not all, cases. Learners in intermediate and advanced Spanish FL courses have shown modest improvement in the pronunciation of some L2 phones after receiving such instruction.…
Bell, Nancy; Skalicky, Stephen; Salsbury, Tom
Humor and language play have been recognized as important aspects of second language (L2) development. Qualitative studies that have documented the forms and functions of language play for adult and child L2 users have taken place largely in classroom settings. In order to gain a fuller understanding of such creative manipulations by L2 users, it…
In this pilot study, the speech of 12 adult native speakers of English with intermediate to intermediate-high proficiency in Spanish as a second language (L2) was analyzed to determine whether L2 learners rely on distributional information in the process of L2 speech learning and if so, if similar or dissimilar distributional patterns of sounds…
López Urdaneta, Julio Lorenzo
Previous studies have drawn some results concerning the way in which second language (L2) students use their first language (L1) when producing texts in their L2. Therefore, this study examines the influence L1 written structure has on L2 written structure when students are asked to carry out assignments in the L2. To answer this question, twenty…
Dowens, Margaret Gillon; Vergara, Marta; Barber, Horacio A.; Carreiras, Manuel
The goal of the present study was to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of second-language (L2) morphosyntactic processing in highly proficient late learners of an L2 with long exposure to the L2 environment. ERPs were collected from 22 English-Spanish late learners while they read sentences in which morphosyntactic features of the L2…
Keating, Gregory D.; VanPatten, Bill; Jegerski, Jill
The position of antecedent strategy (Carminati, 2002) claims that speakers of null-subject languages prefer to resolve intrasentential anaphora by linking pro to an antecedent in the specifier of the inflection phrase and the overt pronoun to an antecedent lower in the clause. The present study has two aims: (a) to determine whether adult early…
Choi, Jinyoung; Ziegler, Gudrun
Mastery of literacy skills in the language(s) of the host country is considered a key element for the successful integration of immigrants. The current paper focuses on possibly one of the most challenging aspects of the issues of linguistic integration of immigrants, i.e., literacy acquisition by "low-literate" adult immigrants in a…
Bonner, Timothy E.
The study of language production by adults who are learning a second language (L2) has received a good deal of attention especially when it comes to omission of inflectional morphemes within L2 utterances. Several explanations have been proposed for these inflectional errors. One explanation is that the L2 learner simply does not have the L2…
Background: Over the past twenty years, many investigations have been carried out to identify factors influencing second language (L2) learning. Specifically, investigations of the relationship among first language (L1) reading skills, L2 reading skills, and L2 proficiency have been variously conducted, to contribute to the overall growth of L1-L2…
Dale, Philip S.; Harlaar, Nicole; Plomin, Robert
Variability in achievement across learners is a hallmark of second language (L2) learning, especially in academic-based learning. The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), based on a large, population-representative sample in the United Kingdom, provides the first opportunity to examine individual differences in second language achievement in a…
This article discusses the importance of vocabulary in second language acquisition (SLA), presents an overview of major strands of research on vocabulary acquisition, and discusses five principles for effective second language (L2) vocabulary instruction based on research findings on lexical input processing. These principles emphasize…
In this article, a survey of current psycholinguistic techniques relevant to second language acquisition (SLA) research is presented. I summarize many of the available methods and discuss their use with particular reference to two critical questions in current SLA research: (1) What does a learner's current knowledge of the second language (L2)…
Zyzik, Eve C.
Null direct objects provide a favourable testing ground for grammatical and performance models of argument omission. This article examines both types of models in order to determine which gives a more plausible account of the second language data. The data were collected from second language (L2) learners of Spanish by means of four oral…
In L2 learners' second language socialisation process, males and females from different sociocultural backgrounds have diverse attitudes and access to second language acquisition. In this study, informed by feminist poststructuralist theory, we can see the highly context-sensitive nature of the gendered practices and the corresponding outcomes of…
Campbell, Elizabeth; Storch, Neomy
Motivation to learn a second language (L2) is considered a crucial individual factor in explaining success or lack thereof in second language learning. This study examined learners' motivation to learn Chinese as a second language (L2). The study was longitudinal and cross sectional. Interviews were conducted with learners at different year levels…
This study investigates the influence of content-related conditions on adult second language learners' task motivation during interactive tasks. It also aims to identify what is referred to as interestingness conditions within task content, that is, elements that are intrinsically interesting to most individuals. The investigation was conducted…
Vainikka, Anne; Young-Scholten, Martha
Analyzes data on the acquisition of German by Italian and Spanish speakers. Findings reveal that children learning a first language and adults learning a second language build up syntactic structure in much the same manner, and propose that the weak continuity approach of language acquisition accounts for all instances of syntactic acquisition.…
Gibson, Todd A.; Oller, D. Kimbrough; Jarmulowicz, Linda; Ethington, Corinna A.
