Ellis, Nick C.; Sagarra, Nuria
The current study investigates the limited attainment of adult language acquisition in terms of an associative learning phenomenon whereby earlier learned cues attentionally block those that are experienced later. Short- and long-term blocking are demonstrated in experimental investigations of learned attention in the acquisition of temporal…
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…
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…
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…
Flynn, Suzanne; Foley, Claire; Vinnitskaya, Inna
In this paper we argue that investigation of third language (L3) acquisition by adults and children provides essential new insights about the language learning process that neither the study of first language (L1) nor second language (L2) acquisition alone can provide. The focus of this paper concerns the role the learner's L1 plays in succeeding…
Mayberry, Rachel I.; Chen, Jen-Kai; Witcher, Pamela; Klein, Denise
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we neuroimaged deaf adults as they performed two linguistic tasks with sentences in American Sign Language, grammatical judgment and phonemic-hand judgment. Participants' age-onset of sign language acquisition ranged from birth to 14 years; length of sign language experience was substantial and…
Ellis, Nick C.; Sagarra, Nuria
This study investigates associative learning explanations of the limited attainment of adult compared to child language acquisition in terms of learned attention to cues. It replicates and extends Ellis and Sagarra (2010) in demonstrating short- and long-term learned attention in the acquisition of temporal reference in Latin. In Experiment 1,…
Crain, Stephen; Goro, Takuya; Thornton, Rosalind
According to the theory of Universal Grammar, the primary linguistic data guides children through an innately specified space of hypotheses. On this view, similarities between child-English and adult-German are as unsurprising as similarities between cousins who have never met. By contrast, experience-based approaches to language acquisition contend that child language matches the input, with nonadult forms being simply less articulated versions of the forms produced by adults. This paper reports several studies that provide support for the theory of Universal grammar, and resist explanation on experience-based accounts. Two studies investigate English-speaking children's productions, and a third examines the interpretation of sentences by Japanese speaking children. When considered against the input children are exposed to, the findings of these and other studies are consistent with the continuity hypothesis, which supposes that child language can differ from the language spoken by adults only in ways that adult languages can differ from each other.
Pittaway, Daniel S.
The article argues that Norton Peirce's (1995) concept of a language learner's investment should figure centrally in how instructors address the needs of adult learners in ESL classrooms. Investment is discussed in relation to second language acquisition research that addresses the role of social factors in second language acquisition. The article…
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…
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…
Second language acquisition (SLA) is a field that investigates child and adult SLA from a variety of theoretical perspectives. This article provides a survey of some key areas of concern including formal generative theory and emergentist theory in the areas of morpho-syntax and phonology. The review details the theoretical stance of the two different approaches to the nature of language: generative linguistics and general cognitive approaches. Some results of key acquisition studies from the two theoretical frameworks are discussed. From a generative perspective, constraints on wh-movement, feature geometry and syllable structure, and morphological development are highlighted. From a general cognitive point of view, the emergence of tense and aspect marking from a prototype account of inherent lexical aspect is reviewed. Reference is made to general cognitive learning theories and to sociocultural theory. The article also reviews individual differences research, specifically debate on the critical period in adult language acquisition, motivation, and memory. Finally, the article discusses the relationship between SLA research and second language pedagogy. Suggestions for further reading from recent handbooks on SLA are provided. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 277-286 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.106 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
Davidson, Kathryn; Mayberry, Rachel I.
Language acquisition involves learning not only grammatical rules and a lexicon but also what people are intending to convey with their utterances: the semantic/pragmatic component of language. In this article we separate the contributions of linguistic development and cognitive maturity to the acquisition of the semantic/pragmatic component of…
Julien, Manuela; van Hout, Roeland; van de Craats, Ineke
This article presents the results of experimental data on language production and comprehension. These show that adult learners of Dutch as an additional language, with different language backgrounds, and a L2 proficiency below level A2 (Waystage) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR; Council of Europe, 2001), use…
O'Grady, William; Hattori, Ryoko
Intergenerational transmission, the ultimate goal of language revitalization efforts, can only be achieved by (re)establishing the conditions under which an imperiled language can be acquired by the community's children. This paper presents a tutorial survey of several key points relating to language acquisition and maintenance in children,…
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…
Gaining proficiency in the host country language is a key element to successful integration of new immigrants. In this article, the author adopts Bourdieu's perspective that accumulation and conversion of forms of capital is only possible through practice in a social field; therefore, the author puts forward the idea that language capital…
The experiments outlined in this paper assess the relative effectiveness of two approaches to teaching foreign language grammar to adults. One approach, called the "Implicit Method," is based on the audiolingual habit theory of language learning. Grammar is taught inductively through the reading of dialogues and practice with carefully…
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…
Kaelin, Ann Marie
A study investigated the efficacy of the mnemonic graphic organizer strategy on the vocabulary acquisition of beginning and advanced adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students. Subjects, 48 adults enrolled in two adult ESL classes at a metropolitan adult school, were randomly divided into control and experimental groups. The experimental…
de Villiers, Peter A; de Villiers, Jill G
This review addresses questions of what should be assessed in language acquisition, and how to do it. The design of a language assessment is crucially connected to its purpose, whether for diagnosis, development of an intervention plan, or for research. Precise profiles of language strengths and weaknesses are required for clear definitions of the phenotypes of particular language and neurodevelopmental disorders. The benefits and costs of formal tests versus language sampling assessments are reviewed. Content validity, theoretically and empirically grounded in child language acquisition, is claimed to be centrally important for appropriate assessment. Without this grounding, links between phenomena can be missed, and interpretations of underlying difficulties can be compromised. Sensitivity and specificity of assessment instruments are often assessed using a gold standard of existing tests and diagnostic practices, but problems arise if that standard is biased against particular groups or dialects. The paper addresses the issues raised by the goal of unbiased assessment of children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, especially speakers of non-mainstream dialects or bilingual children. A variety of new approaches are discussed for language assessment, including dynamic assessment, experimental tools such as intermodal preferential looking, and training studies that assess generalization. Stress is placed on the need for measures of the process of acquisition rather than just levels of achievement. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
Clark, Alexander; Lappin, Shalom
Learning theory has frequently been applied to language acquisition, but discussion has largely focused on information theoretic problems-in particular on the absence of direct negative evidence. Such arguments typically neglect the probabilistic nature of cognition and learning in general. We argue first that these arguments, and analyses based on them, suffer from a major flaw: they systematically conflate the hypothesis class and the learnable concept class. As a result, they do not allow one to draw significant conclusions about the learner. Second, we claim that the real problem for language learning is the computational complexity of constructing a hypothesis from input data. Studying this problem allows for a more direct approach to the object of study--the language acquisition device-rather than the learnable class of languages, which is epiphenomenal and possibly hard to characterize. The learnability results informed by complexity studies are much more insightful. They strongly suggest that target grammars need to be objective, in the sense that the primitive elements of these grammars are based on objectively definable properties of the language itself. These considerations support the view that language acquisition proceeds primarily through data-driven learning of some form.
Gass, Susan M., Ed.; Selinker, Larry, Ed.
The study of native language influence in Second Language Acquisition has undergone significant changes over the past few decades. This book, which includes 12 chapters by distinguished researchers in the field of second language acquisition, traces the conceptual history of language transfer from its early role within a Contrastive Analysis…
Speaker, Kathryne McGrath; Taylor, Deborah; Kamen, Ruth
We know that children are active participants in their acquisition of language. Their language patterns are learned in social contexts while they are interacting with other children and adults. Studies continue to confirm that the development of vocabulary and syntactic complexity in language are more advanced in children who are frequently…
Tragant, Elsa; Muñoz, Carmen
After discussing the ties between language teaching and second language acquisition research, the present paper reviews the role that second language acquisition research has played on two recent pedagogical proposals. First, communicative language teaching, advocated in the early eighties, in which focus on the code was excluded, and then the…
de Marcken, Carl
This thesis presents a computational theory of unsupervised language acquisition, precisely defining procedures for learning language from ordinary spoken or written utterances, with no explicit help from a teacher. The theory is based heavily on concepts borrowed from machine learning and statistical estimation. In particular, learning takes place by fitting a stochastic, generative model of language to the evidence. Much of the thesis is devoted to explaining conditions that must hold for this general learning strategy to arrive at linguistically desirable grammars. The thesis introduces a variety of technical innovations, among them a common representation for evidence and grammars, and a learning strategy that separates the ``content'' of linguistic parameters from their representation. Algorithms based on it suffer from few of the search problems that have plagued other computational approaches to language acquisition. The theory has been tested on problems of learning vocabularies and grammars from unsegmented text and continuous speech, and mappings between sound and representations of meaning. It performs extremely well on various objective criteria, acquiring knowledge that causes it to assign almost exactly the same structure to utterances as humans do. This work has application to data compression, language modeling, speech recognition, machine translation, information retrieval, and other tasks that rely on either structural or stochastic descriptions of language.
Most explanatory work on first and second language learning assumes the primacy of the acquisition phenomenon itself, and a good deal of work has been devoted to the search for an "acquisition device" that is specific to humans, and perhaps even to language. I will consider the possibility that this strategy is misguided and that language…
Discusses whether markedness is at work in second-language acquisition in the same way it is in first-language acquisition when Korean speakers learn English as a second language and English speakers learn Korean as a second language. Results are discussed in terms of no access to universal grammar, partial access to universal grammar, and access…
Bersudsky, Yuly; Fine, Jonathan; Gorjaltsan, Igor; Chen, Osnat; Walters, Joel
Language acquisition involves brain processes that can be affected by lesions or dysfunctions in several brain systems and second language acquisition may depend on different brain substrates than first language acquisition in childhood. A total of 16 Russian immigrants to Israel, 8 diagnosed schizophrenics and 8 healthy immigrants, were compared. The primary data for this study were collected via sociolinguistic interviews. The two groups use language and learn language in very much the same way. Only exophoric reference and blocking revealed meaningful differences between the schizophrenics and healthy counterparts. This does not mean of course that schizophrenia does not induce language abnormalities. Our study focuses on those aspects of language that are typically difficult to acquire in second language acquisition. Despite the cognitive compromises in schizophrenia and the manifest atypicalities in language of speakers with schizophrenia, the process of acquiring a second language seems relatively unaffected by schizophrenia.
Investigates differential effects of reading and paired associate learning on vocabulary acquisition of adult English-as-a-Second-Language learners. Two groups of university students participated. One group read "Animal Farm" while the comparison group memorized a list of words preselected from the novel. Suggests that for encouraging long-term…
Eckman, Fred R., Ed.; And Others
Works on second language acquisition theories, affective variables and communicative competence, and interlanguage were compiled as a result of a symposium on universals of second language acquisition at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The papers include: "On the Variability of Interlangauge Systems" (Elaine Tarone); "Memory, Learning, and…
Montrul, Silvina; Foote, Rebecca; Perpinan, Silvia
This study investigates knowledge of gender agreement in Spanish L2 learners and heritage speakers, who differ in age and context/mode of acquisition. On some current theoretical accounts, persistent difficulty with grammatical gender in adult L2 acquisition is due to age. These accounts predict that heritage speakers should be more accurate on…
Baker, Colin; Andrews, Hunydd; Gruffydd, Ifor; Lewis, Gwyn
This article discusses the importance of adult language learning when a minority language is threatened. Language acquisition planning attempts to reproduce the language across generations. The research context is Wales with its strong history of adults learning Welsh. The history of the Welsh language shows a decline in the last century, but…
Takano, Shunichi; Nakamura, Shigeru
Language and human are not anything in the outside of nature. Not only babies, even adults can acquire new language naturally, if they have a natural multilingual environment around them. The reason it is possible would be that any human has an ability to grasp the whole of language, and at the same time, language has an order which is the easiest to acquire for humans. The process of this natural acquisition and a result of investigating the order of Japanese vowels are introduced. .
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…
Brandt, Anthony; Gebrian, Molly; Slevc, L Robert
Language is typically viewed as fundamental to human intelligence. Music, while recognized as a human universal, is often treated as an ancillary ability - one dependent on or derivative of language. In contrast, we argue that it is more productive from a developmental perspective to describe spoken language as a special type of music. A review of existing studies presents a compelling case that musical hearing and ability is essential to language acquisition. In addition, we challenge the prevailing view that music cognition matures more slowly than language and is more difficult; instead, we argue that music learning matches the speed and effort of language acquisition. We conclude that music merits a central place in our understanding of human development.
Brandt, Anthony; Gebrian, Molly; Slevc, L. Robert
Language is typically viewed as fundamental to human intelligence. Music, while recognized as a human universal, is often treated as an ancillary ability – one dependent on or derivative of language. In contrast, we argue that it is more productive from a developmental perspective to describe spoken language as a special type of music. A review of existing studies presents a compelling case that musical hearing and ability is essential to language acquisition. In addition, we challenge the prevailing view that music cognition matures more slowly than language and is more difficult; instead, we argue that music learning matches the speed and effort of language acquisition. We conclude that music merits a central place in our understanding of human development. PMID:22973254
Wolfson, Nessa, Ed.; Judd, Elliot, Ed.
The following are included in this collection of essays on patterns of rules of speaking, and sociolinguistics and second language learning and teaching: "How to Tell When Someone Is Saying 'No' Revisited" (Joan Rubin); "Apology: A Speech-Act Set" (Elite Olshtain and Andrew Cohen); "Interpreting and Performing Speech Acts in a Second Language: A…
Shneidman, Laura Ann
Theories of language acquisition have highlighted the importance of adult speakers as active participants in children's language learning. However, in many communities children are reported to be rarely directly engaged by their caregivers. This raises the possibility that children in these communities learn language from observing 3 rd party…
Bakhtiari, Dariush; Greenberg, Daphne; Patton-Terry, Nicole; Nightingale, Elena
Oral language is a critical component to the development of reading acquisition. Much of the research concerning the relationship between oral language and reading ability is focused on children, while there is a paucity of research focusing on this relationship for adults who struggle with their reading. Oral language as defined in this paper…
Garate, Jose Valencia; Iragui, Jasone Cenoz
A study investigated the role of bilingualism (Basque/Spanish) and motivation in third (English) language acquisition in Spain's Basque country. Subjects were 321 secondary school students in two programs, one with instruction primarily in Spanish and one with instruction primarily in Basque. The following independent variables were analyzed in…
Smith, Paul R., Jr.
Article surveys the special theories and empirical studies of language acquisition carried out by Soviet psychologists, especially in the period since 1950. The basic principles of materialism, historicism and social reference characteristic of Soviet Marxist psychology are placed in contrast to certain current tendencies in American linguistics.…
Mayberry, R I
This study determined whether the long-range outcome of first-language acquisition, when the learning begins after early childhood, is similar to that of second-language acquisition. Subjects were 36 deaf adults who had contrasting histories of spoken and sign language acquisition. Twenty-seven subjects were born deaf and began to acquire American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language at ages ranging from infancy to late childhood. Nine other subjects were born with normal hearing, which they lost in late childhood; they subsequently acquired ASL as a second language (because they had acquired spoken English as a first language in early childhood). ASL sentence processing was measured by recall of long and complex sentences and short-term memory for signed digits. Subjects who acquired ASL as a second language after childhood outperformed those who acquired it as a first language at exactly the same age. In addition, the performance of the subjects who acquired ASL as a first language declined in association with increasing age of acquisition. Effects were most apparent for sentence processing skills related to lexical identification, grammatical acceptability, and memory for sentence meaning. No effects were found for skills related to fine-motor production and pattern segmentation.
Ramos, Teresita V.
Very little research has been done on first or second language acquisition in the Philippines. Most second language learning studies cited in the literature concern acquisition of English in English-speaking communities, and most American studies of Filipino language acquisition are superficial, consisting primarily of morpheme analysis. The…
Andersen, Roger W., Ed.
Pidginization and creolization are addressed from a language acquisition perspective. The 18 collected papers are organized around four areas of inquiry: (1) simplification in input to pidginization and second language acquisition, (2) simplification in interlanguage, (3) creolization and language acquisition, and (4) decreolization and language…
Pulvermuller, Friedemann; Schumann, John H.
Specifies language acquisition processes in terms of brain mechanisms to explain the variable success achieved by early and late learners and proposes a brain-based model for language acquisition on the basis of the literature. Two conditions for full acquisition of a language are motivation and grammatical ability. The neural underpinnings for…
Based on the theory of linguistic universal and Second Language Acquisition (SLA), the paper discusses the acquisition of syntactic positions of adverbs in English. According to the data collected, the paper concludes that what adult learners acquire about adverbs is the distinction of different adverbs and the different scopes they take.…
Corder, S. Pit
Discusses second language acquisition, the importance of comprehensible input to this acquisition, and the inadequacy of the theory of language interference as an explanation for errors in second language speech. The role of the teacher in the language classroom and the "procedural syllabus" are described. (SED)
Assumes unified language behavior including verbal, kinesic, and prosodic forms. Proposes that interlanguage theory should be expanded to include kinesic and prosodic modes of behavior. Suggests that acquisition of second-language kinesic and prosodic forms takes place similarly to acquisition of verbal forms and that acquisition is developmental,…
This article extends Optimality Theoretic studies to the research on second language tone phonology. Specifically, this work analyses the acquisition of identical tone sequences in Mandarin Chinese by adult speakers of three non-tonal languages: English, Japanese and Korean. This study finds that the learners prefer not to use identical lexical…
Rebuschat, Patrick; Williams, John N.
Language development is frequently characterized as a process where learning proceeds implicitly, that is, incidentally and in absence of awareness of what was learned. This article reports the results of two experiments that investigated whether second language acquisition can also result in implicit knowledge. Adult learners were trained on an…
How to acquire a second language is a question of obvious importance to teachers and language learners, and how to teach a second language has also become a matter of concern to the linguists' interest in the nature of primary linguistic data. Starting with the development stages of second language acquisition and Stephen Krashen's theory, this…
Gagliardi, Ann C.
This dissertation presents an approach for a productive way forward in the study of language acquisition, sealing the rift between claims of an innate linguistic hypothesis space and powerful domain general statistical inference. This approach breaks language acquisition into its component parts, distinguishing the input in the environment from…
Suggests that, despite some perceptions, second language acquisition theory has a history. Disputes arguments that might be formulated to support the notion that second language acquisition theory has no relevant earlier history, enumerates consequences of maintaining this belief, and speculates about benefits to the field that might accrue from…
Ambridge, Ben; Lieven, Elena V. M.
Is children's language acquisition based on innate linguistic structures or built from cognitive and communicative skills? This book summarises the major theoretical debates in all of the core domains of child language acquisition research (phonology, word-learning, inflectional morphology, syntax and binding) and includes a complete introduction…
Eckman, Fred R., Ed.; Hastings, Ashley J., Ed.
Papers presented at a 1977 symposium on language acquisition held at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee are included. Contents are as follows: "Assumptions, Methods and Goals in Language Acquisition Research" (Sheldon); "The Mother as LAD: Interaction between Order and Frequency of Parental Input and Child Production"…
Andersen, Roger W., Ed.
The following papers are included: (1) "Some Common Goals for Second and First Language Acquisition Research" by Kenji Hakuta; (2) "Research on the Measurement of Affective Variables: Some Remaining Questions" by John W. Oller, Jr.; (3) "The Effects of Neurological Age on Nonprimary Language Acquisition" by Thomas…
Overland, Paul; Fields, Lee; Noonan, Jennifer
Is it feasible for nonfluent instructors to teach Biblical Hebrew by communicative principles? If it is feasible, will communicative instruction enhance postsecondary learning of a classical language? To begin answering these questions, two consultants representing second language acquisition (SLA) and technology-assisted language learning led 8…
Kuppens, An H.
A number of experimental studies have demonstrated the incidental acquisition of a foreign language by children and adolescents when watching foreign language television. While such experiments can only establish short-term effects, this article investigates the extent to which children's foreign language skills benefit from their long-term…
It is proposed that there are cultural universals in the use of language and that these universals have implications for language acquisition. The model rests on three hypotheses: (1) there are culturally universal tendencies in the linguistic marking of four dimensions of language (epistemic and affective stances, social acts, social activities,…
Diaz, Diana M.
Scholars from varied disciplines--first language (L1) acquisition, second language (L2) acquisition, composition research, and cognitive psychology--have found a high level of permeability in their search for more effective classroom models of writing instruction. Among the most influential work in this area has been Stephen Krashen's theory of L2…
Skaer, Peter M.
A language typology based on common errors made in pronunciation of English by speakers of other languages is presented and discussed. The classification system was developed from the concept of interlanguage, the intermediate step between a language learner's native and target languages, and the notion that interference in learning a new language…
Although the syntactic priming methodology is a promising tool for language acquisition researchers, using the technique with children raises issues that are not problematic in adult research. The current paper reports on an individual differences study that addressed some of these outstanding issues. (a) Does priming purely reflect syntactic…
Allard, Daniele; Bourdeau, Jacqueline; Mizoguchi, Riichiro
This paper addresses the problem of cultural and native language interference in second/foreign language acquisition. More specifically, it examines issues of interference that can be traced to a student's native language and that also have a cultural component. To this effect, an understanding of what actually comprises both interference and…
This paper provides an overview of second language acquisition (SLA) research over the past several decades and highlights the ways in which it has retained its original applied and linguistic interests and enhanced them by addressing questions about acquisition processes. After discussing disciplinary contexts (SLA research and applied…
A naturalistic study looked at the acquisition of English by two Japanese boys, aged 4 and 8 years, during a 2.5-year stay in the United States. Data were collected through observation and transcription of spontaneous speech in daily life. Analysis included a variety of features of language use and of the acquisition process, including attitudes…
Examines multilingual settings in Canada and Germany and explores the differentiation between second- and third-language acquisition as well as the differentiation between acquisition and learning. The article outlines priority areas for further research and presents the prospects for a greater recognition of multilingualism as a resource in…
It was in the 1970s that American linguist S.D. Krashen created the theory of "language acquisition". The theories on second language acquisition were proposed based on the study on the second language acquisition process and its rules. Here, the second language acquisition process refers to the process in which a learner with the…
Eckman, Fred R., Ed.; And Others
Selected papers on second language acquisition and instruction from the University of Wisconsin at Madison symposium include the following: "Learning and Teaching: The Necessary Intersection" (Susan M. Gass); "Reenvisioning the Second Language Classroom: A Vygotskian Approach" (Linda Schinke-Llano); "The FOCAL SKILLS…
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…
Mora, Carmen Fonseca
Considers the value of relating music and language in the English-as-Foreign-Language (EFL) classroom. This "melodic" approach is based on evidence that musicality of speech has an effect not only on the pronunciation skills of EFL students but also their entire acquisition process. (Author/VWL)
Jenson, Cinnamon Ann
Cognitive linguists argue that certain sets of knowledge of language are innate. However, critics have argued that the theoretical concept of "innateness" should be eliminated since it is ambiguous and insubstantial. In response, I aim to strengthen theories of language acquisition and identify ways to make them more substantial. I…
Carpenter, Mark, Ed.; Koike, Dale April, Ed.