Adults and children learning a second language show difficulty accessing expressive vocabulary that appears accessible receptively in their first language (L1). We call this discrepancy the receptive-expressive gap. Kindergarten Spanish (L1)-English (L2) sequential bilinguals were given standardized tests of receptive and expressive vocabulary in…
Montrul, Silvina; Ionin, Tania
This study investigates dominant language transfer (from English) in adult Spanish second language (L2) learners and Spanish heritage speakers. We focus on contrasting properties of English and Spanish definite articles with respect to generic reference ("Elephants have ivory tusks" vs. "Los elefantes tienen colmillos de marfil") and inalienable…
A Pilot Study Comparing Total Physical Response Storytelling[TM] with the Grammar-Translation Teaching Strategy to Determine Their Effectiveness in Vocabulary Acquisition among English as a Second Language Adult Learners
This study evaluated the effectiveness of Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS[TM]) compared to the Grammar-Translation approach for acquiring and retaining new vocabulary in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. The subjects were adult Hispanic learners with limited literacy. An experimental design approach was used to gather…
Batterink, Laura; Neville, Helen J
Millions of adults worldwide are faced with the task of learning a second language (L2). Understanding the neural mechanisms that support this learning process is an important area of scientific inquiry. However, most previous studies on the neural mechanisms underlying L2 acquisition have focused on characterizing the results of learning, relying upon end-state outcome measures in which learning is assessed after it has occurred, rather than on the learning process itself. In this study, we adopted a novel and more direct approach to investigate neural mechanisms engaged during L2 learning, in which we recorded ERPs from beginning adult learners as they were exposed to an unfamiliar L2 for the first time. Learners' proficiency in the L2 was then assessed behaviorally using a grammaticality judgment task, and ERP data acquired during initial L2 exposure were sorted as a function of performance on this task. High-proficiency learners showed a larger N100 effect to open-class content words compared with closed-class function words, whereas low-proficiency learners did not show a significant N100 difference between open- and closed-class words. In contrast, amplitude of the N400 word category effect correlated with learners' L2 comprehension, rather than predicting syntactic learning. Taken together, these results indicate that learners who spontaneously direct greater attention to open- rather than closed-class words when processing L2 input show better syntactic learning, suggesting a link between selective attention to open-class content words and acquisition of basic morphosyntactic rules. These findings highlight the importance of selective attention mechanisms for L2 acquisition. PMID:24666165
Batterink, Laura; Neville, Helen J.
Millions of adults worldwide are faced with the task of learning a second language (L2). Understanding the neural mechanisms that support this learning process is an important area of scientific inquiry. However, most previous studies on the neural mechanisms underlying L2 acquisition have focused on characterizing the results of learning, relying upon end-state outcome measures in which learning is assessed after it has occurred, rather than on the learning process itself. In the present study, we adopted a novel and more direct approach to investigate neural mechanisms engaged during L2 learning, in which we recorded ERPs from beginning adult learners as they were exposed to an unfamiliar L2 for the first time. Learners’ proficiency in the L2 was then assessed behaviorally using a grammaticality judgment task, and ERP data acquired during initial L2 exposure were sorted as a function of performance on this task. High proficiency learners showed a larger N100 effect to open-class content words compared to closed-class function words, while low proficiency learners did not show a significant N100 difference between open- and closed-class words. In contrast, amplitude of the N400 word category effect correlated with learners’ L2 comprehension, rather than predicting syntactic learning. Taken together, these results indicate that learners who spontaneously direct greater attention to open- rather than closed-class words when processing L2 input show better syntactic learning, suggesting a link between selective attention to open-class content words and acquisition of basic morphosyntactic rules. These findings highlight the importance of selective attention mechanisms for L2 acquisition. PMID:24666165
The scholarly literature about the process of second language (L2) learning has focused to a considerable extent on cognitive processes. Left aside are questions about how emotions fit into an understanding of L2 learning. One goal of this plenary is to demonstrate that we have limited our understanding of L2 learning by failing to take into…
Borodkin, Katy; Faust, Miriam
Difficulties in second language (L2) learning are often associated with recognizable learning difficulties in native language (L1), such as in dyslexia. However, some individuals have low L2 proficiency but intact L1 reading skills. These L2 learners experience frequent tip-of-the-tongue states while naming in L1, which indicates that they have a…
Jiang, Mei; Green, Raymond J.; Henley, Tracy B.; Masten, William G.