Papers reporting research on Spanish second language learning include: "Discourse Features of Spanish Oral Production at the Novice Level" (Rebecca Jo Bearden); "A Discourse Approach to the Assessment of Foreign Language Oral Proficiency" (Dale April Koike, Fanny Hinojosa); "Acquisition of Spanish Definite Articles by English-Speaking Learners of…
Implicit in the discussion of views taken by Wolfe, Geschwind, and Newmark is a claim that no learning theory based solely on "nurture" can account for the fact that language acquisition in childhood is a trait, in adulthood a skill. The child can master the language system completely, regardless of his intellectual capacity or his social…
Discusses the second language acquisition (SLA) process and the differential success of second language learners. Examines the fundamental challenges that this characterization faces, and highlights the contributions SLA is capable of in the coming decade. Offers topics for a training and development of curriculum for future applied linguists from…
Sifontes, Aida I.; Baez, Dodie
This presentation describes how to use reading to improve second language acquisition. Part 1, "Building Awareness of Reading Habits and Attitudes," has students report their habits and attitudes about reading in English and their native language and recognize the importance of reading for improving English skills. Part 2, "Choosing a Book," has…
Pawlak, Miroslaw; Waniek-Klimczak, Ewa; Majer, Jan
Developing the ability to speak in a foreign language is an arduous task. This is because it involves the mastery of different language subsystems, simultaneous focus on comprehension and production, and the impact of a range of social factors. This challenge is further compounded in situations in which learners have limited access to the target…
Kuhl, Patricia; Rivera-Gaxiola, Maritza
Infants learn language(s) with apparent ease, and the tools of modern neuroscience are providing valuable information about the mechanisms that underlie this capacity. Noninvasive, safe brain technologies have now been proven feasible for use with children starting at birth. The past decade has produced an explosion in neuroscience research examining young children's processing of language at the phonetic, word, and sentence levels. At all levels of language, the neural signatures of learning can be documented at remarkably early points in development. Individual continuity in linguistic development from infants' earliest responses to phonemes is reflected in infants' language abilities in the second and third year of life, a finding with theoretical and clinical implications. Developmental neuroscience studies using language are beginning to answer questions about the origins of humans' language faculty.
Bilson, Samuel; Yoshida, Hanako; Tran, Crystal D; Woods, Elizabeth A; Hills, Thomas T
Bilingual first language learners face unique challenges that may influence the rate and order of early word learning relative to monolinguals. A comparison of the productive vocabularies of 435 children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years-181 of which were bilingual English learners-found that monolinguals learned both English words and all-language concepts faster than bilinguals. However, bilinguals showed an enhancement of an effect previously found in monolinguals-the preference for learning words with more associative cues. Though both monolinguals and bilinguals were best fit by a similar model of word learning, semantic network structure and growth indicated that the two groups were learning English words in a different order. Further, in comparison with a model of two-monolinguals-in-one-mind, bilinguals overproduced translational equivalents. Our results support an emergent account of bilingual first language acquisition, where learning a word in one language facilitates its acquisition in a second language.
An important problem for a language learner is identifying how properties of argument structure are realized morphosyntactically in the particular language they are learning. Speakers of some L1s overgeneralize the morphosyntactic reflexes of the movement of Theme objects in English to unaccusative intransitive verbs, using passive morphology in…
Gass, Susan M., Ed.; Madden, Carolyn G., Ed.
This collection of conference papers includes: "When Does Teacher Talk Work as Input?"; "Cultural Input in Second Language Learning"; "Skilled Variation in a Kindergarten Teacher's Use of Foreigner Talk"; "Teacher-Pupil Interaction in Second Language Development"; "Foreigner Talk in the University…
This study explores whether there are differences in the choice of language learning strategy and in the frequency of its use in the concurrent acquisition of two foreign languages, one being learned in a tutored and the other in a non-tutored manner. Specifically, it investigates the tutored learning of English in a formal setting and the…
DuFon, Margaret A., Ed.; Churchill, Eton, Ed.
Examining the overseas experience of language learners in diverse contexts through a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, studies in this volume look at the acquisition of language use, socialization processes, learner motivation, identity and learning strategies. In this way, the volume offers a privileged window into learner…
Various positions regarding the Second Language Acquisition (SLA)-Language Pedagogy (LP) nexus have been advanced. Taking these as a starting point, this article will examine the nature of the SLA/LP relationship both more generally and more concretely. First, it will place the debates evident in the different positions regarding the relationship…
Three popular assertions have hindered the promotion of an empiricist approach to language acquisition: (a) that Brown and Hanlon (1970) claimed to offer data that parents do not reinforce their children's grammaticality; (b) that Brown and Hanlon also claimed to offer data that parents do not provide negative evidence (i.e., corrective feedback) for ungrammaticality; and (c) that Gold (1967) claimed to offer a formal proof showing that, without negative evidence, a child cannot acquire a language solely from environmental input. In this paper I offer introductory comments on the nature–nurture distinction (including interactionism, and the nativists' claim to have found a gene for language). Next I debunk the three aforementioned assertions by arguing that the authors (Brown & Hanlon; Gold) never made the claims attributed to them; review evidence on the role of reinforcement and corrective feedback in language acquisition; and offer some concluding comments. PMID:22477466
Bisson, Marie-Josée; van Heuven, Walter J B; Conklin, Kathy; Tunney, Richard J
First language acquisition requires relatively little effort compared to foreign language acquisition and happens more naturally through informal learning. Informal exposure can also benefit foreign language learning, although evidence for this has been limited to speech perception and production. An important question is whether informal exposure to spoken foreign language also leads to vocabulary learning through the creation of form-meaning links. Here we tested the impact of exposure to foreign language words presented with pictures in an incidental learning phase on subsequent explicit foreign language learning. In the explicit learning phase, we asked adults to learn translation equivalents of foreign language words, some of which had appeared in the incidental learning phase. Results revealed rapid learning of the foreign language words in the incidental learning phase showing that informal exposure to multi-modal foreign language leads to foreign language vocabulary acquisition. The creation of form-meaning links during the incidental learning phase is discussed.
Dugan, James E.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that results in language-related symptoms at various discourse levels, ranging from semantics (e.g. inventing words and producing nonsensical strands of similar-sounding words) to pragmatics and higher-level functioning (e.g. too little or too much information given to interlocutors, and tangential…
Schwarz, Alexander, Ed.
This collection of articles on language teaching and language acquisition theories includes: "Enseignement des langues et theories de l'acquisition. Introduction au colloque" ("Language Teaching and Theories of Acquisition. Introduction to the Colloquium") (Rene Richterich); "Apprendre une langue dans l'interaction verbale" ("Language Learning in…
Shneidman, Laura A.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan
Theories of language acquisition have highlighted the importance of adult speakers as active participants in children's language learning. However, in many communities children are reported to be directly engaged by their caregivers only rarely (Lieven, 1994). This observation raises the possibility that these children learn language from…
França, Marcio Pezzini; Wolff, Clarice Lehnen; Moojen, Sônia; Rotta, Newra Tellechea
The present study relates the acquisition of oral language to the development of writing in 236 children of a private school in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The objective of this research was to identify non-linguistic factors involved in phonological acquisition and to describe the relation of phonological acquisition with alterations of writing. At the age of 6 years, kindergarten students were divided into 2 groups, based on the test of Phonological Evaluation of Children. In the follow-up, at 9 years of age, students were evaluated by means of Balanced Dictation and textual production. The comparison of results from case and control groups showed statistically significant difference as to the number of mistakes made in writing, pointing to the acquisition of oral language as a predictive factor for the development of spelling.
Saville-Troike, M.; And Others
The development and use of verbal and nonverbal communication by children in the early stages of second language acquisition were investigated in a natural setting. Twenty young speakers of Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Spanish, Icelandic, and Polish, enrolled in a multilingual program and ranging in age from 7 to 12 years, served as subjects. All of…
Responds to L. Eubank and K. R. Gregg article (this issue), suggesting they have misinterpreted and misrepresented claims made by B. Jacobs and J. Schumann. Claims discussed include the micro- and macro-organization of neurobiology and language, the Explananda, Jacobs and Schumann's acquisition mechanism, and reductionism. The single acquisition…
Dahl, Anne; Vulchanova, Mila D
This study investigated whether it is possible to provide naturalistic second language acquisition (SLA) of vocabulary for young learners in a classroom situation without resorting to a classical immersion approach. Participants were 60 first-grade pupils in two Norwegian elementary schools in their first year. The control group followed regular instruction as prescribed by the school curriculum, while the experimental group received increased naturalistic target language input. This entailed extensive use of English by the teacher during English classes, and also during morning meetings and for simple instructions and classroom management throughout the day. Our hypothesis was that it is possible to facilitate naturalistic acquisition through better quality target language exposure within a normal curriculum. The students' English vocabulary knowledge was measured using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, version 4 (PPVT-IV, Dunn and Dunn, 2007a), at the beginning and the end of the first year of school. Findings are that (1) early-start second-language (L2) programs in school do not in themselves guarantee vocabulary development in the first year, (2) a focus on increased exposure to the L2 can lead to a significant increase in receptive vocabulary comprehension in the course of only 8 months, and (3) even with relatively modest input, learners in such an early-start L2 program can display vocabulary acquisition comparable in some respects to that of younger native children matched on vocabulary size. The overall conclusion is that naturalistic vocabulary acquisition is in fact possible in a classroom setting.
A "cognitivist" approach to cognition has traditionally dominated second language acquisition (SLA) studies. In this article, I examine two alternative approaches--"extended cognition" and "embodied cognition"--for how they might help us conceptualize SLA. More specifically, I present: (i) summaries of extended and embodied cognition, followed by…
This article aims at exploring various strategies for coping with the auditory processing disorder in the light of foreign language acquisition. The techniques relevant to dealing with the auditory processing disorder can be attributed to environmental and compensatory approaches. The environmental one involves actions directed at creating a…
Three popular assertions have hindered the promotion of an empiricist approach to language acquisition: (a) that Brown and Hanlon (1970) claimed to offer data that parents do not reinforce their children's grammaticality; (b) that Brown and Hanlon also claimed to offer data that parents do not provide negative evidence (i.e., corrective feedback)…
Lizardi, Luis O.
This paper attempts to synthesize how biological-nativist theories emerged as a response to logical and empirical flaws in behaviorist learning theories, and how in turn, recent research findings in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Connectionist models of language acquisition are questioning the present innatist framework. As a result of…
This book is about the prospect of a social turn in the field of second language acquisition (SLA), in particular, that part of SLA that is devoted to the input-interaction-output (IIO) model. The book is intended to critically examine some of the basic notions and assumptions that underpin this model and to suggest a more interdisciplinary and…
The article by Amaral and Roeper (this issue; henceforth A&R) presents many interesting ideas about first and second language acquisition as well as some experimental data convincingly illustrating the difference between production and comprehension. The article extends the concept of Universal Bilingualism proposed in Roeper (1999) to second…
Plante, Elena; Almryde, Kyle; Patterson, Dianne K; Vance, Christopher J; Asbjørnsen, Arve E
For the majority of the population, language is a left-hemisphere lateralized function. During childhood, a pattern of increasing left lateralization for language has been described in brain imaging studies, suggesting that this trait develops. This development could reflect change due to brain maturation or change due to skill acquisition, given that children acquire and refine language skills as they mature. We test the possibility that skill acquisition, independent of age-associated maturation can result in shifts in language lateralization in classic language cortex. We imaged adults exposed to an unfamiliar language during three successive fMRI scans. Participants were then asked to identify specific words embedded in Norwegian sentences. Exposure to these sentences, relative to complex tones, resulted in consistent activation in the left and right superior temporal gyrus. Activation in this region became increasingly left-lateralized with repeated exposure to the unfamiliar language. These results demonstrate that shifts in lateralization can be produced in the short term within a learning context, independent of maturation.
Plante, Elena; Almryde, Kyle; Patterson, Dianne K.; Vance, Christopher J.; Asbjørnsen, Arve E.
For the majority of the population, language is a left hemisphere lateralized function. During childhood, a pattern of increasing left lateralization for language has been described in brain imaging studies, suggesting this trait develops. This development could reflect change due to brain maturation or change due to skill acquisition, given that children acquire and refine language skills as they mature. We test the possibility that skill acquisition, independent of age-associated maturation can result in shifts in language lateralization in classic language cortex. We imaged adults exposed to unfamiliar language during three successive fMRI scans. Participants were then asked to identify specific words embedded in Norwegian sentences. Exposure to these sentences, relative to complex tones, resulted in consistent activation in the left and right superior temporal gyrus. Activation in this region became increasingly left lateralized with repeated exposure to the unfamiliar language. These results demonstrate that shifts in lateralization can be produced in the short-term within a learning context, independent of maturation. PMID:25285756
Mayberry, Rachel I; Lock, Elizabeth
Does age constrain the outcome of all language acquisition equally regardless of whether the language is a first or second one? To test this hypothesis, the English grammatical abilities of deaf and hearing adults who either did or did not have linguistic experience (spoken or signed) during early childhood were investigated with two tasks, timed grammatical judgement and untimed sentence to picture matching. Findings showed that adults who acquired a language in early life performed at near-native levels on a second language regardless of whether they were hearing or deaf or whether the early language was spoken or signed. By contrast, deaf adults who experienced little or no accessible language in early life performed poorly. These results indicate that the onset of language acquisition in early human development dramatically alters the capacity to learn language throughout life, independent of the sensory-motor form of the early experience.
Sadtono, Eugenius, Ed.
A selection of papers on second language learning includes: "Second Language Acquisition Research in the Language Classroom" (David Nunan); "A Place for Second Language Acquisition in Teacher Development and in Teacher Education Programmes" (Rod Bolitho); "Dimensions in the Acquisition of Oral Language" (Martin Bygate, Don Porter); "The Learner's…
Han, Chung-hye; Musolino, Julien
A fundamental question in the study of human language acquisition centers around apportioning explanatory force between the experience of the learner and the core knowledge that allows learners to represent that experience. We provide a previously unidentified kind of data identifying children’s contribution to language acquisition. We identify one aspect of grammar that varies unpredictably across a population of speakers of what is ostensibly a single language. We further demonstrate that the grammatical knowledge of parents and their children is independent. The combination of unpredictable variation and parent–child independence suggests that the relevant structural feature is supplied by each learner independent of experience with the language. This structural feature is abstract because it controls variation in more than one construction. The particular case we examine is the position of the verb in the clause structure of Korean. Because Korean is a head-final language, evidence for the syntactic position of the verb is both rare and indirect. We show that (i) Korean speakers exhibit substantial variability regarding this aspect of the grammar, (ii) this variability is attested between speakers but not within a speaker, (iii) this variability controls interpretation in two surface constructions, and (iv) it is independent in parents and children. According to our findings, when the exposure language is compatible with multiple grammars, learners acquire a single systematic grammar. Our observation that children and their parents vary independently suggests that the choice of grammar is driven in part by a process operating internal to individual learners. PMID:26755580
Input Skewedness, Consistency, and Order of Frequent Verbs in Frequency-Driven Second Language Construction Learning: A Replication and Extension of Casenhiser and Goldberg (2005) to Adult Second Language Acquisition
Recent usage-based models of language acquisition research has found that three frequency manipulations; (1) skewed input (Casenhiser & Goldberg 2005), (2) input consistency (Childers & Tomasello 2001), and (3) order of frequent verbs (Goldberg, Casenhiser, & White 2007) facilitated construction learning in children. The present paper addresses…
Birdsong, David, Ed.
This book considers the question of whether, or to what extent, a critical period limits the acquisition of a first language as well as a second language acquired postpubertally. The diversity of opinion on this question is represented in this volume. It is a question that has been approached by researchers working in linguistic theory, evolution…
The state of second language acquisition research, particularly that which is classroom-oriented, is examined in a review of 50 empirical investigations undertaken over the last 25 years. The studies were analyzed according to the following dimensions: the environment in which the data were collected (classroom, naturalistic, simulated classroom,…
Gingras, Rosario C., Ed.
This volume presents two papers synthesizing current research in second-language acquisition and reactions to these papers from the point of view of researchers in foreign language learning. The introduction by Rosario Gingras provides an overview of the research in second-language acquisition as it applies to foreign language teaching. A…
Llama, Raquel; Cardoso, Walcir; Collins, Laura
Research in the field of third language acquisition has consistently identified two key factors which have an effect on the ways in which the two known languages may influence the acquisition of a third. These factors are language distance (typology) and language status (more specifically, second language, L2, or non-native language status). To…
Shusterman, Anna; Li, Peggy
Languages differ in how they encode spatial frames of reference. It is unknown how children acquire the particular frame-of-reference terms in their language (e.g., left/right, north/south). The present paper uses a word-learning paradigm to investigate 4-year-old English-speaking children's acquisition of such terms. In Part I, with five experiments, we contrasted children's acquisition of novel word pairs meaning left-right and north-south to examine their initial hypotheses and the relative ease of learning the meanings of these terms. Children interpreted ambiguous spatial terms as having environment-based meanings akin to north and south, and they readily learned and generalized north-south meanings. These studies provide the first direct evidence that children invoke geocentric representations in spatial language acquisition. However, the studies leave unanswered how children ultimately acquire "left" and "right." In Part II, with three more experiments, we investigated why children struggle to master body-based frame-of-reference words. Children successfully learned "left" and "right" when the novel words were systematically introduced on their own bodies and extended these words to novel (intrinsic and relative) uses; however, they had difficulty learning to talk about the left and right sides of a doll. This difficulty was paralleled in identifying the left and right sides of the doll in a non-linguistic memory task. In contrast, children had no difficulties learning to label the front and back sides of a doll. These studies begin to paint a detailed account of the acquisition of spatial terms in English, and provide insights into the origins of diverse spatial reference frames in the world's languages.
Dahl, Anne; Vulchanova, Mila D.
This study investigated whether it is possible to provide naturalistic second language acquisition (SLA) of vocabulary for young learners in a classroom situation without resorting to a classical immersion approach. Participants were 60 first-grade pupils in two Norwegian elementary schools in their first year. The control group followed regular instruction as prescribed by the school curriculum, while the experimental group received increased naturalistic target language input. This entailed extensive use of English by the teacher during English classes, and also during morning meetings and for simple instructions and classroom management throughout the day. Our hypothesis was that it is possible to facilitate naturalistic acquisition through better quality target language exposure within a normal curriculum. The students' English vocabulary knowledge was measured using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, version 4 (PPVT-IV, Dunn and Dunn, 2007a), at the beginning and the end of the first year of school. Findings are that (1) early-start second-language (L2) programs in school do not in themselves guarantee vocabulary development in the first year, (2) a focus on increased exposure to the L2 can lead to a significant increase in receptive vocabulary comprehension in the course of only 8 months, and (3) even with relatively modest input, learners in such an early-start L2 program can display vocabulary acquisition comparable in some respects to that of younger native children matched on vocabulary size. The overall conclusion is that naturalistic vocabulary acquisition is in fact possible in a classroom setting. PMID:24860518
Mayberry, Rachel I.