Learners who begin to acquire a second language (L2) in a naturalistic environment after puberty are thought to be constrained by biological age factors and to have greater difficulty obtaining native-like L2. However, the extant literature suggests that L2 acquisition may be positively affected by post-maturational factors, such as acculturation.…
Ever since the publication of Hawkins's (1984) "Awareness of Language," researchers have been investigating the language awareness of second language (L2) learners. Few studies, however, have targeted the relationship between classroom learners' language awareness and L2 production, with fewer still focusing on language awareness and L2…
Nobuyoshi, Junko; Ellis, Rod
A study of six adult learners of English as a Second Language provides some evidence to suggest that pushing learners to produce more accurate output contributes to acquisition. The data also demonstrate how this might be achieved through focused communication tasks. (Contains 11 references.) (Author)
Examines differences in oral narrative discourse of adult second-language learners of English on narrative tasks simulating the ability to describe events in the Here-and-Now versus the There-and-Then. Results indicate that complex tasks elicit less fluent, but more accurate and complex narration than do simpler tasks. (90 references) (Author/CK)
Neuroimaging techniques are becoming not only more and more sophisticated but are also coming to be increasingly accessible to researchers. One thing that one should take note of is the potential of neuroimaging research within second language acquisition (SLA) to contribute to issues pertaining to the plasticity of the adult brain and to general…
In this article I provide evidence that despite frequently cited differences between child first language (L1) and adult second language (L2) speakers in overt behavior (performance) during grammatical development, the nature, source, and limits of implicit knowledge (competence) in native and second language grammars are equivalent (i.e., they…
The objectives of this study are (a) to determine if native speakers of Canadian French at different English proficiencies can use primary stress for recognizing English words and (b) to specify how the second language (L2) learners' (surface-level) knowledge of L2 stress placement influences their use of primary stress in L2 word recognition. Two…
Language Australia, Melbourne (Victoria). Adult Education Resource and Information Service.
This annotated bibliography provides a summary of relevant and contemporary resources available in the ARIS Resource collection related to English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) or second language literacy. The summaries have been broadly classified to enable readers to locate their immediate area of interest. "Background Readings on Second Language…
It is widely assumed that ultimate attainment in adult second language (L2) learners often differs quite radically from ultimate attainment in child L2 learners. This article addresses the question of whether learners at different ages also show qualitative differences in the process of L2 acquisition. Longitudinal production data from two…
Soskey, Laura; Holcomb, Phillip J; Midgley, Katherine J
How do the neural mechanisms involved in word recognition evolve over the course of word learning in adult learners of a new second language? The current study sought to closely track language effects, which are differences in electrophysiological indices of word processing between one's native and second languages, in beginning university learners over the course of a single semester of learning. Monolingual L1 English-speakers enrolled in introductory Spanish were first trained on a list of 228 Spanish words chosen from the vocabulary to be learned in class. Behavioral data from the training session and the following experimental sessions spaced over the course of the semester showed expected learning effects. In the three laboratory sessions participants read words in three lists (English, Spanish and mixed) while performing a go/no-go lexical decision task in which event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. As observed in previous studies there were ERP language effects with larger N400s to native than second language words. Importantly, this difference declined over the course of L2 learning with N400 amplitude increasing for new second language words. These results suggest that even over a single semester of learning that new second language words are rapidly incorporated into the word recognition system and begin to take on lexical and semantic properties similar to native language words. Moreover, the results suggest that electrophysiological measures can be used as sensitive measures for tracking the acquisition of new linguistic knowledge. PMID:27233808
Crossley, Scott; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle
This study investigated second language (L2) lexical development in the spontaneous speech of six adult, L2 English learners in a 1-year longitudinal study. One important aspect of lexical development is lexical organization and depth of knowledge. Hypernymic relations, the hierarchical relationships among related words that vary in relation to…
Reviews research on the acquisition of second-language (L2) phonology, focusing on whether adult learners have access to the principles and parameters of Universal Grammar (UG). It argues that UG is still accessible in L2 phonological acquisition, and parameters can be reset but that the Subset Principle can impede learning success. (51…
Many age-related second language (L2) studies have confirmed that young children have a better chance to become nativelike in L2 acquisition than adults. The current study investigated whether age effects exist in the L2 acquisition of Japanese and whether nativelike proficiency is guaranteed for early child L2 starters after constant target…
A study investigated success and efficiency of second language learners at varying proficiency levels in communicating intended meaning, including examination of factors contributing to communication breakdown and delay. Three groups of adults (native English-speakers and low- and high-proficiency learners of English as a Second Language)…
Learning new vocabulary words in a second language is a challenge for the adult learner, especially when the second language writing system differs from the first language writing system. According to the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti & Hart, 2001), there are three constituents to word-level knowledge: orthographic, phonological, and…
This article explores the links between citizenship and race in second-language education through an examination of the ways in which citizenship is linked to English language proficiency within a key Canadian federal adult English as a Second Language assessment document, the "Canadian Language Benchmarks" ("CLB"). It uses…
For many reasons second language vocabulary learning and teaching continues to be a topic of interest for learners, instructors, and researchers. This article describes the implementation of personal glossaries in a community program offering English as second language classes to Latina/o Spanish speaking adults. Field notes, interviews, and…
Gallagher, W. K.
The paper discusses the major second language teaching methods used to date in contrast with the strategies and techniques all children so successfully employ in first language acquisition. Second language acquisition for adults is not identical to first language acquisition but research seems to support the theory that it is similar. Successful…
What is second language fluency? What is a foreign accent? Is it possible for an adult second language learner to speak fluently with a heavy accent or vice versa? What factors contribute to the perception of fluency and a foreign accent? What acoustic attributes correlate with the perception of fluency and a foreign accent? To answer these…
Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Baoguo; Lu, Chunming; Dunlap, Susan
This paper presents an experiment that investigated the effects of L2 proficiency and sentence constraint on semantic processing of unknown L2 words (pseudowords). All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a second language. In the experiment, we used a whole sentence presentation paradigm with a delayed semantic relatedness judgment task. Both higher and lower-proficiency L2 learners could make use of the high-constraint sentence context to judge the meaning of novel pseudowords, and higher-proficiency L2 learners outperformed lower-proficiency L2 learners in all conditions. These results demonstrate that both L2 proficiency and sentence constraint affect subsequent word learning among second language learners. We extended L2 word learning into a sentence context, replicated the sentence constraint effects previously found among native speakers, and found proficiency effects in L2 word learning. PMID:26094128
The study of second-language (L2) reading comprehension and instruction has become the focus of increasing attention in the past few decades. Two recent publications, "Reading in a Second Language: Moving From Theory to Practice" by William Grabe and "Second Language Reading Research and Instruction: Crossing the Boundaries" edited by ZhaoHong Han…
Phonological development in first and second languages (L1 and L2 respectively) has not been extensively studied in young children who are acquiring a second language via immersion. This lack of information is unfortunate, as the number of children who are acquiring a second language in this context is growing and such children make up a part of…
The current study investigated the impact of recasts together with form-focused instruction (FFI) on the development of second language speech perception and production of English /?/ by Japanese learners. Forty-five learners were randomly assigned to three groups--FFI recasts, FFI only, and Control--and exposed to four hours of communicatively…
Wakefield, Dara V.