The present paper summarizes three experiments that investigate the effects of age of acquisition on first-language (L1) acquisition in relation to second-language (L2) outcome. The experiments use the unique acquisition situations of childhood deafness and sign language. The key factors controlled across the studies are age of L1 acquisition, the…
Sajavaara, Kari, Ed.; And Others
Papers include: (1) "Language Acquisitional Universals: L1, L2, Pidgins, and FLT" (Henning Wode); (2) "Language Acquisition, Language Learning and the School Curriculum" (Norman F. Davies); (3) "Language Teaching and Acquisition of Communication" (Kari Sajavaara, Jaakko Lehtonen); (4) "On the Distinction between…
Since the 1980s' decoupling of the formal study of second language acquisition from pedagogical concerns, the social relevance of such research has been of little concern. Early studies, in the 1970s, of uninstructed adult learners' acquisition of morphosyntax pointed to social implications: these working class immigrants had varying levels of…
Reviews three books on the acquisition of Japanese as a second language: "Second Language Acquisition Process in the Classroom" by A.S. Ohta;"The Acquisition of Grammar by Learners of Japanese" (English translation of title), by H. Noda, K. Sakoda, K. Shibuya, and N. Kobayashi; and "The Acquisition of Japanese as a Second Language," B. K. Kanno,…
Endress, Ansgar D; Bonatti, Luca L
We review recent artificial language learning studies, especially those following Endress and Bonatti (Endress AD, Bonatti LL. Rapid learning of syllable classes from a perceptually continuous speech stream. Cognition 2007, 105:247-299), suggesting that humans can deploy a variety of learning mechanisms to acquire artificial languages. Several experiments provide evidence for multiple learning mechanisms that can be deployed in fluent speech: one mechanism encodes the positions of syllables within words and can be used to extract generalization, while the other registers co-occurrence statistics of syllables and can be used to break a continuum into its components. We review dissociations between these mechanisms and their potential role in language acquisition. We then turn to recent criticisms of the multiple mechanisms hypothesis and show that they are inconsistent with the available data. Our results suggest that artificial and natural language learning is best understood by dissecting the underlying specialized learning abilities, and that these data provide a rare opportunity to link important language phenomena to basic psychological mechanisms. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
This article presents a framework for the elaboration of Foreign Language Teaching (FLT) grammar materials for adults based on the application to SLA of Skill Acquisition Theory (SAT). This theory is argued to compensate for the major drawbacks of FLT settings in comparison with second language contexts (lack of classroom learning time and limited…
This enquiry based project set out to find out if adult English language learners, known as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners in the UK, might benefit, in terms of their acquisition of English, from studying maths. This research has been conducted at a medium sized FE college in the East Midlands where I teach. I evaluate…
The field of second language acquisition (SLA) developed from the study of second language teaching, and includes the study of the learning setting, learner variables, the nature of the target language and the learner native language, and the reasons for language learning. Much SLA research to date focuses on one or another of these dimensions…
Truscott, John; Smith, Mike Sharwood
The paper offers a model of language development, first and second, within a processing perspective. We first sketch a modular view of language, in which competence is embodied in the processing mechanisms. We then propose a novel approach to language acquisition (Acquisition by Processing Theory, or APT), in which development of the module occurs…
Bardel, Camilla; Falk, Ylva
In this study of the placement of sentence negation in third language acquisition (L3), we argue that there is a qualitative difference between the acquisition of a true second language (L2) and the subsequent acquisition of an L3. Although there is considerable evidence for L2 influence on vocabulary acquisition in L3, not all researchers believe…
Introduction. The use of three-five languages is of the greatest importance in order to form varied cooperative networks for the creation of new knowledge. Aim of the paper is to analyze the synergy between language acquisition and language learning. Materials and Methods. The search for the synergy between language acquisition and language…
This paper attempts to review second language acquisition theory and some of the methods practiced in language classes. The review substantiates that comprehensible input as the crucial determining factor for language acquisition and consciously learned linguistic knowledge can be used only to edit the output of the acquired language sometimes…
Alroudhan, Hayat Eid
This study investigates the challenges faced by Arab adult learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in acquiring English restrictive relative clauses (RRCs), as well as the factors that affect the process of acquisition. This issue has received considerable attention in second language (L2) research. The present study discusses the…
Yusa, Noriaki; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Kim, Jungho; Kimura, Naoki; Uchida, Shinya; Yokoyama, Satoru; Miura, Naoki; Kawashima, Ryuta; Hagiwara, Hiroko
Adults seem to have greater difficulties than children in acquiring a second language (L2) because of the alleged "window of opportunity" around puberty. Postpuberty Japanese participants learned a new English rule with simplex sentences during one month of instruction, and then they were tested on "uninstructed complex sentences" as well as "instructed simplex sentences." The behavioral data show that they can acquire more knowledge than is instructed, suggesting the interweaving of nature (universal principles of grammar, UG) and nurture (instruction) in L2 acquisition. The comparison in the "uninstructed complex sentences" between post-instruction and pre-instruction using functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals a significant activation in Broca's area. Thus, this study provides new insight into Broca's area, where nature and nurture cooperate to produce L2 learners' rich linguistic knowledge. It also shows neural plasticity of adult L2 acquisition, arguing against a critical period hypothesis, at least in the domain of UG.
The Critical Period Hypothesis aims to investigate the reason for significant difference between first language acquisition and second language acquisition. Over the past few decades, researchers carried out a series of studies to test the validity of the hypothesis. Although there were certain limitations in these studies, most of their results…
Gorsuch, Greta J.; Beglar, David
Second language acquisition (SLA) courses are a perennial feature of graduate level teacher preparation programs in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. While there has been recent interest in exploring the interfaces of second language acquisition research and classroom teaching (Ellis, 1997), the teaching of SLA courses at the university level is…
Long, Michael H.
Second language acquisition has an identity problem. It is a young field struggling to emerge from the parent fields of education and applied linguistics. In this book, the author proposes a way to help second language acquisition develop a systematic and coherent focus using the philosophy of science as the lens. The structure of the book allows…
Human capacity for language acquisition is not strictly compartmentalized, with one acquisitional mechanism for the native language and others totally unrelated to it; rather, it consists of a unified mechanism flexible enough to handle various differences in external settings. This learning system operates on the formal properties of the…
Acquisition in general and first language acquisition in particular is a very complex and a multifaceted phenomenon. The way that children acquire a language in a very limited period is astonishing. Various approaches have been proposed so far to account for this extraordinary phenomenon. These approaches are indeed based on various philosophical…
This book provides an overview of research and thinking on age-related dimensions of language acquisition, intended for students, researchers, and educators with some experience in linguistics and applied linguistics. The first chapter introduces the variety of issues associated with age and language acquisition. Chapter 2 examines the evidence…
This article discusses sociolinguistically oriented research on second language acquisition (SLA) in the decade since Firth and Wagner (1997). Over the last 10 years, substantial progress has been made in developing a model of the sociolinguistic processes that inform second language acquisition. This model is supported by empirical evidence on…
Views on the role of speech in the early stages of English as second language (ESL) acquisition are discussed in relation to experiences with elementary school children. In examining the roles of speech and grammar in the early stages of ESL acquisition in an English speaking elementary school environment, six types of expressive language were…
Jacobs, Bob; Schumann, John
Selected neurobiological terminology is clarified in this paper, which also highlights neurobiological information relevant to language acquisition research, discusses the neural plausibility of cognitive models of language acquisition, and illustrates the difference between abstract characterizations of learner behavior and mechanisms that cause…
This paper presents a case study of second-language acquisition of Hebrew via immersion in daycare between 1.10 and 3.0. A period of silence was followed by rapid onset of L2 production simultaneously with many references to language itself. Eight types of language awareness were identified, and of these, several types may be prerequisites for starting L2 production. The nature of L2 speech during the first stages of production suggests that to crack the sematic code of L2, the child relies on identifiable contingencies between utterances and subsequent behaviours by speakers and listeners. As a result there are many more imperatives and interrogatives in L2 than are evident in L1 speech, and these appear to be learned by rote in an unanalysed manner. The transition to complex constructions occurs via the juxtaposition of known but syntactically unanalysed chunks, and results in patterns of syntactic errors similar to those of adult second-language learners. Reliance on L1 as a fall-back strategy was also evident. Several implications of these data for cognitive development in general are discussed.
Argues that the study of contact varieties of a language are relevant to understanding of second language acquisition and use, because non-canonical contact languages are often situated on a continuum between pidginization and the more general processes of untutored second language acquisition. Data on participle regularization in Namibian Black…
Tran, Thu Hoang
Learning a second or foreign language is a long and time-consuming process, and not all language learners may be able to achieve a very high level of proficiency in the target language. It is even rarer to find second or foreign language learners who can use the target language as well as native speakers of the language. Researchers in the field…
Jarvis, Huw; Krashen, Stephen
In this article, Huw Jarvis and Stephen Krashen ask "Is CALL Obsolete?" When the term CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) was introduced in the 1960s, the language education profession knew only about language learning, not language acquisition, and assumed the computer's primary contribution to second language acquisition…
Examines the status of the functional categories in child second language (L2) acquisition of English. Results from longitudinally-collected data are reported, presenting counterevidence for recent hypotheses on early L2 acquisition that assume the following: (1) structure building approach according to which the acquisition of functional…
Mis, Benjamin A.
Given the impossibility of withholding language from children to assess sensitive period effects on syntactic acquisition, the study of second language learning has been seen as an alternate method that can be used to understand the natural time course of language acquisition. In order to do so, both the age at which immersion is begun and the…
Provides a new perspective on whether there is a correlation between finiteness and verb placement in second language acquisition by analyzing data from speakers of Romance languages learning German as a second language. Verbs are classified as thematic and nonthematic and analyzed with respect to overt subject-verb agreement and verb placement as…
Bitchener, John; Ferris, Dana R.
What should language and writing teachers do about giving students written corrective feedback? This book surveys theory, research, and practice on the important and sometimes controversial issue of written corrective feedback, also known as "error/grammar correction," and its impact on second language acquisition and second language writing…
Second language acquisition (SLA) is a relatively new field of enquiry. Before the late 1960s, educators did write about L2 learning, but very much as an adjunct of language teaching pedagogy, underpinned by behaviourism, the then-dominant learning theory in psychology. In this view, the task facing learners of foreign languages was to rote-learn…
Canagarajah, A. Suresh; Wurr, Adrian J.
In this article, we outline the differences between a monolingual and multilingual orientation to language and language acquisition. The increasing contact between languages in the context of globalization motivates such a shift of paradigms. Multilingual communicative practices have remained vibrant in non-western communities for a long time. We…
A list of 1,036 terms and definitions used in native and second language acquisition and instruction, linguistics, language testing, and bicultural-multicultural education, including identical items with different meanings, is presented. The terms were derived from manual searches of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics and ERIC…
Shin, Sarah J.; Milroy, Lesley
Examines bilingual language development of young Korean-American children with respect to acquisition of English grammatical morphemes and different plural marking systems of Korean and English. Addresses whether first and second language (L1, L2) learners acquire grammatical features of a given language in the same sequence and whether L2…
Discusses various definitions of markedness in terms of second language acquisition and describes a study testing one such definition which found that second language learners did not accept preposition stranding in the second language but did accept double object construction and suggested that transfer took place only with one of two marked…
Bista, Krishna K.
This paper examines the relationship of age factor to second language acquisition. Age as an affective factor brings about different performance stages in second as well as first language learning. Traditionally, research in Critical Period Hypothesis and other variables has derived two major aspects of language learning--the younger = the better…
Analyzes second-language learners' processing of linguistic data within the target language, focusing on input and intake in second-language acquisition and factors and cognitive processes that affect input processing. Input factors include input simplification, input enhancement, and interactional modifications. Individual learner differences…
The relative influence of cultural insights, first language skills, and purely cognitive or linguistic factors in successful second-language learning is discussed. The teacher is encouraged to reflect on the value of and experiment with providing cultural background to language acquisition. (MSE)
Smith, Ann F. V., Ed.; Strong, Gregory, Ed.
"Adult Language Learners: Context and Innovation" presents instructional practices that are particularly successful with adults. Adult language learners are goal oriented and direct their learning to fulfill particular needs or demands: to advance their studies, to progress up the career ladder, to follow business opportunities, to pass…
Primlyn, A. Linda
This paper reports on the problems faced by students in the second language classroom. It focuses on their integration of social and cultural aspects in language learning, because every language is an amalgamation of both. The author adds that the learner of a second language finds difficulty in learning the culture of the first language and it…
Hartshorne, Joshua K; O'Donnell, Timothy J; Sudo, Yasutada; Uruwashi, Miki; Lee, Miseon; Snedeker, Jesse
In acquiring language, children must learn to appropriately place the different participants of an event (e.g., causal agent, affected entity) into the correct syntactic positions (e.g., subject, object) so that listeners will know who did what to whom. While many of these mappings can be characterized by broad generalizations, both within and across languages (e.g., semantic agents tend to be mapped onto syntactic subjects), not all verbs fit neatly into these generalizations. One particularly striking example is verbs of psychological state: The experiencer of the state can appear as either the subject (Agnes fears/hates/loves Bartholomew) or the direct object (Agnes frightens/angers/delights Bartholomew). The present studies explore whether this apparent variability in subject/object mapping may actually result from differences in these verbs' underlying meanings. Specifically, we suggest that verbs like fear describe a habitual attitude towards some entity whereas verbs like frighten describe an externally caused emotional episode. We find that this distinction systematically characterizes verbs in English, Mandarin, and Korean. This pattern is generalized to novel verbs by adults in English, Japanese, and Russian, and even by English-speaking children who are just beginning to acquire psych verbs. This results support a broad role for systematic mappings between semantics and syntax in language acquisition.
Li, Xiangming; Brand, Manny
Using an experimental approach, this study examined the relative effectiveness of varying the use of songs (lyrics and music) on vocabulary acquisition, language usage, and meaning for adult ESL students in the People's Republic of China. While the use of songs is generally enthusiastically endorsed by ESL teachers, few empirical studies have…
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…
Leischner, Franziska N.; Weissenborn, Jürgen; Naigles, Letitia R.
The study investigated the influence of universal and language-specific morpho-syntactic properties (i.e., flexible word order, case) on the acquisition of verb argument structures in German compared with English. To this end, 65 three- to nine-year-old German learning children and adults were asked to act out grammatical ("The sheep…
Rodriguez, Lisa Ann; Shepard, MaryFriend
This study explored the perceptions of adult English language learners about audience response systems (clickers) as tools to facilitate communication. According to second language acquisition theory, learners' receptive capabilities in the early stages of second language acquisition surpass expressive capabilities, often rendering them silent in…
This introspective paper proves Iranian young adults' ego-centricism and its cognitive functioning an encumbrance in English language learning. Thru a brief look at the initiation of language acquisition in children and the generalizibility to language teaching and learning programs, it is realized that the ego of every learner is the main axis of…
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…
This study examines how young second language learners acquire academic language. Among the main language groups represented were Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil, Estonian, Serbian, Arabic as well as 23 other language groups. I monitored over 75 students, in grades 1, 2 and 4. I was interested in exploring what strategies best promoted coherence in…
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…
Examines the acquisition of a typologically marked construction, preposition stranding, and its unmarked counterpart, preposition pied piping, by learners of English as a second language (ESL). Data demonstrate that preposition stranding is acquired before preposition pied piping. (Author/CB)
The main goal consisted in identifying and bringing together strategies of multilinguals as a particular learner group. Therefore, research was placed in the intersection of the three fields: language learning strategies (LLS), third language acquisition (TLA), and the didactics of plurilingualism. First, the paper synthesises the major findings…
This review article presents a summary of research on the second language acquisition of Bantu languages, including Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa and Lingala. Although second language (L2) research on these languages is currently very limited, work in morphosyntax and phonology suggests promising directions for future study, particularly on noun class,…
Peña, Marcela; Pittaluga, Enrica; Mehler, Jacques
We tested healthy preterm (born near 28 +/- 2 weeks of gestational age) and full-term infants at various different ages. We compared the two populations on the development of a language acquisition landmark, namely, the ability to distinguish the native language from a rhythmically similar one. This ability is attained 4 months after birth in healthy full-term infants. We measured the induced gamma-band power associated with passive listening to (i) the infants' native language (Spanish), (ii) a rhythmically close language (Italian), and (iii) a rhythmically distant language (Japanese) as a marker of gains in language discrimination. Preterm and full-term infants were matched for neural maturation and duration of exposure to broadcast speech. We found that both full-term and preterm infants only display a response to native speech near 6 months after their term age. Neural maturation seems to constrain advances in speech discrimination at early stages of language acquisition.
Fernández-Coello, Alejandro; Havas, Viktória; Juncadella, Montserrat; Sierpowska, Joanna; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Gabarrós, Andreu
OBJECTIVE Most knowledge regarding the anatomical organization of multilingualism is based on aphasiology and functional imaging studies. However, the results have still to be validated by the gold standard approach, namely electrical stimulation mapping (ESM) during awake neurosurgical procedures. In this ESM study the authors describe language representation in a highly specific group of 13 multilingual individuals, focusing on how age of acquisition may influence the cortical organization of language. METHODS Thirteen patients who had a high degree of proficiency in multiple languages and were harboring lesions within the dominant, left hemisphere underwent ESM while being operated on under awake conditions. Demographic and language data were recorded in relation to age of language acquisition (for native languages and early- and late-acquired languages), neuropsychological pre- and postoperative language testing, the number and location of language sites, and overlapping distribution in terms of language acquisition time. Lesion growth patterns and histopathological characteristics, location, and size were also recorded. The distribution of language sites was analyzed with respect to age of acquisition and overlap. RESULTS The functional language-related sites were distributed in the frontal (55%), temporal (29%), and parietal lobes (16%). The total number of native language sites was 47. Early-acquired languages (including native languages) were represented in 97 sites (55 overlapped) and late-acquired languages in 70 sites (45 overlapped). The overlapping distribution was 20% for early-early, 71% for early-late, and 9% for late-late. The average lesion size (maximum diameter) was 3.3 cm. There were 5 fast-growing and 7 slow-growing lesions. CONCLUSIONS Cortical language distribution in multilingual patients is not homogeneous, and it is influenced by age of acquisition. Early-acquired languages have a greater cortical representation than languages acquired
Baer-Henney, Dinah; Kügler, Frank; van de Vijver, Ruben
Using the artificial language paradigm, we studied the acquisition of morphophonemic alternations with exceptions by 160 German adult learners. We tested the acquisition of two types of alternations in two regularity conditions while additionally varying length of training. In the first alternation, a vowel harmony, backness of the stem vowel…
This study investigates outcomes of deliberate learning on vocabulary acquisition in a second language (L2). Acquisition of 48 pseudowords was measured using the lexical decision task with visually presented stimuli. The experiments drew on form priming, masked repetition priming, and automatic semantic priming procedures. Data analyses revealed a…
Compares the acquisition of English as a third language by Catalan/Spanish bilingual high school students in an immersion program with the acquisition of English by Spanish monolinguals. Data from 201 participants were submitted to a hierarchical multiple regression analysis, rendering results that show that bilingualism has a positive effect on…
Ambridge, Ben; Kidd, Evan; Rowland, Caroline F.; Theakston, Anna L.
This review article presents evidence for the claim that frequency effects are pervasive in children's first language acquisition, and hence constitute a phenomenon that any successful account must explain. The article is organized around four key domains of research: children's acquisition of single words, inflectional morphology, simple…
Hutson, Barbara A.; Liebermann, Jo
In an examination of the relationship between language skill and reading achievement in adults, measures of syntactic knowledge and reading achievement were obtained for 41 students in an adult basic education center. Moderate correlations were found for language skill and reading achievement, with students reading at or below the fourth grade…
Gregg, Kevin R.
In recent years, a number of researchers in the field of second language acquisition have voiced discontent regarding the tendency of second language acquisition (SLA) research to be conducted within a framework of cognitive science (Firth and Wagner, 1997; Atkinson, 2002; Johnson, 2004). Watson-Gegeo (2004) expresses this same discontent, and…
On the continuum along which theories of first and second language acquisition are located, the two extremes represent the classic controversy of nature (nativist) vs. nurture (environmentalist), while those in the middle view language acquisition as a result of a more or less balanced interaction between innate capacities and linguistic…
Bailey, Kathleen M., Ed.; And Others
This collection of 16 papers covers theoretical issues and research on interlanguage development and second language acquisition variables. Among the specific topics addressed are: morpheme group interactions, acquisition of complex sentences in English as a second language, uniformity in interlanguage development, Spanish-English basilang,…
Due to the popularization of foreign language study, more and more people from education field further enhance their exploration and researches in how to apply second acquisition theories into classroom teaching. This paper probes into the orientation, research objects, age, language environment and classroom activities of second language…
Gheitury, Amer; Sahraee, Ahmad Hosein; Hoseini, Maryam
Studies carried out to support the existence of a critical period for language acquisition have concentrated mainly on the case of being in total deprivation from language contact, and in particular deprivation from auditory input in the entire time span before puberty. While arguing for a useful distinction between early and late critical…
Firth and Wagner (1997) questioned the dichotomies nonnative versus native speaker, learner versus user, and interlanguage versus target language, which reflect a bias toward innateness, cognition, and form in language acquisition. Research on lingua franca English (LFE) not only affirms this questioning, but reveals what multilingual communities…
Pichette, Francois; de Serres, Linda; Lafontaine, Marc
This study compares the relative effectiveness of reading and writing sentences for the incidental acquisition of new vocabulary in a second language. It also examines if recall varies according to the concreteness of target words. Participants were 203 French-speaking intermediate and advanced English as second language (ESL) learners, tested for…
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"…
Lardiere suggests that second language acquisition (SLA) researchers should pay more attention to the distribution of a given feature in source and target languages, using the distribution of [plural] in English, Chinese and Korean to illustrate. I argue that the distribution of [definite] in English shows a similar complexity, and that this has…
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)…
Eckman, Fred R.
Discusses the amount of influence that a learner's native language has on the acquisition of a second language. Suggests that some important properties of a learner's interlanguage (IL) can be predicted, as shown by the different IL rules that Cantonese and Japanese use in dealing with English word-final voice contrasts. (Author/MES)
Examines knowledge of semantics-syntax correspondences in second-language acquisition (SLA) within the Principles and Parameters framework. A parameter of semantic structure is used to investigate change of state locatives and "psychological" verbs. Results indicate that for some learners, first-language influence persists until advanced stages of…
Walle, Eric A.; Campos, Joseph J.
The present investigation explored the question of whether walking onset is related to infant language development. Study 1 used a longitudinal design (N = 44) to assess infant locomotor and language development every 2 weeks from 10 to 13.5 months of age. The acquisition of walking was associated with a significant increase in both receptive and…
Tucker, G. Richard; And Others
This paper examines the role of selected affective, cognitive and social factors in second language acquisition, in an attempt to define a group of factors associated with success in second language learning within the formal educational system. Also examined is the effect of different teaching programs on an optimal group of factors. (CLK)
It is proposed that error patterns in acquisition of a second language can provide otherwise unavailable evidence for testing linguistic hypotheses about the second language itself. Three types of production and perceptual error patterns found in the learning of English by native Arabic speakers are outlined to support this suggestion. The error…
Doughty, Catherine J., Ed.; Long, Michael H., Ed.