Provides a rationale for approaching mathematics as a second language. Gives teaching suggestions: begin in early childhood, stress similarities between math and language, use spoken math before written, use authentic assessment, and focus on real-life math use. (SK)
Linck, Jared A; Kroll, Judith F; Sunderman, Gretchen
Adults are notoriously poor second-language (L2) learners. A context that enables successful L2 acquisition is language immersion. In this study, we investigated the effects of immersion learning for a group of university students studying abroad in Spain. Our interest was in the effect of immersion on the native language (L1), English. We tested the hypothesis that immersion benefits L2 learning as a result of attenuated influence of the L1. Participants were English-speaking learners of Spanish who were either immersed in Spanish while living in Spain or exposed to Spanish in the classroom only. Performance on both comprehension and production tasks showed that immersed learners outperformed their classroom counterparts with respect to L2 proficiency. However, the results also revealed that immersed learners had reduced L1 access. The pattern of data is most consistent with the interpretation that the L1 was inhibited while the learners were immersed. PMID:19906121
Sagarra, Nuria; Herschensohn, Julia
This study examines whether adult second language (L2) learners of an ungendered first language (L1) are sensitive to gender congruency (grammatical feature absent in the L1) and noun animacy (semantic feature present in the L1) when processing L2 gender concord and whether L2 proficiency level determines such sensitivity. To address these…
This article reports on a multiple case study that investigated the dynamic and situated nature of learners' willingness to communicate (WTC) in second language (L2) classrooms. Framed within a sociocognitive perspective on L2 learning which draws together social, environmental, and individual factors, this study traced WTC among six learners…
Zapata, Gabriela C.; Lacorte, Manel
This article describes the first part of a study that explores the metaphorical language used by 64 second language (L2) Spanish and English as a foreign language (EFL) pre- and inservice teaching assistants and instructors in their conceptualization of L2 teachers and students. The article investigates the philosophical perspective embedded in…
This project investigates second language (L2) learners' processing of four types of Chinese relative clauses crossing extraction types and demonstrative-classifier (DCl) positions. Using a word order judgment task with a whole-sentence reading technique, the study also discusses how psycholinguistic theories bear explanatory power in L2…
van Hell, Janet G.; Tanner, Darren
Although research has consistently shown that a bilingual's two languages interact on multiple levels, it is also well-established that bilinguals can vary considerably in their proficiency in the second language (L2). In this paper we review empirical studies that have examined how differences in L2 proficiency modulate cross-language…
Saidi, Ladan Ghazi; Perlbarg, Vincent; Marrelec, Guillaume; Pelegrini-Issac, Melani; Benali, Habib; Ansaldo, Ana-Ines
Functional connectivity changes in the language network (Price, 2010), and in a control network involved in second language (L2) processing (Abutalebi & Green, 2007) were examined in a group of Persian (L1) speakers learning French (L2) words. Measures of network integration that characterize the global integrative state of a network (Marrelec,…
Zapata, Gabriela C.
The increasing importance of computer assisted language learning (CALL) in second language (L2) classes has added a new dimension to L2 research, and it has challenged scholars to find valid research methods and theoretical frameworks that can be applied in the analysis of the linguistic and social aspects of the interaction among students and…
The aim of this bilingual (French/English) symposium was to inform researchers and teacher educators about the specific challenges faced by second language (L2) students and teachers in creating an inclusive L2 classroom in order to encourage plurilingual, non-English-dominant students and students with learning difficulties to succeed. In the…
Morphological variability and the source of these errors have been intensely debated in SLA. A recurrent finding is that postpuberty second language (L2) learners often omit or use the wrong affix for nominal and verbal inflections in oral production but less so in written tasks. According to the missing surface inflection hypothesis, L2 learners…
The present study investigated second language (L2) learners' acquisition of automatic word recognition and the development of L2 orthographic representation in the mental lexicon. Participants in the study were Japanese university students enrolled in a compulsory course involving a weekly 30-minute sustained silent reading (SSR) activity with…
It has been argued that languaging plays a crucial role in learning a second language (L2). The effects of languaging, especially oral languaging (e.g., collaborative dialogue, private speech), have been tested on the learning of L2 knowledge domains. This study explored the effects of written languaging by asking 24 Japanese learners of English…
Paribakht, T. Sima
The role of grammatical knowledge in second language (L2) lexical processing is far from clear. Providing evidence from a recent introspective study, this paper seeks to demonstrate the significant contribution that such knowledge can make to inferring the meanings of unfamiliar words while reading, and to possible consequent acquisition of L2…
Hummel, Kirsten M.; French, Leif M.