This handbook provides an integrated discussion of key issues in second language acquisition (SLA). The 24 chapters include the following: (1) "The Scope of Inquiry and the Goals of SLA" (Catherine J. Doughty and Michael H. Long); (2) "On the Nature of Interlanguage Representation: Universal Grammar in the Second Language"…
Munro, Murray J.; Derwing, Tracey M.
Research on second language (L2) phonetic learning indicates that, even in adults, segmental acquisition remains possible through L2 experience. However, the findings of previous cross-sectional studies of vowel and consonant learning have proved difficult to interpret. In this longitudinal investigation of 44 recent arrivals in Canada,…
Kaiser, Anelis; Eppenberger, Leila S; Smieskova, Renata; Borgwardt, Stefan; Kuenzli, Esther; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula; Bendfeldt, Kerstin
Numerous structural studies have established that experience shapes and reshapes the brain throughout a lifetime. The impact of early development, however, is still a matter of debate. Further clues may come from studying multilinguals who acquired their second language at different ages. We investigated adult multilinguals who spoke three languages fluently, where the third language was learned in classroom settings, not before the age of 9 years. Multilinguals exposed to two languages simultaneously from birth (SiM) were contrasted with multinguals who acquired their first two languages successively (SuM). Whole brain voxel based morphometry revealed that, relative to SuM, SiM have significantly lower gray matter volume in several language-associated cortical areas in both hemispheres: bilaterally in medial and inferior frontal gyrus, in the right medial temporal gyrus and inferior posterior parietal gyrus, as well as in the left inferior temporal gyrus. Thus, as shown by others, successive language learning increases the volume of language-associated cortical areas. In brains exposed early on and simultaneously to more than one language, however, learning of additional languages seems to have less impact. We conclude that - at least with respect to language acquisition - early developmental influences are maintained and have an effect on experience-dependent plasticity well into adulthood.
Kaiser, Anelis; Eppenberger, Leila S.; Smieskova, Renata; Borgwardt, Stefan; Kuenzli, Esther; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula; Bendfeldt, Kerstin
Numerous structural studies have established that experience shapes and reshapes the brain throughout a lifetime. The impact of early development, however, is still a matter of debate. Further clues may come from studying multilinguals who acquired their second language at different ages. We investigated adult multilinguals who spoke three languages fluently, where the third language was learned in classroom settings, not before the age of 9 years. Multilinguals exposed to two languages simultaneously from birth (SiM) were contrasted with multinguals who acquired their first two languages successively (SuM). Whole brain voxel based morphometry revealed that, relative to SuM, SiM have significantly lower gray matter volume in several language-associated cortical areas in both hemispheres: bilaterally in medial and inferior frontal gyrus, in the right medial temporal gyrus and inferior posterior parietal gyrus, as well as in the left inferior temporal gyrus. Thus, as shown by others, successive language learning increases the volume of language-associated cortical areas. In brains exposed early on and simultaneously to more than one language, however, learning of additional languages seems to have less impact. We conclude that – at least with respect to language acquisition – early developmental influences are maintained and have an effect on experience-dependent plasticity well into adulthood. PMID:26106338
Kuhl, Patricia K
The last decade has produced an explosion in neuroscience research examining young children's early processing of language. Noninvasive, safe functional brain measurements have now been proven feasible for use with children starting at birth. The phonetic level of language is especially accessible to experimental studies that document the innate state and the effect of learning on the brain. The neural signatures of learning at the phonetic level can be documented at a remarkably early point in development. Continuity in linguistic development from infants' earliest brain responses to phonetic stimuli is reflected in their language and prereading abilities in the second, third, and fifth year of life, a finding with theoretical and clinical impact. There is evidence that early mastery of the phonetic units of language requires learning in a social context. Neuroscience on early language learning is beginning to reveal the multiple brain systems that underlie the human language faculty.
Cassandro, Marzio; Collet, Pierre; Galves, Antonio; Galves, Charlotte
The aim of this paper is to explain why Statistical Physics can help understanding two related linguistic questions. The first question is how to model first language acquisition by a child. The second question is how language change proceeds in time. Our approach is based on a Gibbsian model for the interface between syntax and prosody. We also present a simulated annealing model of language acquisition, which extends the Triggering Learning Algorithm recently introduced in the linguistic literature.
Hutson, Barbara A.; Liebermann, Jo
Measures of syntactic knowledge and reading achievement were obtained for 41 students in an adult basic education center. Adults reading at or below fourth-grade level showed significantly less knowledge of syntax than adults at higher levels, even though the language test involved neither reading nor writing. (Author/CT)
In this paper, I investigate the status of the so-called "weaker" language, French, in French/German bilingual first language acquisition, using data from two children from the DuFDE-corpus (see Schlyter, 1990a), Christophe and Francois. Schlyter (1993, 1994) proposes that the "weaker" language in the unbalanced children she studied has the status…
This article discusses how the syllabus for language teacher training in German has evolved and considers what direction foreign language teacher training might take if it were to follow the cue of "Deutsch als Fremdsprache" and appropriate the research agenda of second-language acquisition studies. (Contains 51 references.) (JL)
LEUTENEGGER, RALPH R.; AND OTHERS
INFORMATION ON THE AUDITORY SKILLS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDENTS WAS OBTAINED AND A STUDY WAS MADE OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF THOSE SKILLS TO EASE OF MASTERY OF FRENCH AND SPANISH. THIS RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE CURRENT TREND IN LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION TOWARD THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUDIOLINGUAL SKILLS BY PREDOMINANTLY AURAL…
Definitions of communicative competence and research on developing communicative competence in a second language are reviewed and implications for teaching are discussed. Communicative competence refers not only to knowledge of the forms of a language but to their functions and appropriate use in context. Five areas of communicative competence are…
This study was conducted at a public school with a population of over 900 students. Among the main language groups represented were Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil, Estonian, Serbian, Arabic as well as 23 other language groups. The author monitored over 75 students, in grades 1, 2 and 4. She was interested in exploring what strategies best promoted…
Freeman, Diane E. Larsen
A study is reported investigating whether reported sequence of acquisition of grammatical morphemes for second language learners would be found to exist in tasks other than that requiring speech production. (Author/RM)
This report describes the methods to acquire language information from online databases, which are usually employed to retrieve technical information. Typical uses are shown to obtain equivalent foreign words, language usages, illustrative sentences and statistical linguistic data, by use of JOIS, DIALOG, SDC and BRS online information systems. In comparison with dictionaries and usage books, the online databases provide a vast file of language information, which is unabridged, continually updated and accessible through any words or their combinations. In addition, they give quantitative data such as frequencies in use of words and expressions.
Sundara, Megha; Polka, Linda; Genesee, Fred
To trace how age and language experience shape the discrimination of native and non-native phonetic contrasts, we compared 4-year-olds learning either English or French or both and simultaneous bilingual adults on their ability to discriminate the English /d-th/ contrast. Findings show that the ability to discriminate the native English contrast improved with age. However, in the absence of experience with this contrast, discrimination of French children and adults remained unchanged during development. Furthermore, although simultaneous bilingual and monolingual English adults were comparable, children exposed to both English and French were poorer at discriminating this contrast when compared to monolingual English-learning 4-year-olds. Thus, language experience facilitates perception of the English /d-th/ contrast and this facilitation occurs later in development when English and French are acquired simultaneously. The difference between bilingual and monolingual acquisition has implications for language organization in children with simultaneous exposure.
Yusa, Noriaki; Kim, Jungho; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Sugiura, Motoaki; Kawashima, Ryuta
Children naturally acquire a language in social contexts where they interact with their caregivers. Indeed, research shows that social interaction facilitates lexical and phonological development at the early stages of child language acquisition. It is not clear, however, whether the relationship between social interaction and learning applies to adult second language acquisition of syntactic rules. Does learning second language syntactic rules through social interactions with a native speaker or without such interactions impact behavior and the brain? The current study aims to answer this question. Adult Japanese participants learned a new foreign language, Japanese sign language (JSL), either through a native deaf signer or via DVDs. Neural correlates of acquiring new linguistic knowledge were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The participants in each group were indistinguishable in terms of their behavioral data after the instruction. The fMRI data, however, revealed significant differences in the neural activities between two groups. Significant activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were found for the participants who learned JSL through interactions with the native signer. In contrast, no cortical activation change in the left IFG was found for the group who experienced the same visual input for the same duration via the DVD presentation. Given that the left IFG is involved in the syntactic processing of language, spoken or signed, learning through social interactions resulted in an fMRI signature typical of native speakers: activation of the left IFG. Thus, broadly speaking, availability of communicative interaction is necessary for second language acquisition and this results in observed changes in the brain.
Regions, 121s Jeoferson Davis Mighwy. $uite t1204. Arlington, VA 22202.4302. and to the C-ce of Management and Sudget, Paperworit Aeduction Project...teaching and learning a second language. A strategy was defined as "the skillful planning and management of language learning as carried out by the...endeavors [advance organization, advance preparation, organizational planning, selective attention, self- monitoring, self-evaluation, self- management ], 2
It is claimed that if children can begin to acquire a second language at an early age they will find it easier to develop fluency, and will speak it without an accent. Age is a factor in acquiring one's mother tongue, and this also applies when learning a second language. One essential to developing such a skill is the ability to switch from one language to the other, as appropriate. Studies on the effects of age on this learning are reviewed. Techniques such as positron emission tomography can now be used to show which areas of the brain are involved in developing new skills, and much has been learnt in this way. Differences can be demonstrated between the cerebral function of the children who learn a second language at an early age and those who do this when they are older, and also between those who acquire a high degree of fluency and those who never do. If children speak a second language by hearing it in the environment in which they live, they are acquiring it as they do their mother tongue, but if they start at the age of 12 years they are learning it like any other subject they study. If the opportunity is present, surely it is better to acquire a second language than learn it.
Ferman, Sara; Karni, Avi
A leading notion is that language skill acquisition declines between childhood and adulthood. While several lines of evidence indicate that declarative ("what", explicit) memory undergoes maturation, it is commonly assumed that procedural ("how-to", implicit) memory, in children, is well established. The language superiority of children has been ascribed to the childhood reliance on implicit learning. Here we show that when 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds and young adults were provided with an equivalent multi-session training experience in producing and judging an artificial morphological rule (AMR), adults were superior to children of both age groups and the 8-year-olds were the poorest learners in all task parameters including in those that were clearly implicit. The AMR consisted of phonological transformations of verbs expressing a semantic distinction: whether the preceding noun was animate or inanimate. No explicit instruction of the AMR was provided. The 8-year-olds, unlike most adults and 12-year-olds, failed to explicitly uncover the semantic aspect of the AMR and subsequently to generalize it accurately to novel items. However, all participants learned to apply the AMR to repeated items and to generalize its phonological patterns to novel items, attaining accurate and fluent production, and exhibiting key characteristics of procedural memory. Nevertheless, adults showed a clear advantage in learning implicit task aspects, and in their long-term retention. Thus, our findings support the notion of age-dependent maturation in the establishment of declarative but also of procedural memory in a complex language task. In line with recent reports of no childhood advantage in non-linguistic skill learning, we propose that under some learning conditions adults can effectively express their language skill acquisition potential. Altogether, the maturational effects in the acquisition of an implicit AMR do not support a simple notion of a language skill learning advantage
Schumann, John H.
This paper presents a case study of the untutored acquisition of English by a 33-year-old Costa Rican male. Three causes for his lack of linguistic development over a 10-month period are considered: ability, age, and social and psychological distance. The third of these is seen as the cause. (Author/POP)
The results are presented here of an investigation into the development of receptive and expressive English grammar when this is acquired as a second language. A cross-sectional survey using standardised assessments was conducted. 103 children were randomly selected from three local primary schools. These children were aged between 5 and 11 years and were acquiring English sequentially. Data relating to the receptive and expressive grammar of English as a second language was collected from each child. Analysis of this data revealed preliminary developmental patterns that appear to be specific to the sequential acquisition of English grammar. This data confirms the importance of not using data pertaining to the acquisition of first language English for English that is acquired as a second language.
Whitehurst, G J; Valdez-Menchaca, M C
Monolingual American and Mexican 2- and 3-year-old children were exposed to a foreign language in a naturalistic but controlled environment. Children were randomly assigned to 2 groups. 1 group was differentially reinforced throughout the study for the use of foreign vocabulary. The control group was first reinforced nondifferentially for use of the native language or the foreign language and later was switched to differential reinforcement for the foreign language. Frequencies of spontaneous foreign word production and other verbal responses were computed, and formal assessments of comprehension and production of the foreign words were conducted. Differential reinforcement resulted in accelerating frequencies of spontaneous foreign language use and better performance on both comprehension and production tests. Under nondifferential reinforcement, rates of spontaneous foreign language use were low and static. Results are interpreted as evidence that the acquisition of expressive vocabulary is a function of socially mediated reinforcement.
This technical report presents concrete ways of meeting recommended practice by providing an overview of principles and practices in the area of second language acquisition. It discusses some of the major theories in the area of second language acquisition, as well as the developmental process of first and second language acquisition in the…
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…
Stoel-Gammon, C; Williams, K; Buder, E
Our understanding of phonological acquisition has benefited immensely from cross-linguistic investigations which allow researchers to separate biological and learned factors. To date, most cross-linguistic studies have focused either on differences in phonetic inventories or on differences in frequency of occurrence of particular phonetic and phonological properties in the adult language. This paper describes a third type of study: comparisons of segments that occur in two (or more) languages but differ in their phonetic properties. We present perceptual and acoustic analyses of adult and child productions of word-initial alveolar /t/ in American English and dental /t/ in Swedish. Results showed that listeners' perception of place of articulation was strongly associated with language (alveolar: American English, dental: Swedish) for both adult and child tokens, and was effective in assigning individual speakers to language groups. Three acoustic measures, voice onset time, burst intensity and burst spectral diffuseness correlated with language for both child and adult tokens; the latter two measures correlated with perception as well. The findings suggest that American and Swedish children at 30 months of age have acquired some language-specific phonetic aspects of /t/ phonemes.
Chen, Mei-Ling; Squires, David
This article suggests that literature written for children and adolescents is appropriate for use with intermediate-level students of English as a second or foreign language of all ages (including adults). Following a description of this literature, three instructional applications are reviewed: extensive free reading based on language acquisition…
Moghtadi, Laleh; Koosha, Mansour; Lotfi, Ahmad Reza
The main concern of the present study was to investigate the probable correlation between the bilinguals' second language grammatical proficiency level and their third language grammatical proficiency level. The current study was implemented on selecting a total of 100 Iranian female high school students studying at second grade from two…
Pallier, C; Dehaene, S; Poline, J-B; LeBihan, D; Argenti, A-M; Dupoux, E; Mehler, J
Do the neural circuits that subserve language acquisition lose plasticity as they become tuned to the maternal language? We tested adult subjects born in Korea and adopted by French families in childhood; they have become fluent in their second language and report no conscious recollection of their native language. In behavioral tests assessing their memory for Korean, we found that they do not perform better than a control group of native French subjects who have never been exposed to Korean. We also used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor cortical activations while the Korean adoptees and native French listened to sentences spoken in Korean, French and other, unknown, foreign languages. The adopted subjects did not show any specific activations to Korean stimuli relative to unknown languages. The areas activated more by French stimuli than by foreign stimuli were similar in the Korean adoptees and in the French native subjects, but with relatively larger extents of activation in the latter group. We discuss these data in light of the critical period hypothesis for language acquisition.
Seliger, Herbert W., Ed.; Long, Michael H., Ed.
A collection of works concerning classroom research methodology, learner strategies and variables, teacher speech, teacher and learner feedback, and second language classroom communication has been compiled. It includes: "What Is Classroom Oriented Research?" (Herbert W. Seliger and Michael H. Long); "Inside the 'Black Box': Methodological Issues…
Paper presented to the Michigan Linguistic Society, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, October 4, 1969. Theorizes that the nature of the brain, not its nurture, inhibits the ability of a person to master the sound patterns of a second language without an accent. (DS)
Bertram, Raymond; Hyona, Jukka; Laine, Matti
This Special Issue on Morphological Processing is based on the sixth MOrphological PROcessing Conference (MOPROC), which was kept in June 2009 in Turku, Finland. The issue contains 13 articles by leading scholars in the field of morphological processing. These articles investigate the role morphemes play in language comprehension, production and…
Lindholm, Kathy; And Others
The English and Spanish utterances of 19 bilingual preschool children were monitored as they conversed with experimenters. Characteristics of the children's language are reported for a bilingual prestage (exhibited by the youngest subject) and for four developmental stages in English and Spanish. These stages are characterized by approximately…
Nathan, Geoffrey S.
The natural phonology theory, related to European structuralism, makes two fundamental assumptions: (1) phonemes are mental images of the sounds of language, and (2) phonological processes represent subconscious mental substitutions of one sound or class of sounds for another that are the natural response to the relative difficulties of sound…
Schon, Daniele; Boyer, Maud; Moreno, Sylvain; Besson, Mireille; Peretz, Isabelle; Kolinsky, Regine
In previous research, Saffran and colleagues [Saffran, J. R., Aslin, R. N., & Newport, E. L. (1996). Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants. Science, 274, 1926-1928; Saffran, J. R., Newport, E. L., & Aslin, R. N. (1996). Word segmentation: The role of distributional cues. "Journal of Memory and Language," 35, 606-621.] have shown that adults…
Brown, Bonnie M.
Although poems have fallen into disuse as vehicles of second language instruction, they are by no means as inaccessible as many think. A teacher's choice of poems for classroom use will begin with a consideration of learning goals; these govern choice of tone, subject, point of view, and the like. Variety is important, and several varied poems by…
IDRA Newsletter, 1995
This theme issue focuses on strategies to enhance learning of English as a second language and on the importance of bilingual education. In "Bilingual Education Makes the Difference in Learning," Roberto Feliz, who was born in the Dominican Republic and is now a doctor, describes how bilingual education saved him from academic failure…
Bigelow, Martha; Schwarz, Robin Lovrien
Adult English language learners who lack print literacy or experience with formal education encounter a unique set of challenges in their lives and their efforts to learn English. Educators and policymakers are similarly challenged by how best to help these adults acquire English literacy. This paper reviews a variety of research, including that…
Recent advances in linguistic theory offer new proposals about the factors that are crucial to understanding the design and acquisition of language-the genetic endowment, experience, and principles not specific to the language faculty. Of particular interest is the third of these factors, whose importance is now widely recognized, raising questions about its character, its role in shaping the language faculty, and its impact on the future of linguistic research. WIREs Cogn Sci 2012 doi: 10.1002/wcs.1188 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
Adamson, H. D.
This paper attempts to show the relationship between variable rules and more widely used psycholinguistic constructs such as amalgams and schemas, and to point out how variationists' methods can be useful in the study of language acquisition. The traditional rule, the rule for forming the past tense of regular verbs in English, is discussed as it…
I argue that Cook et al.'s attack of the genetic hypothesis of mirror neurons misses its target because the authors miss the point that genetics may specify how neurons may learn, not what they learn. Paying more attention to recent work linking mirror neurons to language acquisition and evolution would strengthen Cook et al.'s arguments against a rigid genetic hypothesis.
Hurtado, Luz Marcela; Estrada, Chelsea
This article examines the role of linguistic and sociolinguistic factors in the second language (L2) acquisition of Spanish vibrants. The data consist of 2 sets of recordings from 37 students enrolled in a Spanish pronunciation class. The statistical program VarbRul was used to analyze 7,597 samples. The vibration (simple or multiple) and the…
Dinayeva, Bekzat B.; Sapina, Sabira M.; Utanova, Aizada K.; Aitova, Nurlykhan N.
The article deals with the analysis of peculiarities of language acquisition assessment system in Kazakhstan--KAZTEST. The author pays attention to the role of control as a way of assessment students' skills, habits and knowledge. In addition, author determined the place and functions of tests as a form of control. The author explores the…
Jensen, Eva Dam; Vinther, Thora
Reports on two studies on input enhancement used to support learners' selection of focus of attention in Spanish second language listening material. Input consisted of video recordings of dialogues between native speakers. Exact repetition and speech rate reduction were examined for effect on comprehension, acquisition of decoding strategies, and…
Adi-Japha, Esther; Strulovich-Schwartz, Orli; Julius, Mona
The acquisition and consolidation of a new grapho-motor symbol into long-term memory was studied in 5-year-old children with language impairment (LI) and peers matched for age and visual-motor integration skills. The children practiced the production of a new symbol and were tested 24 h and two weeks post-practice day. Differences in performance…
Hoffman, Diane M.
The relationship between language use and second culture acquisition is examined in this study of first generation Iranian immigrants and exiles in the United States. The use of both Farsi and English is found to be instrumental in the process by which American culture is incorporated within the Iranian worldview. (AF)
Hulstijn, Jan H.