There is mounting evidence that phonological memory (PM), a sub-component of working memory, is closely related to various aspects of second language (L2) learning in a variety of populations, suggesting that PM may be an essential cognitive mechanism underlying successful L2 acquisition. This article provides a brief critical review of the role…
Motivated by predictions of the theory of Input Processing, this study adds to previous research on second language (L2) Spanish pronunciation learning by investigating the impact of two distinct types of pronunciation assignments on first language (L1) English L2 Spanish students' improvement in pronunciation of the vowels /e, o/. Two sections of…
Kennedy, Sara; Trofimovich, Pavel
We examined the relationship between the quality of second language (L2) learners' language awareness (as shown through dialogue journal entries) and the quality of their L2 pronunciation (as assessed through listener-based ratings of accentedness, comprehensibility, and fluency). The participants were 10 students enrolled in a 13-week…
de Jong, Kenneth J.; Silbert, Noah H.; Park, Hanyong
This article examines the extent of differences between second language (L2) learners in their abilities to identify L2 consonants and provides evidence for linguistic generalization from one consonant to other consonants. It distinguishes among different sorts of models of the relationship between segments: (a) "segmentally specific models" in…
James, Mark Andrew
Research on motivation in second language (L2) education has tended to focus on learning; this study took an alternative perspective, examining students' motivation to transfer L2 learning. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 40 students who were enrolled in several sections of a university English-for-academic-purposes…
The present study addressed the role of speed as a factor in tests of second language (L2) vocabulary knowledge, presupposing that speed of performance is important in actual language use. Research questions were: (a) Do learners with a larger vocabulary size answer faster on an L2 vocabulary breadth test than smaller vocabulary sized learners?;…
This study investigated whether learners of Japanese with different first language (L1) writing systems use different recognition strategies and whether second language (L2) exposure affects L2 kanji recognition. The study used a computerized lexical judgment task with 3 types of kanji characters to investigate these questions: (a)…
Snape, Neal; Kupisch, Tanja
An area of considerable interest in second language (L2) acquisition is the difficulties learners face with the acquisition of articles. This article examines the role of prosody in the acquisition of articles by an endstate L2 English speaker focusing on the free morphemes "the" and "a". In order to analyse the articles produced by a Turkish…
Elston-Guttler, Kerrie E.; Williams, John N.
The present study investigates the influence of first language (L1) lexicalization patterns on the processing of second language (L2) words in sentential contexts by advanced German learners of English. The focus was on cases where a polysemous word in the L1 is realized by independent words in the L2, e.g. German "Blase" realized by English…
Achim, Andre; Marquis, Alexandra
Studies of bilingualism sometimes require healthy subjects to be assessed for proficiency at auditory sentence processing in their second language (L2). The Syntactic Comprehension task of the Bilingual Aphasia Test could satisfy this need. For ease and uniformity of application, we automated its English (Paradis, M., Libben, G., and Hummel, K.…
An exploration of second language acquisition research's traditionally separate focus on learners or learning, covering the development-as-sequence model, the development-as-growth model, learning style, cognitive orientation, and affective orientation, argues that a "whole" approach to language teaching must consider both the structural nature of…
Ionin, Tania; Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa; Philippov, Vadim
This paper examines article use in the L2-English of adult and child speakers of Russian, an article-less language. In earlier work on articles in adult L2-English, Ionin, Ko and Wexler (2004) proposed that speakers of article-less L1s fluctuate between dividing English articles on the basis of definiteness vs. specificity, as a result of direct…
Jeong, Hyeonjeong; Sugiura, Motoaki; Sassa, Yuko; Yokoyama, Satoru; Horie, Kaoru; Sato, Shigeru; Taira, Masato; Kawashima, Ryuta
The goal of this study was to examine the effect of the linguistic distance between a first language (L1) and a second language (L2) on neural activity during second language relative to first language processing. We compared different L1-L2 pairs in which different linguistic features characterize linguistic distance. Chinese and Korean native…