After characterizing the study of second language acquisition (SLA) from three viewpoints, I try to answer the question, raised by DeKeyser (2010), of whether the SLA field is disintegrating. In answering this question, I first propose a distinction between SLA as the relatively fundamental academic discipline and SLA as the relatively applied…
Brown, H. Douglas
It is argued that acculturation, anomie, social distance, and perceived social distance rather than biological factors define a critical period independent of the age of the learner for second language acquisition. Suggestions for planning instructional strategies and selecting materials based on this hypothesis are given. (PMJ)
Eigsti, Inge-Marie; de Marchena, Ashley B.; Schuh, Jillian M.; Kelley, Elizabeth
This paper reviews the complex literature on language acquisition in the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Because of the high degree of interest in ASD in the past decade, the field has been changing rapidly, with progress in both basic science and applied clinical areas. In addition, psycholinguistically-trained researchers have increasingly…
Loewen, Shawn; Lavolette, Elizabeth; Spino, Le Anne; Papi, Mostafa; Schmidtke, Jens; Sterling, Scott; Wolff, Dominik
The importance of statistical knowledge in applied linguistics and second language acquisition (SLA) research has been emphasized in recent publications. However, the last investigation of the statistical literacy of applied linguists occurred more than 25 years ago (Lazaraton, Riggenbach, & Ediger, 1987). The current study undertook a partial…
Discusses the similarities between the science of chaos/complexity and second language acquisition (SLA). Notes that chaos/complexity scientists focus on how disorder yields to order and on how complexity arises in nature. Points out that the study of dynamic, complex nonlinear systems is meaningful in SLA as well. (78 references) (Author/CK)
Larsen-Freeman, Diana; Strom, Virginia
In an effort to find an index of development for second language acquisition, compositions written by non-native speakers of English were classified into proficiency levels and analyzed. Measures that seemed most suitable as an index of development were average length of the T-unit and number of error-free T-units. (CHK)
Documents 20 years of second-language acquisition research, highlighting two subthemes involving the alternate broadening and narrowing of research perspectives and predicting that the next phase of research will unite the historically distinct research foci on learning and the learner. (209 references) (CB)
Krashen, Stephen D.
This book is based on a series of four lectures, presented at National Taipei University, Taiwan, which reviewed the fundamentals of second language acquisition theory, presented original research supporting the theory, offered counterarguments to criticisms, and explored new areas that appeared to have promise for progress in both theory and…
Moore, Rashid A.; Zainuddin, Hanizah
Most research conducted on the amount of time English language learners (ELLs) require for the acquisition of academic English suggests that 4-10 years are required to be near or on par with fully proficient English (FEP) peers. In this study, data from three administrations (1999, 2000, and 2001) of the FCAT writing test of the Florida Writing…
Schumann, John H.
Expands on Ochsner's (1979) call for a "bilingual" attitude toward second language acquisition research. Suggests work be viewed as science and art in order to better understand what we do and how we do it. Argues that theorists use artistic and scientific devices in building theories, and consumers of those theories use aesthetic and…
Lafford, Barbara A., Ed.; Salaberry, Rafael, Ed.
This collection of papers provides an overview of previous studies on the acquisition of Spanish as a second or foreign language, theoretical approaches used in these studies, and effects of various pedagogical approaches on the development of Spanish interlanguage systems. The 10 chapters include the following: (1) "Phonology: Staking Out…
Waterfall, Heidi R.; Sandbank, Ben; Onnis, Luca; Edelman, Shimon
This paper reports progress in developing a computer model of language acquisition in the form of (1) a generative grammar that is (2) algorithmically learnable from realistic corpus data, (3) viable in its large-scale quantitative performance and (4) psychologically real. First, we describe new algorithmic methods for unsupervised learning of…
Zhang Leimbigler, Sheri
This article iterates the results of integrating literacy into SLA (Second Language Acquisition) from a constructivist's perspective in preparing syllabi, pedagogical activities and testing. The observation of Mandarin-learning students' performance and conversations with them suggest that introducing certain vocabulary, expressions and…
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.…
Reed, Rodney Louis
Theories concerning the relationship between language acquisition and cognitive development are examined, and implications for education are discussed. There is disagreement about the sources and processes involved in achieving linguistic performance, and in particular, determining linguistic competence. Among the many theories and modifications…
Examined the influence of input and interactional modifications on second-language acquisition, assigning 41 learners of Japanese to 1 of 3 experimental groups: (1) unmodified input with no interaction; (2) premodified input with no interaction; and (3) unmodified input with the chance for negotiated input. Results indicated that comprehension was…
Schumann, John H.
Presents a model of second language acquisition based on the social-psychology of acculturation, including factors in social, affective, personality, cognitive, biological, aptitude, personal, input, and instructional areas. Studies which test this model are reviewed and evaluated. (Author/CB)
Malave, Lilliam M., Ed.; Duquette, Georges, Ed.
Papers on language processing, culture, and language learning and teaching include: "A Theory of Intelligence as Semiosis: With a Couple of Comments on Interlanguage Development" (John W. Oller, Jr.); "Along the Way: Interlanguage Systems in Second Language Acquisition" (Larry Selinker); "Strategy and Tactics in Second Language Acquisition"…
Walle, Eric A; Campos, Joseph J
The present investigation explored the question of whether walking onset is related to infant language development. Study 1 used a longitudinal design (N = 44) to assess infant locomotor and language development every 2 weeks from 10 to 13.5 months of age. The acquisition of walking was associated with a significant increase in both receptive and productive language, independent of age. Study 2 used an age-held-constant study with 12.5-month-old infants (38 crawling infants; 37 walking infants) to further explore these findings. Results from Study 2 replicated the differences in infant language development between locomotor groups. Additionally, a naturalistic observation of parent-infant interactions (20 crawling dyads; 24 walking dyads) revealed that language development was predicted by multiple factors in the social environment, but only for walking infants. Possible explanations of the findings (e.g., social, cognitive, neurological) are discussed, and topics for future research are highlighted.
Kuhl, Patricia K.
Infants are sensitive to the statistical patterns in language input, and exposure to them alters phonetic perception. Our recent data indicate that first-time exposure to a foreign language at 9 months of age results in learning after only 5 h, suggesting a process that is fairly automatic, given natural language input. At the same time, it appears that early phonetic learning from natural language may be constrained by the need for social interaction. Our work demonstrates that infants learn phonetically when exposed to a live, but not a pre-recorded, speaker. This talk will focus on statistical learning in a social context and develop the thesis that this combination provides an ideal situation for the acquisition of a natural language.
Schumann, John H.
Presents arguments for the view that pidginization can be a model of early second language acquisition, decreolization can be a model for later second language acquisition, and creolization is inappropriate for any aspect of this process. (Author/AM)
VanPatten, Bill; Lee, James F.
Research on second language acquisition (SLA) and research on foreign language learning (FLL), often regarded as different and separate fields of inquiry, are compared in a brief review of literature. Perceptions about the scopes and characteristics of the research are examined. Concerns about the relationship between SLA research and theory and…
This paper reports on a case study of a child raised in the context of bilingual first-language acquisition in English and Bulgarian, where the latter represents a minority (heritage) language. Using diary data and spontaneous speech recordings, the study identifies a period of loss of production in Bulgarian (1;7-2;3) and a subsequent…
Sansó, Clara; Navarro, José Luis; Huguet, Ángel
Introduction: The development of immigrant students' language proficiency is one of the main challenges facing education professionals today. Our study was a longitudinal analysis of Catalan and Spanish language acquisition. Method: Participants were 72 immigrant students (27 Spanish speakers and 45 non-Spanish speakers) enrolled in compulsory…
As applied linguists know very well, how we use language both constructs and reflects our understanding. It is therefore important that we use terms that do justice to our concerns. In this presentation, I suggest that a more apt designation than "multilingual" or "second language acquisition" (SLA) is "multilingual"…
Honnert, Alicia M.; Bozan, Sarah E.
For most middle school-level students, summarizing main ideas can prove to be difficult, especially for those with low vocabulary and language acquisition skills. Working specifically with students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) and in a special education program, we discovered that teaching summarization as a reading strategy increased…
Gutierrez-Clellen, Vera; Simon-Cereijido, Gabriela; Sweet, Monica
Purpose: This study evaluated the extent to which the language of intervention, the child's development in Spanish, and the effects of English vocabulary, use, proficiency, and exposure predict differences in the rates of acquisition of English in Latino children with specific language impairment (SLI). Method: In this randomized controlled trial,…
Wen, Zhisheng; McNeill, Arthur; Mota, Mailce Borges
Organized under the auspices of the "Language Learning" Roundtable Conference Grant (2012), this seminar aimed to provide an interactive forum for a group of second language acquisition (SLA) researchers with particular interests in cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics to discuss key theoretical and methodological issues in the…
... Office of English Language Acquisition; Overview Information; Language Enhancement, and Academic... Priority 2 is from Title V, Part D, Subpart 9, section 5493 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act... Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82,...
Petitto, L A; Katerelos, M; Levy, B G; Gauna, K; Tétreault, K; Ferraro, V
Divergent hypotheses exist concerning the types of knowledge underlying early bilingualism, with some portraying a troubled course marred by language delays and confusion, and others portraying one that is largely unremarkable. We studied the extraordinary case of bilingual acquisition across two modalities to examine these hypotheses. Three children acquiring Langues des Signes Québécoise and French, and three children acquiring French and English (ages at onset approximately 1;0, 2;6 and 3;6 per group) were videotaped regularly over one year while we empirically manipulated novel and familiar speakers of each child's two languages. The results revealed that both groups achieved their early linguistic milestones in each of their languages at the same time (and similarly to monolinguals), produced a substantial number of semantically corresponding words in each of their two languages from their very first words or signs (translation equivalents), and demonstrated sensitivity to the interlocutor's language by altering their language choices. Children did mix their languages to varying degrees, and some persisted in using a language that was not the primary language of the addressee, but the propensity to do both was directly related to their parents' mixing rates, in combination with their own developing language preference. The signing-speaking bilinguals did exploit the modality possibilities, and they did simultaneously mix their signs and speech, but in semantically principled and highly constrained ways. It is concluded that the capacity to differentiate between two languages is well in place prior to first words, and it is hypothesized that this capacity may result from biological mechanisms that permit the discovery of early phonological representations. Reasons why paradoxical views of bilingual acquisition have persisted are also offered.
Baugher, Mark W.
The dissertation outlines a framework for understanding variation in ultimate attainment and syntactic structure in second language acquisition by positing a distinction between competence-based and generalized learning processes. Within this framework, competence-based learning is theorized to employ inductive learning processes to acquire a…
This article summarizes a paper presented at the recent ASP conference Connecting People to Science in Baltimore 2011. This action research study currently in progress aims to explore the impact of integrating science into English language instruction (English Language Acquisition for Adults, or ELLA) serving largely Hispanic immigrants at an adult learning center based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona
The development of speech rhythm in second language (L2) acquisition was investigated. Speech rhythm was defined as durational variability that can be captured by the interval-based rhythm metrics. These metrics were used to examine the differences in durational variability between proficiency levels in L2 English spoken by French and German learners. The results reveal that durational variability increased as L2 acquisition progressed in both groups of learners. This indicates that speech rhythm in L2 English develops from more syllable-timed toward more stress-timed patterns irrespective of whether the native language of the learner is rhythmically similar to or different from the target language. Although both groups showed similar development of speech rhythm in L2 acquisition, there were also differences: German learners achieved a degree of durational variability typical of the target language, while French learners exhibited lower variability than native British speakers, even at an advanced proficiency level.
Scarcella, Robin C., Ed.; Krashen, Stephen D., Ed.
The following papers are included: (1) "The Theoretical and Practical Relevance of Simple Codes in Second Language Acquisition" (Krashen); (2) "Talking to Foreigners versus Talking to Children: Similarities and Differences" (Freed); (3) "The Levertov Machine" (Stevick); (4) "Acquiring a Second Language when You're Not the Underdog" (Edelsky and…
Li, Ping; Zhao, Xiaowei
Connectionist models have had a profound impact on theories of language. While most early models were inspired by the classic parallel distributed processing architecture, recent models of language have explored various other types of models, including self-organizing models for language acquisition. In this paper, we aim at providing a review of the latter type of models, and highlight a number of simulation experiments that we have conducted based on these models. We show that self-organizing connectionist models can provide significant insights into long-standing debates in both monolingual and bilingual language development. We suggest future directions in which these models can be extended, to better connect with behavioral and neural data, and to make clear predictions in testing relevant psycholinguistic theories. PMID:24312061
An account of grammatical acquisition is developed within the parameter setting framework applied to a generalized categorical grammar (GCG). Computational simulation shows that several resulting acquisition procedures are effective on a parameter set expressing major typological distinctions based on constituent order, and defining 70 distinct…
Kelly, Barbara F.; Forshaw, William; Nordlinger, Rachel; Wigglesworth, Gillian
The field of first language acquisition (FLA) needs to take into account data from the broadest typological array of languages and language-learning environments if it is to identify potential universals in child language development, and how these interact with socio-cultural mechanisms of acquisition. Yet undertaking FLA research in remote…
Shneidman, Laura A; Goldin-Meadow, Susan
Theories of language acquisition have highlighted the importance of adult speakers as active participants in children's language learning. However, in many communities children are reported to be directly engaged by their caregivers only rarely (Lieven, 1994). This observation raises the possibility that these children learn language from observing, rather than participating in, communicative exchanges. In this paper, we quantify naturally occurring language input in one community where directed interaction with children has been reported to be rare (Yucatec Mayan). We compare this input to the input heard by children growing up in large families in the United States, and we consider how directed and overheard input relate to Mayan children's later vocabulary. In Study 1, we demonstrate that 1-year-old Mayan children do indeed hear a smaller proportion of total input in directed speech than children from the US. In Study 2, we show that for Mayan (but not US) children, there are great increases in the proportion of directed input that children receive between 13 and 35 months. In Study 3, we explore the validity of using videotaped data in a Mayan village. In Study 4, we demonstrate that word types directed to Mayan children from adults at 24 months (but not word types overheard by children or word types directed from other children) predict later vocabulary. These findings suggest that adult talk directed to children is important for early word learning, even in communities where much of children's early language input comes from overheard speech.
Waterfall, Heidi R; Sandbank, Ben; Onnis, Luca; Edelman, Shimon
This paper reports progress in developing a computer model of language acquisition in the form of (1) a generative grammar that is (2) algorithmically learnable from realistic corpus data, (3) viable in its large-scale quantitative performance and (4) psychologically real. First, we describe new algorithmic methods for unsupervised learning of generative grammars from raw CHILDES data and give an account of the generative performance of the acquired grammars. Next, we summarize findings from recent longitudinal and experimental work that suggests how certain statistically prominent structural properties of child-directed speech may facilitate language acquisition. We then present a series of new analyses of CHILDES data indicating that the desired properties are indeed present in realistic child-directed speech corpora. Finally, we suggest how our computational results, behavioral findings, and corpus-based insights can be integrated into a next-generation model aimed at meeting the four requirements of our modeling framework.
Studies of the second language acquisition of pronominal arguments have observed that: (1) L1 speakers of null subject languages of the Spanish type drop more subjects in their second language (L2) English than first language (L1) speakers of null subject languages of the Korean type and (2) speakers of Korean-type languages drop more objects than…
N00014.79.C.ES1 from the Office of Naval Research. I would like to thank Steven Pinker , Lynne Reder, and Miriam Schustack for their comments on earlier...has its background in past work on language acquisition (for reviews, see Anderson, 1976; Pinker , 1979--see also Langley, 1981), especially in my...policy in that rules are quite specific to various lexical items (Bresnan, 1981; Maratsos & Chalkley, 1980; Pinker , 1981). This also is exactly how
Swierzbin, Bonnie, Ed.; Morris, Frank, Ed.; Anderson, Michael E., Ed.; Klee, Carol A., Ed.; Tarone, Elaine, Ed.
This edited volume includes the following chapters: "Three Kinds of Sociolinguistics and SLA: A Psycholinguistic Perspective" (Dennis R. Preston); "Getting Serious about Language Play: Language Play, Interlanguage Variation, and Second Language Acquisition" (Elaine Tarone); "Oppositional Talk and the Acquisition of Modality in L2 English" (Tom…
van der Slik, Frans W P; van Hout, Roeland W N M; Schepens, Job J
Gender differences were analyzed across countries of origin and continents, and across mother tongues and language families, using a large-scale database, containing information on 27,119 adult learners of Dutch as a second language. Female learners consistently outperformed male learners in speaking and writing proficiency in Dutch as a second language. This gender gap remained remarkably robust and constant when other learner characteristics were taken into account, such as education, age of arrival, length of residence and hours studying Dutch. For reading and listening skills in Dutch, no gender gap was found. In addition, we found a general gender by education effect for all four language skills in Dutch for speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Female language learners turned out to profit more from higher educational training than male learners do in adult second language acquisition. These findings do not seem to match nurture-oriented explanatory frameworks based for instance on a human capital approach or gender-specific acculturation processes. Rather, they seem to corroborate a nature-based, gene-environment correlational framework in which language proficiency being a genetically-influenced ability interacting with environmental factors such as motivation, orientation, education, and learner strategies that still mediate between endowment and acquiring language proficiency at an adult stage.
van der Slik, Frans W. P.; van Hout, Roeland W. N. M.; Schepens, Job J.
Gender differences were analyzed across countries of origin and continents, and across mother tongues and language families, using a large-scale database, containing information on 27,119 adult learners of Dutch as a second language. Female learners consistently outperformed male learners in speaking and writing proficiency in Dutch as a second language. This gender gap remained remarkably robust and constant when other learner characteristics were taken into account, such as education, age of arrival, length of residence and hours studying Dutch. For reading and listening skills in Dutch, no gender gap was found. In addition, we found a general gender by education effect for all four language skills in Dutch for speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Female language learners turned out to profit more from higher educational training than male learners do in adult second language acquisition. These findings do not seem to match nurture-oriented explanatory frameworks based for instance on a human capital approach or gender-specific acculturation processes. Rather, they seem to corroborate a nature-based, gene-environment correlational framework in which language proficiency being a genetically-influenced ability interacting with environmental factors such as motivation, orientation, education, and learner strategies that still mediate between endowment and acquiring language proficiency at an adult stage. PMID:26540465
Workman, L; Brookman, F; Mayer, P; Rees, V; Bellin, W
In order to test the hypothesis that monolinguals differ from bilinguals in their pattern of language lateralisation and to examine the relative merits of language-acquisitional versus language-specific factors, two experiments involving divided screen presentation of two languages were conducted using Welsh/English speaking participants. In the first experiment 80 monolingual teenagers were compared to 80 bilingual teenagers on a tachistoscopic "visual half-field" test of Welsh and English nouns and verbs. ANOVA revealed a greater left hemisphere advantage for Welsh-English bilinguals as compared to English monolinguals. Thus, in contrast to previous studies, in our bilinguals there was evidence of greater left hemisphere involvement in the processing of language. In the second experiment, four separate groups of 40 teenagers, varying in the age and manner of acquisition of their languages, were compared on the same test of Welsh and English words. These groups can be viewed as graded from the early to late bilinguals. ANOVA revealed a greater left hemisphere advantage when processing Welsh as compared to English words for all four groups. However no significant difference was observed between the four groups in respect of laterality for Welsh and English, indicating an equally greater left hemisphere bias for all four groups when processing Welsh words. We discuss these results in terms of a language-specific effect and suggest the specific orthography of the Welsh language (for individually presented nouns and verbs) promotes a left hemisphere advantage over and above language-acquisitional factors.
Issues and patterns in second language learning are discussed, drawing on a 1985 study with learners of English as a second language in Australia. Discussion begins with an analysis of the process of learning one form of verb marking, the ending "-ing." The inherent complexity of this form in English is examined, and ways in which…
Examples of culturally relevant education for Navajo adults are described: (1) Arizona State Prison Literacy Program; (2) Dine College Teacher Preservice Program; (3) Salt Lake City East Community School; and (4) Family and Child Education Program. The examples attest to the power of native language literacy. (SK)
Weikum, Whitney M.; Vouloumanos, Athena; Navarra, Jordi; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Werker, Janet F.
Adults as well as infants have the capacity to discriminate languages based on visual speech alone. Here, we investigated whether adults' ability to discriminate languages based on visual speech cues is influenced by the age of language acquisition. Adult participants who had all learned English (as a first or second language) but did not speak French were shown faces of bilingual (French/English) speakers silently reciting sentences in either language. Using only visual speech information, adults who had learned English from birth or as a second language before the age of 6 could discriminate between French and English significantly better than chance. However, adults who had learned English as a second language after age 6 failed to discriminate these two languages, suggesting that early childhood exposure is crucial for using relevant visual speech information to separate languages visually. These findings raise the possibility that lowered sensitivity to non-native visual speech cues may contribute to the difficulties encountered when learning a new language in adulthood. PMID:24312020
Weikum, Whitney M; Vouloumanos, Athena; Navarra, Jordi; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Werker, Janet F
Adults as well as infants have the capacity to discriminate languages based on visual speech alone. Here, we investigated whether adults' ability to discriminate languages based on visual speech cues is influenced by the age of language acquisition. Adult participants who had all learned English (as a first or second language) but did not speak French were shown faces of bilingual (French/English) speakers silently reciting sentences in either language. Using only visual speech information, adults who had learned English from birth or as a second language before the age of 6 could discriminate between French and English significantly better than chance. However, adults who had learned English as a second language after age 6 failed to discriminate these two languages, suggesting that early childhood exposure is crucial for using relevant visual speech information to separate languages visually. These findings raise the possibility that lowered sensitivity to non-native visual speech cues may contribute to the difficulties encountered when learning a new language in adulthood.
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…
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
Schaetzel, Kirsten; Low, Ee Ling
Adult English language learners in the United States approach the learning of English pronunciation from a wide variety of native language backgrounds. They may speak languages with sound systems that vary a great deal from that of English. The pronunciation goals and needs of adult English language learners are diverse. These goals and needs…
Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Cunillera, Toni; Mestres-Missé, Anna; de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth
Little is known about the brain mechanisms involved in word learning during infancy and in second language acquisition and about the way these new words become stable representations that sustain language processing. In several studies we have adopted the human simulation perspective, studying the effects of brain-lesions and combining different neuroimaging techniques such as event-related potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging in order to examine the language learning (LL) process. In the present article, we review this evidence focusing on how different brain signatures relate to (i) the extraction of words from speech, (ii) the discovery of their embedded grammatical structure, and (iii) how meaning derived from verbal contexts can inform us about the cognitive mechanisms underlying the learning process. We compile these findings and frame them into an integrative neurophysiological model that tries to delineate the major neural networks that might be involved in the initial stages of LL. Finally, we propose that LL simulations can help us to understand natural language processing and how the recovery from language disorders in infants and adults can be accomplished. PMID:19933142
Caralho, Ana Maria; da Silva, Antonio Jose Bacelar
This study investigates typological distance and order of acquisition (i.e., the order in which languages were acquired) in the context in which Spanish-English bilingual students, whose first language is English or Spanish, are learning Portuguese as a third language (L3). Participants were asked to think aloud as they worked on pedagogical tasks…
An exploratory application of the "acquisitional strategies" framework investigated English-speaking language learners' acquisition of preposition stranding in Dutch. Interesting syntactic and morphological contrasts in both English and Dutch render the framework a valuable empirical tool for evaluating language acquisition strategies. (Author/CB)
Ambridge, Ben; Kidd, Evan; Rowland, Caroline F; Theakston, Anna L
This review article presents evidence for the claim that frequency effects are pervasive in children's first language acquisition, and hence constitute a phenomenon that any successful account must explain. The article is organized around four key domains of research: children's acquisition of single words, inflectional morphology, simple syntactic constructions, and more advanced constructions. In presenting this evidence, we develop five theses. (i) There exist different types of frequency effect, from effects at the level of concrete lexical strings to effects at the level of abstract cues to thematic-role assignment, as well as effects of both token and type, and absolute and relative, frequency. High-frequency forms are (ii) early acquired and (iii) prevent errors in contexts where they are the target, but also (iv) cause errors in contexts in which a competing lower-frequency form is the target. (v) Frequency effects interact with other factors (e.g. serial position, utterance length), and the patterning of these interactions is generally informative with regard to the nature of the learning mechanism. We conclude by arguing that any successful account of language acquisition, from whatever theoretical standpoint, must be frequency sensitive to the extent that it can explain the effects documented in this review, and outline some types of account that do and do not meet this criterion.
Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni
Age of acquisition (AoA) effects have been used to support the notion of a critical period for first language acquisition. In this study, we examine AoA effects in deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users via a grammaticality judgment task. When English reading performance and nonverbal IQ are factored out, results show that accuracy of grammaticality judgement decreases as AoA increases, until around age 8, thus showing the unique effect of AoA on grammatical judgement in early learners. No such effects were found in those who acquired BSL after age 8. These late learners appear to have first language proficiency in English instead, which may have been used to scaffold learning of BSL as a second language later in life. PMID:22578601
Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni
Age of acquisition (AoA) effects have been used to support the notion of a critical period for first language acquisition. In this study, we examine AoA effects in deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users via a grammaticality judgment task. When English reading performance and nonverbal IQ are factored out, results show that accuracy of grammaticality judgement decreases as AoA increases, until around age 8, thus showing the unique effect of AoA on grammatical judgement in early learners. No such effects were found in those who acquired BSL after age 8. These late learners appear to have first language proficiency in English instead, which may have been used to scaffold learning of BSL as a second language later in life.
Kaplan, Eleanor L.
It is the contention here that the "prelinguistic" period is an important phase of the language acquisition process. Accordingly the research reported represents an attempt to begin mapping out the types of linguistically relevant information to which a young child attends. Specifically it is hypothesized that young children are…
Based on recent research in cognitive science, interaction, and second language acquisition (SLA), I describe a sociocognitive approach to SLA. This approach adopts a "non-cognitivist" view of cognition: Instead of an isolated computational process in which input is extracted from the environment and used to build elaborate internal…
Reviews current research in three domains of bilingual acquisition: pragmatic features of bilingual code mixing, grammatical constraints on child bilingual code mixing, and bilingual syntactic development. Examines implications from these domains for the understanding of the limits of the mental faculty to acquire language. (Author/VWL)
An objective selection protocol identified 25 Ph.D. theses from Welsh universities in the period 2003-2008 which are relevant to the field of second language acquisition. Most of these fall into three broad subject areas: language in school, acquisition and assessment of spoken language, and lexical issues. The last of these encompasses the…
Weger, Heather D.
The present study reports on the motivations of adult, international learners of English, studying English 20 hours a week in a US-based Intensive English Program (IEP). Though often used as participants in language acquisition studies, there are few studies of these learners' motivational profiles. In the current study, a questionnaire designed…
DeAnda, Stephanie; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Zesiger, Pascal; Friend, Margaret
A rich body of work in adult bilinguals documents an interconnected lexical network across languages, such that early word retrieval is language independent. This literature has yielded a number of influential models of bilingual semantic memory. However, extant models provide limited predictions about the emergence of lexical organization in bilingual first language acquisition (BFLA). Empirical evidence from monolingual infants suggests that lexical networks emerge early in development as children integrate phonological and semantic information. These findings tell us little about the interaction between two languages in the early bilingual memory. To date, an understanding of when and how languages interact in early bilingual development is lacking. In this literature review, we present research documenting lexical-semantic development across monolingual and bilingual infants. This is followed by a discussion of current models of bilingual language representation and organization and their ability to account for the available empirical evidence. Together, these theoretical and empirical accounts inform and highlight unexplored areas of research and guide future work on early bilingual memory. PMID:26866430
DeAnda, Stephanie; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Zesiger, Pascal; Friend, Margaret
A rich body of work in adult bilinguals documents an interconnected lexical network across languages, such that early word retrieval is language independent. This literature has yielded a number of influential models of bilingual semantic memory. However, extant models provide limited predictions about the emergence of lexical organization in bilingual first language acquisition (BFLA). Empirical evidence from monolingual infants suggests that lexical networks emerge early in development as children integrate phonological and semantic information. These findings tell us little about the interaction between 2 languages in early bilingual memory. To date, an understanding of when and how languages interact in early bilingual development is lacking. In this literature review, we present research documenting lexical-semantic development across monolingual and bilingual infants. This is followed by a discussion of current models of bilingual language representation and organization and their ability to account for the available empirical evidence. Together, these theoretical and empirical accounts inform and highlight unexplored areas of research and guide future work on early bilingual memory. (PsycINFO Database Record
Frost, Ram; Siegelman, Noam; Narkiss, Alona; Afek, Liron
In the study reported here, we examined whether success (or failure) in assimilating the structure of a second language can be predicted by general statistical-learning abilities that are nonlinguistic in nature. We employed a visual-statistical-learning (VSL) task, monitoring our participants' implicit learning of the transitional probabilities of visual shapes. A pretest revealed that performance in the VSL task was not correlated with abilities related to a general g factor or working memory. We found that, on average, native speakers of English who more accurately picked up the implicit statistical structure embedded in the continuous stream of shapes better assimilated the Semitic structure of Hebrew words. Languages and their writing systems are characterized by idiosyncratic correlations of form and meaning, and our findings suggest that these correlations are picked up in the process of literacy acquisition, as they are picked up in any other type of learning, for the purpose of making sense of the environment.
Levy, Benjamin J; McVeigh, Nathan D; Marful, Alejandra; Anderson, Michael C
After immersion in a foreign language, speakers often have difficulty retrieving native-language words--a phenomenon known as first-language attrition. We propose that first-language attrition arises in part from the suppression of native-language phonology during second-language use, and thus is a case of phonological retrieval-induced forgetting. In two experiments, we investigated this hypothesis by having native English speakers name visual objects in a language they were learning (Spanish). Repeatedly naming the objects in Spanish reduced the accessibility of the corresponding English words, as measured by an independent-probe test of inhibition. The results establish that the phonology of the words was inhibited, as access to the concepts underlying the presented objects was facilitated, not impaired. More asymmetry between English and Spanish fluency was associated with more inhibition for native-language words. This result supports the idea that inhibition plays a functional role in overcoming interference during the early stages of second-language acquisition.
Dale, Philip S; Harlaar, Nicole; Haworth, Claire M A; Plomin, Robert
In this report, we provide initial results of the first application of the classic twin design to second-language acquisition. The analysis was conducted on assessments teachers made using United Kingdom National Curriculum standards and included 604 pairs of 14-year-old twins. The results demonstrate substantial heritability (.67) and low influence of shared environment (.13) on this measure of second-language acquisition. The heritability of second-language acquisition at 14 years is comparable to the heritability of the two first-language acquisition measures obtained at 12 and 14 years, respectively, and is higher than heritability estimates previously published for first-language acquisition in early childhood. Multivariate behavior genetic analyses suggest very high, but not complete, overlap of genetic influences on first- and second-language acquisition, and less overlap between shared environmental influences on the two domains.
The identification of appropriate lexical segmentations of the speech signal constitutes a problem for the language learner and the child language researcher alike. Articulatory precision and fluency criteria for identifying formulaic expressions, sub-lexical forms and target lexemes in linguistic productions are defined and applied to the analysis of two Danish children's language development between the ages of 1;0 and 2;0. The results of this analysis are compared to the results of applying standard distributional and frequency criteria in the tabulation of mean length of utterance and vocabulary profiles for both standard and non-standard lexical segmentations. It is argued that although the two methods yield converging profiles of development during the latter part of the period studied, articulatory precision and fluency criteria offer a more powerful tool for identifying alternative segmentation strategies in early language acquisition. Profiles of vocabulary development for these two children suggest that the solution to the segmentation problem may be an important trigger for their vocabulary spurts.
Yang, Lynne R.; Givon, T.
Examines the effects of simplified input in early second language (L2) acquisition of English by experimentally manipulating language input to two groups of learners and then assessing their acquisition longitudinally within a controlled laboratory setting. Findings reveal that the dual task of acquiring vocabulary and grammar does not hinder…
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…
Sanchez, Karen Renee
This study explores the self-efficacy of students learning English as a Second Language on the computer-based Rosetta Stone program. The research uses a qualitative approach to explore how a readily available computer-based learning program, Rosetta Stone, can help adult immigrant students gain some English competence and so acquire a greater…
has been a renewed emphasis on language acquisition and retention throughout the United States Military, whether due to responsibilities in the Global...you’re bilingual . If you can speak only one language you’re an American. ~Author Unknown1 Across the military over the past several years...there has been a renewed emphasis on language acquisition and retention, especially in response to the Global War on Terrorism and an increased focus on
Dave, Dhaval M.; Corman, Hope; Reichman, Nancy E.
Education beyond traditional ages for schooling is an important source of human capital acquisition among adult women. Welfare reform, which began in the early 1990s and culminated in the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996, promoted work rather than education acquisition for this group. Exploiting variation in welfare reform across states and over time and using relevant comparison groups, we undertake a comprehensive study of the effects of welfare reform on adult women’s education acquisition. We first estimate effects of welfare reform on high school drop-out of teenage girls, both to improve upon past research on this issue and to explore compositional changes that may be relevant for our primary analyses of the effects of welfare reform on education acquisition among adult women. We find that welfare reform significantly reduced the probability that teens from disadvantaged families dropped out of high school, by about 15%. We then estimate the effects of welfare reform on adult women’s school enrollment and conduct numerous specification checks, investigate compositional selection and policy endogeneity, explore lagged effects, stratify by TANF work incentives and education policies, consider alternative comparison groups, and explore the mediating role of work. We find robust and convincing evidence that welfare reform significantly decreased the probability of college enrollment among adult women at risk of welfare receipt, by at least 20%. It also appears to have decreased the probability of high school enrollment among this group, on the same order of magnitude. Future research is needed to determine the extent to which this behavioral change translates to future economic outcomes. PMID:23504449
Van Rinsveld, Amandine; Schiltz, Christine; Landerl, Karin; Brunner, Martin; Ugen, Sonja
Differences between languages in terms of number naming systems may lead to performance differences in number processing. The current study focused on differences concerning the order of decades and units in two-digit number words (i.e., unit-decade order in German but decade-unit order in French) and how they affect number magnitude judgments. Participants performed basic numerical tasks, namely two-digit number magnitude judgments, and we used the compatibility effect (Nuerk et al. in Cognition 82(1):B25-B33, 2001) as a hallmark of language influence on numbers. In the first part we aimed to understand the influence of language on compatibility effects in adults coming from German or French monolingual and German-French bilingual groups (Experiment 1). The second part examined how this language influence develops at different stages of language acquisition in individuals with increasing bilingual proficiency (Experiment 2). Language systematically influenced magnitude judgments such that: (a) The spoken language(s) modulated magnitude judgments presented as Arabic digits, and (b) bilinguals' progressive language mastery impacted magnitude judgments presented as number words. Taken together, the current results suggest that the order of decades and units in verbal numbers may qualitatively influence magnitude judgments in bilinguals and monolinguals, providing new insights into how number processing can be influenced by language(s).
Dewey, Dan P.; Belnap, R. Kirk; Hillstrom, Rebecca
Language learners and educators have subscribed to the belief that those who go abroad will have many opportunities to use the target language and will naturally become proficient. They also assume that language learners will develop relationships with native speakers allowing them to use the language and become more fluent, an assumption…
Work, Richard; Andruski, Jean; Casielles, Eugenia; Kim, Sahyang; Nathan, Geoff
Traditionally, English is classified as a stress-timed language while Spanish is classified as syllable-timed. Examining the contrasting development of rhythmic patterns in bilingual first language acquisition should provide information on how this differentiation takes place. As part of a longitudinal study, speech samples were taken of a Spanish/English bilingual child of Argentinean parents living in the Midwestern United States between the ages of 1;8 and 3;2. Spanish is spoken at home and English input comes primarily from an English day care the child attends 5 days a week. The parents act as interlocutors for Spanish recordings with a native speaker interacting with the child for the English recordings. Following the work of Grabe, Post and Watson (1999) and Grabe and Low (2002) a normalized Pairwise Variability Index (PVI) is used which compares, in utterances of minimally four syllables, the durations of vocalic intervals in successive syllables. Comparisons are then made between the rhythmic patterns of the child's productions within each language over time and between languages at comparable MLUs. Comparisons are also made with the rhythmic patterns of the adult productions of each language. Results will be analyzed for signs of native speaker-like rhythmic production in the child.
Gutiérrez-Clellen, Vera; Simon-Cereijido, Gabriela; Sweet, Monica
Purpose This study evaluated the extent to which the language of intervention, the child’s development in Spanish, and the effects of English vocabulary, use, proficiency, and exposure predict differences in the rates of acquisition of English in Latino children with specific language impairment (SLI). Method In this randomized controlled trial, 188 Latino preschoolers with SLI participated in a small-group academic enrichment program for 12 weeks and were followed up 3 and 5 months later. Children were randomly assigned to either a bilingual or an English-only program. Predictors of English growth included measures of Spanish language skills and English vocabulary, use, proficiency, and exposure. Performance on English outcomes (i.e., picture description and narrative sample) was assessed over time. A series of longitudinal models were tested via multilevel modeling with baseline and posttreatment measures nested within child. Results Children demonstrated growth on the English outcomes over time. The language of intervention, Spanish skills, English vocabulary, and English use significantly predicted differences in rates of growth across children for specific measures of English development. Conclusions This study underscores the role of the child’s first language skills, the child’s level of English vocabulary development, and level of English use for predicting differences in English acquisition in Latino preschoolers with SLI. These factors should be carefully considered in making clinical decisions. PMID:22230174
This dissertation explores the second language acquisition of Mandarin Chinese tones by speakers of non-tonal languages within the framework of Optimality Theory. The effects of three L1s are analyzed: American English, a stress-accent language; Tokyo Japanese, a lexical pitch accent language; and Seoul Korean, a non-stress and non-pitch accent…
The acquisition of several word formation devices in American Sign Language (ASL) by deaf children learning ASL as a native language focused on some devices analogous to word formation devices in spoken languages (compounding, affixation, and derivation) and some in ASL that may not have counterparts in spoken languages. They were examined using…
Kramsch, Claire J.
Foreign language acquisition research (concerned with the theoretical and practical issues related to socialization into and literacy in another language and culture) can help integrate language, literature, and culture in foreign language departments because it draws on insights gained from such diverse fields as anthropology, sociology,…
The central goal of the field of second language acquisition (SLA) is to describe and explain how second language learners acquire the target language. In order to achieve this goal, SLA researchers work with second language data, which can take a variety of forms, including (but not limited to) such commonly used methods as naturalistic…
Naigles, Letitia R; Lehrer, Nadine
This research investigates language-general and language-specific properties of the acquisition of argument structure. Ten French preschoolers enacted forty sentences containing motion verbs; sixteen sentences were ungrammatical in that the syntactic frame was incompatible with the standard argument structure for the verb (e.g. *Le tigre va le lion = *The tiger goes the lion). Previous work (Naigles, Fowler & Helm, 1992, 1995; Naigles, Gleitman & Gleitman, 1993) indicated that English-speaking two-year-olds faced with such ungrammatical sentences consistently altered the usual meaning of the verb to fit the syntactic frame (frame compliance) whereas adults faced with the same sentences altered the syntax to fit the meaning of the verb (verb compliance). The age at which children began to perform Verb Compliantly varied by frame and by verb. The current study finds that the level of Verb Compliance in French five-year-olds largely mirrors that of English-speaking five-year-olds. The sole exception is the intransitive frame with an added prepositional phrase (e.g. *Le tigre amène près de la passerelle = *The tiger brings next to the ramp), which elicits a higher level of Verb Compliance among French kindergarteners than among their English learning peers. This effect may be due to the unambiguous interpretation of French spatial prepositions (i.e. next to has both locative and directional interpretations whereas près de supports only the locative interpretation). These data support the conclusion that the acquisition of argument structure is influenced by both language-general mechanisms (e.g. uniqueness, entrenchment) and language-specific properties (e.g. prepositional ambiguity).
Paradis, Johanne; Rice, Mabel L; Crago, Martha; Marquis, Janet
This study reports on a comparison of the use and knowledge of tense-marking morphemes in English by first language (L1), second language (L2) and specifically language-impaired (SLI) children. The objective of our research was to ascertain whether the L2 children's tense acquisition patterns were similar or dissimilar to those of the L1 and SLI groups, and whether they would fit an (Extended) Optional Infinitive profile, or an L2-based profile, e.g., the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis. Results showed that the L2 children had a unique profile compared with their monolingual peers, which was better characterized by the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis. At the same time, results reinforce the assumption underlying the (Extended) Optional Infinitive profile that internal constraints on the acquisition of tense could be a component of L1 development, with and without SLI.
Rilling, Sarah, Ed.; Dantas-Whitney, Maria, Ed.
Adult language learners have specific learning goals that reflect their lives within a global society, and adults negotiate multiple and changing identities throughout their personal, academic, and professional lives. Chapters in "Authenticity in the Language Classroom and Beyond: Adult Learners" highlight how teachers have the ability…
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…
Marchetto, Erika; Bonatti, Luca L
In order to acquire language, infants must extract its building blocks-words-and master the rules governing their legal combinations from speech. These two problems are not independent, however: words also have internal structure. Thus, infants must extract two kinds of information from the same speech input. They must find the actual words of their language. Furthermore, they must identify its possible words, that is, the sequences of sounds that, being morphologically well formed, could be words. Here, we show that infants' sensitivity to possible words appears to be more primitive and fundamental than their ability to find actual words. We expose 12- and 18-month-old infants to an artificial language containing a conflict between statistically coherent and structurally coherent items. We show that 18-month-olds can extract possible words when the familiarization stream contains marks of segmentation, but cannot do so when the stream is continuous. Yet, they can find actual words from a continuous stream by computing statistical relationships among syllables. By contrast, 12-month-olds can find possible words when familiarized with a segmented stream, but seem unable to extract statistically coherent items from a continuous stream that contains minimal conflicts between statistical and structural information. These results suggest that sensitivity to word structure is in place earlier than the ability to analyze distributional information. The ability to compute nontrivial statistical relationships becomes fully effective relatively late in development, when infants have already acquired a considerable amount of linguistic knowledge. Thus, mechanisms for structure extraction that do not rely on extensive sampling of the input are likely to have a much larger role in language acquisition than general-purpose statistical abilities.
Baer-Henney, Dinah; Kügler, Frank; van de Vijver, Ruben
Using the artificial language paradigm, we studied the acquisition of morphophonemic alternations with exceptions by 160 German adult learners. We tested the acquisition of two types of alternations in two regularity conditions while additionally varying length of training. In the first alternation, a vowel harmony, backness of the stem vowel determines backness of the suffix. This process is grounded in substance (phonetic motivation), and this universal phonetic factor bolsters learning a generalization. In the second alternation, tenseness of the stem vowel determines backness of the suffix vowel. This process is not based in substance, but it reflects a phonotactic property of German and our participants benefit from this language-specific factor. We found that learners use both cues, while substantive bias surfaces mainly in the most unstable situation. We show that language-specific and universal factors interact in learning.
Van Duzer, Carol; Florez, MaryAnn Cunningham
This book provides educators and education policy makers a picture of where the field of teaching adult English language learners is today in order to build a more effective delivery system for the future. It places adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) in the broader context of the U.S. education system (K-12 and adult education), then…
Pye, Clifton; Pfeiler, Barbara
This article demonstrates how the Comparative Method can be applied to cross-linguistic research on language acquisition. The Comparative Method provides a systematic procedure for organizing and interpreting acquisition data from different languages. The Comparative Method controls for cross-linguistic differences at all levels of the grammar and…
The aim of this study is to evaluate learning and acquisition strategies used by second/foreign language learners. This study is a comparative investigation of learning and acquisition strategies of successful and less successful language learners. The main question of the study is to investigate if there is a relationship between the learners'…
Garcia-Carbonell, Amparo; Rising, Beverly; Montero, Begona; Watts, Frances
Discussion of communicative competence in second language acquisition focuses on a theoretical and practical meshing of simulation and gaming methodology with theories of foreign language acquisition, including task-based learning, interaction, and comprehensible input. Describes experiments conducted with computer-assisted simulations in…
Series of international studies have shown that subtitled television programs provide a rich context for foreign language acquisition. This study investigated whether incidental language acquisition occurs from watching a television program with/without subtitles. Children in the experimental conditions watch: (a) a 15 minute snapshot of a well…
Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa
The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…
Hoffman, Suzanne Q.
Discusses whether the relationship between field dependence/independence (FD/I) and second-language acquisition is significant. The article contains introductory material defining FD/I within the context of second-language acquisition, a review of relevant research, and a discussion of the research's implications for educators and instructional…
Klingner, Janette K; Artiles, Alfredo J; Barletta, Laura Méndez
We review empirical research on English language learners (ELLs) who struggle with reading and who may have learning disabilities (LD). We sought to determine research indicators that can help us better differentiate between ELLs who struggle to acquire literacy because of their limited proficiency in English and ELLs who have actual LD. We conclude that more research is warranted to further elucidate the strengths and learning needs of subgroups of underachieving ELLs, to help us determine who should qualify for special education, and to clarify why some ELLs who do not have LD still struggle with language and literacy acquisition. Future research should account for the complexities involved in becoming literate in another language and focus more on cultural and contextual factors that affect student achievement.
Fountain Valley School District, CA.
Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design), a model of inservice teacher training in which teachers learn to modify instruction to promote acquisition of English as a Second Language, is outlined. The model uses the whole language approach to language learning. Its development was guided by research in whole language theory; integration of…
Johnson, J S; Newport, E L
Lenneberg (1967) hypothesized that language could be acquired only within a critical period, extending from early infancy until puberty. In its basic form, the critical period hypothesis need only have consequences for first language acquisition. Nevertheless, it is essential to our understanding of the nature of the hypothesized critical period to determine whether or not it extends as well to second language acquisition. If so, it should be the case that young children are better second language learners than adults and should consequently reach higher levels of final proficiency in the second language. This prediction was tested by comparing the English proficiency attained by 46 native Korean or Chinese speakers who had arrived in the United States between the ages of 3 and 39, and who had lived in the United States between 3 and 26 years by the time of testing. These subjects were tested on a wide variety of structures of English grammar, using a grammaticality judgment task. Both correlational and t-test analyses demonstrated a clear and strong advantage for earlier arrivals over the later arrivals. Test performance was linearly related to age of arrival up to puberty; after puberty, performance was low but highly variable and unrelated to age of arrival. This age effect was shown not to be an inadvertent result of differences in amount of experience with English, motivation, self-consciousness, or American identification. The effect also appeared on every grammatical structure tested, although the structures varied markedly in the degree to which they were well mastered by later learners. The results support the conclusion that a critical period for language acquisition extends its effects to second language acquisition.
Elbro, Carsten; Daugaard, Hanne Trebbien; Gellert, Anna S
Dyslexia is hard to diagnose in a second language. Poor performance on a test of reading may be caused by poor language proficiency in the second language or by limited schooling rather than by poor reading ability per se. This confound was supported in a study of 88 adult second language learners and 65 native language speakers. The incidence of dyslexia in the second language learners varied widely depending on the measure of reading. In order to reduce language and schooling confounds, a dynamic test of acquisition of basic decoding ability was developed. In the dynamic test, participants are taught three novel letters and to synthesise the letter sounds into new words. Results from the study indicated that the dynamic test provided results in accordance with the current IDA definition of dyslexia, while significantly reducing the influence second language vocabulary and amount of schooling. With the dynamic measure, the same cut-off point between dyslexic and non-dyslexic performance appeared valid in both native language speakers and second language learners.
Warlaumont, Anne S.; Jarmulowicz, Linda
Acquisition of regular inflectional suffixes is an integral part of grammatical development in English and delayed acquisition of certain inflectional suffixes is a hallmark of language impairment. We investigate the relationship between input frequency and grammatical suffix acquisition, analyzing 217 transcripts of mother-child (ages 1 ; 11-6 ;…
Redcay, Elizabeth; Haist, Frank; Courchesne, Eric
A pivotal period in the development of language occurs in the second year of life, when language comprehension undergoes rapid acceleration. However, the brain bases of these advances remain speculative as there is currently no functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from healthy, typically developing toddlers at this age. We investigated the neural basis of speech comprehension in this critical age period by measuring fMRI activity during passive speech comprehension in 10 toddlers (mean +/- SD; 21 +/- 4 mo) and 10 3-year-old children (39 +/- 3 mo) during natural sleep. During sleep, the children were presented passages of forward and backward speech in 20-second blocks separated by 20-second periods of no sound presentation. Toddlers produced significantly greater activation in frontal, occipital, and cerebellar regions than 3-year-old children in response to forward speech. Our results suggest that rapid language acquisition during the second year of life may require the utilization of frontal, cerebellar, and occipital regions in addition to classical superior temporal language areas. These findings are consistent with the interactive specialization hypothesis, which proposes that cognitive abilities develop from the interaction of brain regions that include and extend beyond those used in the adult brain.
O'Toole, Ciara; Hickey, Tina M.
This study investigated the role of language exposure in vocabulary acquisition in Irish, a threatened minority language in Ireland which is usually acquired with English in a bilingual context. Using a bilingual Irish-English adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories) [Fenson, L., V. A. Marchman, D. J. Thal, P. S.…
Huter, Kirsten Ina
This study investigated the process of acquisition of syntax in Japanese as a second language (JSL) in five university students over a period of 3 years. The report begins with an overview of Japanese syntax and an explanatory model of second language learning based on human information processing. Four phases of JSL learning with 16 sub-stages…
Falk, Ylva; Bardel, Camilla
The aim of this article is to give an up-to-date picture of study of the role of the background languages (the first language, L1, and the second language, L2) in third language (L3) acquisition, mainly in the two areas of vocabulary and syntax. These seem to be the two linguistic levels on which there has so far been most research concerning…
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,…
Hewes, Gordon W.
Experiments in teaching language or language-like behavior to chimpanzees and other primates may bear on the problem of the origin of language. Evidence appears to support the theory that man's first language was gestural. Recent pongid language experiments suggest: (1) a capacity for language is not solely human and therefore does not represent…
Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro
Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture. PMID:25092666
Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro
Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture.
Laine, Matti; Polonyi, Tünde; Abari, Kálmán
In literates, reading is a fundamental channel for acquiring new vocabulary both in the mother tongue and in foreign languages. By using an artificial language learning task, we examined the acquisition of novel written words and their embedded regularities (an orthographic surface feature and a syllabic feature) in three groups of university students with different exposures (Group 1 saw 2 words once, Group 2 saw 20 words once, Group 3 saw 20 words three times). Recognition memory results for Groups 2 and 3 indicated that adults can learn novel written words even with just a single exposure, albeit repeated exposure improved target detection. A generalization task revealed that even the minimal exposure in Group 1 was enough for acquisition of the two embedded regularities. More exemplars and repeated exposure provided more robust effects for the syllable regularity. Finally, post-test interview showed that repeated exposure was needed to become aware of the regularities. The present results show that adults learn novel written words and their inherent regularities in a fast and effective fashion.
Larraza, Saioa; Samuel, Arthur G; Oñederra, Miren Lourdes
Bilingual speakers must acquire the phonemic inventory of 2 languages and need to recognize spoken words cross-linguistically; a demanding job potentially made even more difficult due to dialectal variation, an intrinsic property of speech. The present work examines how bilinguals perceive second language (L2) accented speech and where accommodation to dialectal variation takes place. Dialectal effects were analyzed at different levels: An AXB discrimination task tapped phonetic-phonological representations, an auditory lexical-decision task tested for effects in accessing the lexicon, and an auditory priming task looked for semantic processing effects. Within that central focus, the goal was to see whether perceptual adjustment at a given level is affected by 2 main linguistic factors: bilinguals' first language and age of acquisition of the L2. Taking advantage of the cross-linguistic situation of the Basque language, bilinguals with different first languages (Spanish or French) and ages of acquisition of Basque (simultaneous, early, or late) were tested. Our use of multiple tasks with multiple types of bilinguals demonstrates that in spite of very similar discrimination capacity, French-Basque versus Spanish-Basque simultaneous bilinguals' performance on lexical access significantly differed. Similarly, results of the early and late groups show that the mapping of phonetic-phonological information onto lexical representations is a more demanding process that accentuates non-native processing difficulties. L1 and AoA effects were more readily overcome in semantic processing; accented variants regularly created priming effects in the different groups of bilinguals. (PsycINFO Database Record
Berent, Gerald P.
First language acquisition studies reveal that children overextend the minimal distance principle (MDP) during their acquisition of infinitive complement structures. The MDP dictates the interpretation of the logical subject of the infinitive in these structures and overrides marked lexical features such as subject control. Misinterpretations by…
Allen, Elena A.
Foreign language educators have been striving to improve practices that support language teaching for adults for many years. Common knowledge insists that children are better language learners than adults. Creation of the new field of neurolinguistics at the end of the 20th century brought about new opportunities for both teachers of foreign…
In this article, the current state of our knowledge of pragmatic disorders in adults with language impairment is assessed. A brief historical background of clinical pragmatics is presented, and the place of adult language pathology within the development of this field is discussed. A comprehensive review is undertaken of pragmatic deficits in adults with language impairments of diverse etiologies. Specifically, pragmatic deficits are examined in adults with left-hemisphere damage, often resulting in aphasia, and in adults with right-hemisphere damage, traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disorders (principally, Alzheimer's disease). Although many pragmatic phenomena have been examined in these clinical populations, studies have also tended to neglect important areas of pragmatic functioning in adults with these disorders. Several such areas are identified within a wider discussion of how researchers and clinicians can best pursue future investigations of pragmatics in adults with language impairment.
In this article I discuss the selection and assembly of formal features in second language acquisition. Assembling the particular lexical items of a second language (L2) requires that the learner reconfigure features from the way these are represented in the first language (L1) into new formal configurations on possibly quite different types of…
Hsu, Anne S.; Chater, Nick; Vitanyi, Paul M. B.
There is much debate over the degree to which language learning is governed by innate language-specific biases, or acquired through cognition-general principles. Here we examine the probabilistic language acquisition hypothesis on three levels: We outline a novel theoretical result showing that it is possible to learn the exact "generative model"…
If teacher education is to train second language teachers to be principled practitioners, it is essential to resist the attraction of panaceas and recipe-type solutions to instructional problems, and to promote teachers' better understanding of what constitutes successful language learning. Second language acquisition (SLA) research, both applied…
Cenoz, Jasone, Ed.; Hufeisen, Britta, Ed.; Jessner, Ulrike, Ed.
This volume focuses on the psycholinguistic aspects of language transfer when three languages are in contact, and provides an overview of the state of the art in cross-linguistic influence in third language acquisition. This edited volume contains, in addition to an introduction, ten chapters. Chapter titles include the following: "The Effect of…
English as a Second Language (ESL) students often have problems progressing in their acquisition of the language and frequently do not know how to solve this dilemma. Many of them think of their second language studies as just another school subject that they must pass in order to move on to the next level, so few of them realize the metacognitive…
Dixon, L. Quentin
Singapore's officially bilingual education policy, in which the majority of children are schooled through a non-native medium with their "Mother Tongue" (an ethnic heritage language that is not necessarily spoken in the home) as a single school subject only, has resulted in dramatic language shifts in the population and high academic…
Pickett, Joyce M.; Flynn, Pauline T.
Analysis of surveys completed by 50 speech/language pathologists at facilities serving mentally retarded adults revealed that a wide array of language assessment instruments were used. The need to examine many commercial tests (developed and standardized on children) for adults is stressed. (CL)
Sheng, Li; Byrd, Courtney T.; McGregor, Karla K.; Zimmerman, Hannah; Bludau, Kadee
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize the verbal memory limitations of young adults with language learning disability (LLD). Method: Sixteen young adults with LLD and 34 age- and education-matched controls with typical language participated in a Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM; Deese, 1959; Roediger & McDermott, 1995) list…
Previous studies on second language (L2) acquisition of English dative alternation by Korean speakers (Oh and Zubizarreta, 2003, 2006a, 2006b) have shown that the acquisition of English benefactive double object (DO) (e.g. "John baked Mary a cake") lags behind that of its counterpart goal double object (e.g. "John sent Mary the letter"). This…
Warlaumont, Anne S; Jarmulowicz, Linda
Acquisition of regular inflectional suffixes is an integral part of grammatical development in English and delayed acquisition of certain inflectional suffixes is a hallmark of language impairment. We investigate the relationship between input frequency and grammatical suffix acquisition, analyzing 217 transcripts of mother-child (ages 1 ; 11-6 ; 9) conversations from the CHILDES database. Maternal suffix frequency correlates with previously reported rank orders of acquisition and with child suffix frequency. Percentages of children using a suffix are consistent with frequencies in caregiver speech. Although late talkers acquire suffixes later than typically developing children, order of acquisition is similar across populations. Furthermore, the third person singular and past tense verb suffixes, weaknesses for children with language impairment, are less frequent in caregiver speech than the plural noun suffix, a relative strength in language impairment. Similar findings hold across typical, SLI and late talker populations, suggesting that frequency plays a role in suffix acquisition.
Esch, Edith, Ed.
The immediate stimulus for this collection of papers was a conference, Self-Access and the Adult Language Learner, organized by the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT) and the Language Centre of the University of Cambridge in December 1992 at Queen's College, Cambridge. Several 1-day conferences on the same theme were…
Comstock, Renee; Kamara, Carol A.
A language/learning disability (LLD) is a disorder that may affect the comprehension and use of spoken or written language as well as nonverbal language, such as eye contact and tone of speech in both adults and children. Most research, treatment, and support resources emphasize childhood LLD, but the problems do not disappear once a person has…
Daltrozzo, Jerome; Emerson, Samantha N; Deocampo, Joanne; Singh, Sonia; Freggens, Marjorie; Branum-Martin, Lee; Conway, Christopher M
Statistical learning (SL) is believed to enable language acquisition by allowing individuals to learn regularities within linguistic input. However, neural evidence supporting a direct relationship between SL and language ability is scarce. We investigated whether there are associations between event-related potential (ERP) correlates of SL and language abilities while controlling for the general level of selective attention. Seventeen adults completed tests of visual SL, receptive vocabulary, grammatical ability, and sentence completion. Response times and ERPs showed that SL is related to receptive vocabulary and grammatical ability. ERPs indicated that the relationship between SL and grammatical ability was independent of attention while the association between SL and receptive vocabulary depended on attention. The implications of these dissociative relationships in terms of underlying mechanisms of SL and language are discussed. These results further elucidate the cognitive nature of the links between SL mechanisms and language abilities.
Problemes poses par l'investigation du langage en voie d'acquisition: examen critique de quelques tests de langage (Problems Arising from the Investigation of Language Acquisition: Critical Examination of Language Tests)
By analyzing different language tests currently in use for elementary school children, the article criticizes psychometric means of evaluation and ideas about language and language acquisition resulting from psychometric evaluation. (Text is in French.) (CLK)
Marshall, Chloë R; Morgan, Gary
There has long been interest in why languages are shaped the way they are, and in the relationship between sign language and gesture. In sign languages, entity classifiers are handshapes that encode how objects move, how they are located relative to one another, and how multiple objects of the same type are distributed in space. Previous studies have shown that hearing adults who are asked to use only manual gestures to describe how objects move in space will use gestures that bear some similarities to classifiers. We investigated how accurately hearing adults, who had been learning British Sign Language (BSL) for 1-3 years, produce and comprehend classifiers in (static) locative and distributive constructions. In a production task, learners of BSL knew that they could use their hands to represent objects, but they had difficulty choosing the same, conventionalized, handshapes as native signers. They were, however, highly accurate at encoding location and orientation information. Learners therefore show the same pattern found in sign-naïve gesturers. In contrast, handshape, orientation, and location were comprehended with equal (high) accuracy, and testing a group of sign-naïve adults showed that they too were able to understand classifiers with higher than chance accuracy. We conclude that adult learners of BSL bring their visuo-spatial knowledge and gestural abilities to the tasks of understanding and producing constructions that contain entity classifiers. We speculate that investigating the time course of adult sign language acquisition might shed light on how gesture became (and, indeed, becomes) conventionalized during the genesis of sign languages.
Lu, Chan; Koda, Keiko
Studies on monolingual children have shown that home language and literacy support is crucial in children's early literacy acquisition. However, such support has not been examined as thoroughly among bilingual children, including heritage speakers. This study investigated the effect of home language and literacy support on important precursors of…
This study reports a meta-analysis that synthesizes the empirical research on the role of language aptitude in second language grammar acquisition. A total of 33 study reports were identified including 17 predictive studies that investigated the correlations between aptitude and ultimate L2 attainment and 16 interactional studies that examined the…
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…
Swanson, H. Lee; Orosco, Michael J.; Lussier, Cathy M.; Gerber, Michael M.; Guzman-Orth, Danielle A.
In this study, we explored whether the contribution of working memory (WM) to children's (N = 471) 2nd language (L2) reading and language acquisition was best accounted for by processing efficiency at a phonological level and/or by executive processes independent of phonological processing. Elementary school children (Grades 1, 2, & 3) whose…
Drozdzial-Szelest, Krystyna; Pawlak, Miroslaw
This paper reviews 25 doctoral dissertations on second language acquisition (SLA), English language learning and teaching submitted in Poland in the years 2006-2010. The theses were selected for review on the basis of the recommendations of Ph.D. supervisors from leading Polish universities and they are divided into six groups: learner autonomy,…
Considering the significance of taking student preferences into account while organizing teaching practices, the current study explores which teaching method prospective foreign language teachers mostly prefer their teacher to use in the language acquisition course. A teaching methods evaluation form that includes six commonly used teaching…
Naigles, Letitia R.; Lehrer, Nadine
This research investigates language-general and language-specific properties of the acquisition of argument structure. Ten French preschoolers enacted forty sentences containing motion verbs; sixteen sentences were ungrammatical in that the syntactic frame was incompatible with the standard argument structure for the verb (e.g. *"Le tigre va le…
Schumann, John H.
Examines a series of societal factors that promote either social distance or proximity between two groups and thus affect the degree to which a second language learning group acquires the language of a particular target language group. (Author/RM)
Seabra Lopes, Luis; Chauhan, Aneesh
Motivated by the need to support language-based communication between robots and their human users, as well as grounded symbolic reasoning, this paper presents a learning architecture that can be used by robotic agents for long-term and open-ended category acquisition. To be more adaptive and to improve learning performance as well as memory usage, this learning architecture includes a metacognitive processing component. Multiple object representations and multiple classifiers and classifier combinations are used. At the object level, the main similarity measure is based on a multi-resolution matching algorithm. Categories are represented as sets of known instances. In this instance-based approach, storing and forgetting rules optimise memory usage. Classifier combinations are based on majority voting and the Dempster-Shafer evidence theory. All learning computations are carried out during the normal execution of the agent, which allows continuous monitoring of the performance of the different classifiers. The measured classification successes of the individual classifiers support an attentional selection mechanism, through which classifier combinations are dynamically reconfigured and a specific classifier is chosen to predict the category of a new unseen object. A simple physical agent, incorporating these learning capabilities, is used to test the approach. A long-term experiment was carried out having in mind the open-ended nature of category learning. With the help of a human mediator, the agent incrementally learned 68 categories of real-world objects visually perceivable through an inexpensive camera. Various aspects of the approach are evaluated through systematic experiments.
Brent, M R
This paper provides a tutorial introduction to computational studies of how children learn their native languages. Its aim is to make recent advances accessible to the broader research community, and to place them in the context of current theoretical issues. The first section locates computational studies and behavioral studies within a common theoretical framework. The next two sections review two papers that appear in this volume: one on learning the meanings of words and one or learning the sounds of words. The following section highlights an idea which emerges independently in these two papers and which I have dubbed autonomous bootstrapping. Classical bootstrapping hypotheses propose that children begin to get a toc-hold in a particular linguistic domain, such as syntax, by exploiting information from another domain, such as semantics. Autonomous bootstrapping complements the cross-domain acquisition strategies of classical bootstrapping with strategies that apply within a single domain. Autonomous bootstrapping strategies work by representing partial and/or uncertain linguistic knowledge and using it to analyze the input. The next two sections review two more more contributions to this special issue: one on learning word meanings via selectional preferences and one on algorithms for setting grammatical parameters. The final section suggests directions for future research.
The intermediate competence of adult second language learners is qualitatively different from native speaker competence. Learning strategies are constants in the diachronic modifications of learner competence. A study of the acquisition of interrogatives in French reveals limited strategies and the heterogeneity of linguistic models needed to…
Monshizadeh, Leila; Vameghi, Roshanak; Yadegari, Fariba; Sajedi, Firoozeh; Hashemi, Seyed Basir
AIM To study how language acquisition can be facilitated for cochlear implanted children based on cognitive and behavioral psychology viewpoints? METHODS To accomplish this objective, literature related to behaviorist and cognitive psychology prospects about language acquisition were studied and some relevant books as well as Medline, Cochrane Library, Google scholar, ISI web of knowledge and Scopus databases were searched. Among 25 articles that were selected, only 11 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Based on the inclusion criteria, review articles, expert opinion studies, non-experimental and experimental studies that clearly focused on behavioral and cognitive factors affecting language acquisition in children were selected. Finally, the selected articles were appraised according to guidelines of appraisal of medical studies. RESULTS Due to the importance of the cochlear implanted child’s language performance, the comparison of behaviorist and cognitive psychology points of view in child language acquisition was done. Since each theoretical basis, has its own positive effects on language, and since the two are not in opposition to one another, it can be said that a set of behavioral and cognitive factors might facilitate the process of language acquisition in children. Behavioral psychologists believe that repetition, as well as immediate reinforcement of child’s language behavior help him easily acquire the language during a language intervention program, while cognitive psychologists emphasize on the relationship between information processing, memory improvement through repetitively using words along with “associated” pictures and objects, motor development and language acquisition. CONCLUSION It is recommended to use a combined approach based on both theoretical frameworks while planning a language intervention program. PMID:27872829
Lieberman, Amy M; Borovsky, Arielle; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I
Sign language comprehension requires visual attention to the linguistic signal and visual attention to referents in the surrounding world, whereas these processes are divided between the auditory and visual modalities for spoken language comprehension. Additionally, the age-onset of first language acquisition and the quality and quantity of linguistic input for deaf individuals is highly heterogeneous, which is rarely the case for hearing learners of spoken languages. Little is known about how these modality and developmental factors affect real-time lexical processing. In this study, we ask how these factors impact real-time recognition of American Sign Language (ASL) signs using a novel adaptation of the visual world paradigm in deaf adults who learned sign from birth (Experiment 1), and in deaf adults who were late-learners of ASL (Experiment 2). Results revealed that although both groups of signers demonstrated rapid, incremental processing of ASL signs, only native signers demonstrated early and robust activation of sublexical features of signs during real-time recognition. Our findings suggest that the organization of the mental lexicon into units of both form and meaning is a product of infant language learning and not the sensory and motor modality through which the linguistic signal is sent and received.
Kasparian, Kristina; Steinhauer, Karsten
First language (L1) attrition is a socio-linguistic circumstance where second language (L2) learning coincides with changes in exposure and use of the native-L1. Attriters often report experiencing a decline in automaticity or proficiency in their L1 after a prolonged period in the L2 environment, while their L2 proficiency continues to strengthen. Investigating the neurocognitive correlates of attrition alongside those of late L2 acquisition addresses the question of whether the brain mechanisms underlying both L1 and L2 processing are strongly determined by proficiency, irrespective of whether the language was acquired from birth or in adulthood. Using event-related-potentials (ERPs), we examined lexical-semantic processing in Italian L1 attriters, compared to adult Italian L2 learners and to Italian monolingual native speakers. We contrasted the processing of classical lexical-semantic violations (Mismatch condition) with sentences that were equally semantically implausible but arguably trickier, as the target-noun was "swapped" with an orthographic neighbor that differed only in its final vowel and gender-marking morpheme (e.g., cappello (hat) vs. cappella (chapel)). Our aim was to determine whether sentences with such "confusable nouns" (Swap condition) would be processed as semantically correct by late L2 learners and L1 attriters, especially for those individuals with lower Italian proficiency scores. We found that lower-proficiency Italian speakers did not show significant N400 effects for Swap violations relative to correct sentences, regardless of whether Italian was the L1 or the L2. Crucially, N400 response profiles followed a continuum of "nativelikeness" predicted by Italian proficiency scores - high-proficiency attriters and high-proficiency Italian learners were indistinguishable from native controls, whereas attriters and L2 learners in the lower-proficiency range showed significantly reduced N400 effects for "Swap" errors. Importantly, attriters
Briscoe, Ted, Ed.
This collection of papers examines how children acquire language and how this affects language change over the generations. It proceeds from the basis that it is important to address not only the language faculty per se within the framework of evolutionary theory, but also the origins and subsequent development of languages themselves, suggesting…
The goal of this article is to give a survey of the literature and theoretical trends relevant to language acquisition. Developments in the fields of psychology, psycholinguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics and in various interdisciplinary studies are discussed. (Text is in French.) (CLK)
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 1816 RIN 2700-AD69 NASA Implementation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration....
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 1816 RIN 2700-AD69 NASA Implementation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration....
Weist, R M; Lyytinen, P; Wysocka, J; Atanassova, M
The purpose of this research was to investigate the potential interaction of conceptual representations and linguistic systems in the process of language acquisition. Language-thought interactions were studied in 80 American, 48 Finnish and 48 Polish preschool children. The research focused on the conceptual and linguistic development of space and time. The spatial and temporal conceptual tasks were designed to measure the transition from experimental to inferential knowledge of space/time representations. In the linguistic domain, comprehension and production tests were used to evaluate the children's capacity to understand mono- and bi-referential location in space and time, where mono-referential location involves a single referent object/event with intrinsic properties (e.g. in/on or past/non-past), and bi-referential location requires two or more referent objects/events and relative perspective (e.g. deictic front/back or before/after). The conceptual and linguistic tests revealed significant changes during the period from two to five years of age, and measures of conceptual development were correlated with measures of linguistic development. As spatial and temporal representations became more structured, children were able to move from mono- to bi-referential location. In a comprehension test, we discovered an interaction of language by dimension. Finnish children found spatial distinctions relatively easy and Polish children found temporal distinctions relatively easy. This interaction was expected on the basis of the relative complexity of the morpho-syntactic coding in the spatial and temporal systems of the two languages. However, the argument relating the timing of acquisition to the transparency versus opacity of the linguistic systems was not supported by the English language comparison. Finally, the Finnish children were relatively better able to accomplish the spatial conceptual tasks as compared to the Polish children. This finding is consistent
Investigated the behaviors for processing language input demonstrated by five adults beginning to learn Hindi as a second language through the Total Physical Response method. The study suggests that, when adult learners are provided with comprehensive input, they engage in a variety of behaviors to extract meaning from it. (73 references) (GLR)
This study investigated the relationship between latent components of academic English language ability and test takers' study-abroad and classroom learning experiences through a structural equation modeling approach in the context of TOEFL iBT® testing. Data from the TOEFL iBT public dataset were used. The results showed that test takers'…
Studies on acquisition of relative clauses by first and second language learners have evoked considerable interest in recent decades. In line with such studies, in this present study we aim to show the possible effect of first language (Turkish) on second language (English) in zero relative clause constructions. English uses certain stranded…
Clahsen, Harald, Ed.
The collection of essays and studies concerning generative grammar and first and second language acquisition includes: "The Optional-Infinitive Stage in Child English: Evidence from Negation" (Tony Harris, Ken Wexler); "Towards a Structure-Building Model of Acquisition" (Andrew Radford); "The Underspecification of…
Dixon, L. Quentin; Zhao, Jing; Shin, Jee-Young; Wu, Shuang; Su, Jung-Hsuan; Burgess-Brigham, Renata; Gezer, Melike Unal; Snow, Catherine
Educational policies that impact second language (L2) learners--a rapidly-growing group--are often enacted without consulting relevant research. This review synthesized research regarding optimal conditions for L2 acquisition, facilitative L2 learner and teacher characteristics, and speed of L2 acquisition, from four bodies of work--foreign…
Bisson, Marie-Josée; van Heuven, Walter J. B.; Conklin, Kathy; Tunney, Richard J.
Prior research has reported incidental vocabulary acquisition with complete beginners in a foreign language (FL), within 8 exposures to auditory and written FL word forms presented with a picture depicting their meaning. However, important questions remain about whether acquisition occurs with fewer exposures to FL words in a multimodal situation…
This longitudinal study examines the acquisition of tense and agreement morphology by child L2 learners in an early stage of language acquisition. The objectives of this study are twofold. The first is to observe the development of verb inflections and syntactic competence over time from an early stage by Chinese child L2 learners of English. The…
Py, Bernard, Ed.
This collection of articles on second language learning includes: "Action, langage et discours. Les fondements d'une psychologie du langage" ("Action, Language, and Discourse. Foundations of a Psychology of Language") (Jean-Paul Bronckart); "Contextes socio-culturels et appropriation des languages secondes: l'apprentissage en milieu social et la…
Wallace, Richard Le Roy Wayne
The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine and gain a clearer understanding of the perceptions of foreign language learning of adult foreign language learners attending a South-West Missouri community college. This study was based on the Multiple Intelligence (MI) theory of Howard Gardner. It examined the perceptions of adult language…
Mendez Perez, Anita
A study examined beliefs about language acquisition among seven Spanish-speaking Mexican American mothers with young children (24-37 months) receiving early intervention services for language disabilities. Emerging themes included mothers'"alternative" explanations for children's communication difficulties, mothers' efforts to help…
Daif-Allah, Ayman Sabry; Alsamani, Abdulaziz Saleh
This study aims at investigating the demotivating factors that discourage Preparatory Year Program (PYP) students from learning the English language. It also proposes and tests the effectiveness of a set of academic and administrative approaches on enhancing English language acquisition of 102 Saudi PYP Students taking an EFL summer course in the…
STAATS, ARTHUR W.
THIS ARTICLE PRESENTED THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSES CONCERNING IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE. IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT A LEARNING THEORY WHICH INEGRATES INSTRUMENTAL AND CLASSICAL CONDITIONING, CUTTING ACROSS THEORETICAL LINES, COULD SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE THEORY OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND FUNCTION. THE PAPER ILLUSTRATED THE…
San Francisco State Univ., CA.
The first five issues of the "SLANT" Newsletter for researchers in second language acquisition are included. Highlights include: (1) a bibliography on theories of second language learning by Larry Selinker, (2) descriptions of research in progress in England, and (3) the syllabus for the diploma in applied lingusitics at the University…
Catton, Julie C.
Students learning a second language commonly confront insurmountable obstacles in the language acquisition process, due to the ineffectiveness of traditional, grammar-first methods. This creates detrimental effects on the learner and his or her self-esteem. Existing literature contains information about problems created by traditional approaches,…
Kim, Sun-A; Packard, Jerome; Christianson, Kiel; Anderson, Richard C.; Shin, Jeong-Ah
This study investigated whether orthographic consistency and individual learner differences including working memory (WM), first language (L1) background, and second language (L2) proficiency affect Chinese L2 learners' literacy acquisition. Seventy American college students in beginning or intermediate Chinese classes participated in a character…
Kidd, Evan; Lieven, Elena V. M.; Tomasello, Michael
Usage-based approaches to language acquisition argue that children acquire the grammar of their target language using general-cognitive learning principles. The current paper reports on an experiment that tested a central assumption of the usage-based approach: argument structure patterns are connected to high frequency verbs that facilitate…
Mellow, J. Dean
One of the great puzzles of language acquisition has been described as poverty of the stimulus: how are complex aspects of language acquired when they appear to be rare or even non-occurring in the input that a learner receives and comprehends? This article presents an emergentist solution to one aspect of this puzzle (involving relative clauses)…
Tomlinson, Brian; Masuhara, Hitomi
This article focuses on the potential of competitive games involving physical movement to facilitate the acquisition of a second or foreign language and argues that such activities can promote educational development too. It first provides a critical overview of the literature on physical games in language learning. Then, it outlines our…
To what extent does language acquisition recruit domain-general processing mechanisms? In this dissertation, evidence concerning this question is garnered from the study of individual differences in infant speech perception and their predictive value with respect to language development in early childhood. In the first experiment, variation in the…
Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen; Stringer, David
This article presents a generative analysis of the acquisition of formulaic language as an alternative to current usage-based proposals. One influential view of the role of formulaic expressions in second language (L2) development is that they are a bootstrapping mechanism into the L2 grammar; an initial repertoire of constructions allows for…
The aim of this paper is to explore the analysis of Universal Grammar (UG) approach on Second Language Acquisition (SLA). This paper is significant as the sources for teacher or researcher of the second language since this elaboration is deeply focusing on the use of UG on SLA. The method used in this academic writing is inductive method of…
This article reports on a diary study conducted to explore third language acquisition in the immersion setting in Mexico as experienced by a bilingual Russian/English learner of Spanish who had recently immigrated to the USA from Russia. Language learning is approached as a socialization process that involves negotiation of meaning (Vygotsky,…
Looks at the general effects of bilingualism on cognitive development and highlights the specific effects of bilingualism on third language acquisition. Examines effects of bilingualism on cognitive development, metalinguistic awareness, and communicative skills, then focuses on the specific effects of bilingualism on third language proficiency by…
Tsimpli, Ianthi Maria; Dimitrakopoulou, Maria
The second language acquisition (SLA) literature reports numerous studies of proficient second language (L2) speakers who diverge significantly from native speakers despite the evidence offered by the L2 input. Recent SLA theories have attempted to account for native speaker/non-native speaker (NS/NNS) divergence by arguing for the dissociation…
Sherman, Tracy; Shulman, Brian B.
This study examined test characteristics of the Pediatric Language Acquisition Screening Tool for Early Referral-Revised (PLASTER-R), a set of developmental questionnaires for children 3 to 60 months of age. The PLASTER-R was moderately to highly successful in identifying children within normal limits for language development. Test-retest…
Language aptitude has been hypothesized as a factor that can compensate for postcritical period effects in language learning capacity. However, previous research has primarily focused on instructed contexts and rarely on acquisition-rich learning environments where there is a potential for massive amounts of input. In addition, the studies…
De Costa, Peter I.; Bernales, Carolina; Merrill, Margaret
Faculty and graduate students in the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison engage in a broad spectrum of research. From Professor Sally Magnan's research on study abroad and Professor Monika Chavez's work in foreign language policy through Professor Richard Young's examination of…
Gill, Jerry H.
This book relates several case studies of language acquisition--for example, chimpanzees "learning" to speak at a higher level than so-called 'wolf' children and a father and mother who, against the advice of professionals, force their way into the closed world of an autistic son--to examine the threshold of language, that point…
Investigated the acquisition of verb placement by bilingual young children learning both German and English. Researchers recorded their speech monthly for three years and analyzed word order in the verb phrase. The children were actively involved in the process of determining structure in each language. Development of language output did not…
Bhatt, Rakesh M.; Hancin-Bhatt, Barbara
Considers the current debate on the initial state of second language (L2) acquisition and presents critical empirical evidence from Hindi learners of English-as-a-Second-Language that supports the claim that the complementizer phase (CP) is initially absent from the grammar of L2 speakers.(Author/VWL)
Cenoz, Jasone; Gorter, Durk
In this article we explore the role that the linguistic landscape, in the sense of all the written language in the public space, can have in second language acquisition (SLA). The linguistic landscape has symbolic and informative functions and it is multimodal, because it combines visual and printed texts, and multilingual, because it uses several…
Taking 1925, the founding year of "Language", the journal of the Linguistics Society of America, as a benchmark for "the past", and 2015 as benchmark for "the present", the author considers what was known then and what is known now about second language acquisition in applied linguistics. The field has grown more…
Wenzhong, Zhu; Muchun, Wan
Second language acquisition (SLA) as a sub-branch of applied linguistics has been researched by Chinese and foreign scholars for over 40 years, but few researches have been done on its implications for Business English teaching which needs more language teaching theories to support. This paper makes a review of related studies, and puts forward a…
Behrent, Sigrid; Doff, Sabine; Marx, Nicole; Ziegler, Gudrun
Our overview of current dissertation work at German universities has identified four main strands of research interest within the field of second language acquisition (SLA). The 38 Ph.D. theses reviewed here were all read between 2006 and 2009 and fall into the subject areas of: foreign language (FL) teaching in primary school, Content and…
Gulzar, Malik Ajmal; Gulnaz, Fahmeeda; Ijaz, Attiya
In the last twenty years, the paradigm that has dominated the discipline of language teaching is the SLA theory and Krashen's five hypotheses which are still proving flexible to accommodate earlier reforms. This paper reviews second language acquisition (SLA) theory to establish an understanding of its role in the EFL/ESL classrooms. Other areas…
The new developments in syntactic theory under Minimalism reconsiders the relation between the language faculty and general cognitive systems whereby language acquisition is accomplished by the interaction of Chomsky (2005)'s three factors: (F1) a minimally specified UG (Genetic endowment); (F2) Primary Linguistic Data (PLD), i.e., input; and (F3)…
Mabbott, Ann; And Others
This paper argues that instruction can play a significant role in second language acquisition (SLA) and that the acculturation process can, to some extent, take place in the second language classroom as well as the naturalistic setting. J. H. Schumann's acculturation model of SLA contends that learners will succeed in SLA only to the extent they…
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…
Lee, Kent; Ranta, Leila
Many international students come to Canada to improve their English language proficiency and develop friendships with Canadians and other international students. However, gaining access to host nationals (i.e., Canadians) is not an easy task for most English as a second language (ESL) learners. Factors such as language proficiency may hamper…
Research in psycholinguistics and learning theory is reviewed to support the integration of oral and written language skills, and the language experience approach (LEA) is recommended for secondary school second language instruction. This approach incorporates listening, speaking, reading, and writing in purposeful communication. Students use the…
Larrotta, Clarena; Moon, Ji Yoon Christine
This chapter provides examples of transitions that learners face connected to their participation in adult education and English literacy instruction. It describes their efforts to attain relevant language expression skills.
Tran, Thanh V.
Examined English language acculturation among older Vietnamese refugees (aged 40 and older). Found that age, sex, education in Vietnam, health, and length of residence in United States had some significant relationships with language acculturation. Older Vietnamese people had more problems with language acculturation than younger counterparts, and…
Responds to a previous article that suggests the second-language-acquisition acquisition field has failed to realize academic respectability. Offers an overview of some of the more positive advances in the discipline. Concludes by calling for a whole systems approach to the study of second language acquisition. (Author/JL)
Larsen-Freeman, Diane E.
Studies were conducted to help determine criteria for describing the stages through which second language learners pass as they acquire a new language. The ability of 24 beginning adult students of English as a second language to supply ten morphemes in obligatory contexts was predicted on the basis of contrastive analysis between English and each…
Schumann, John H.
Based on a synopsis of research studies, the relationship of second language learning to affective factors, such as language shock, attitude motivation, ego permeability, etc., is examined. Also, it is suggested that affective variables may be more important than maturation in the problems of adults in learning a second language. (MS)
Jacobs, Gloria E.; Castek, Jill; Pizzolato, Andrew; Reder, Stephen; Pendell, Kimberly
In this column, the authors discuss emerging research in the field of adult digital literacy acquisition. The authors argue that the field of adult digital literacy acquisition has been under-researched, especially in relation to multiliteracies and multimodal literacy practices. Data emerging from a large scale mixed methods study of adults…
Łuniewska, Magdalena; Haman, Ewa; Armon-Lotem, Sharon; Etenkowski, Bartłomiej; Southwood, Frenette; Anđelković, Darinka; Blom, Elma; Boerma, Tessel; Chiat, Shula; de Abreu, Pascale Engel; Gagarina, Natalia; Gavarró, Anna; Håkansson, Gisela; Hickey, Tina; de López, Kristine Jensen; Marinis, Theodoros; Popović, Maša; Thordardottir, Elin; Blažienė, Agnė; Sánchez, Myriam Cantú; Dabašinskienė, Ineta; Ege, Pınar; Ehret, Inger-Anne; Fritsche, Nelly-Ann; Gatt, Daniela; Janssen, Bibi; Kambanaros, Maria; Kapalková, Svetlana; Kronqvist, Bjarke; Kunnari, Sari; Levorato, Chiara; Nenonen, Olga; Fhlannchadha, Siobhán Nic; O'Toole, Ciara; Polišenská, Kamila; Pomiechowska, Barbara; Ringblom, Natalia; Rinker, Tanja; Roch, Maja; Savić, Maja; Slančová, Daniela; Tsimpli, Ianthi Maria; Ünal-Logacev, Özlem
We present a new set of subjective age-of-acquisition (AoA) ratings for 299 words (158 nouns, 141 verbs) in 25 languages from five language families (Afro-Asiatic: Semitic languages; Altaic: one Turkic language: Indo-European: Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Slavic, and Romance languages; Niger-Congo: one Bantu language; Uralic: Finnic and Ugric languages). Adult native speakers reported the age at which they had learned each word. We present a comparison of the AoA ratings across all languages by contrasting them in pairs. This comparison shows a consistency in the orders of ratings across the 25 languages. The data were then analyzed (1) to ascertain how the demographic characteristics of the participants influenced AoA estimations and (2) to assess differences caused by the exact form of the target question (when did you learn vs. when do children learn this word); (3) to compare the ratings obtained in our study to those of previous studies; and (4) to assess the validity of our study by comparison with quasi-objective AoA norms derived from the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (MB-CDI). All 299 words were judged as being acquired early (mostly before the age of 6 years). AoA ratings were associated with the raters' social or language status, but not with the raters' age or education. Parents reported words as being learned earlier, and bilinguals reported learning them later. Estimations of the age at which children learn the words revealed significantly lower ratings of AoA. Finally, comparisons with previous AoA and MB-CDI norms support the validity of the present estimations. Our AoA ratings are available for research or other purposes.
Samara, Anna; Smith, Kenny; Brown, Helen; Wonnacott, Elizabeth
Languages exhibit sociolinguistic variation, such that adult native speakers condition the usage of linguistic variants on social context, gender, and ethnicity, among other cues. While the existence of this kind of socially conditioned variation is well-established, less is known about how it is acquired. Studies of naturalistic language use by children provide various examples where children's production of sociolinguistic variants appears to be conditioned on similar factors to adults' production, but it is difficult to determine whether this reflects knowledge of sociolinguistic conditioning or systematic differences in the input to children from different social groups. Furthermore, artificial language learning experiments have shown that children have a tendency to eliminate variation, a process which could potentially work against their acquisition of sociolinguistic variation. The current study used a semi-artificial language learning paradigm to investigate learning of the sociolinguistic cue of speaker identity in 6-year-olds and adults. Participants were trained and tested on an artificial language where nouns were obligatorily followed by one of two meaningless particles and were produced by one of two speakers (one male, one female). Particle usage was conditioned deterministically on speaker identity (Experiment 1), probabilistically (Experiment 2), or not at all (Experiment 3). Participants were given tests of production and comprehension. In Experiments 1 and 2, both children and adults successfully acquired the speaker identity cue, although the effect was stronger for adults and in Experiment 1. In addition, in all three experiments, there was evidence of regularization in participants' productions, although the type of regularization differed with age: children showed regularization by boosting the frequency of one particle at the expense of the other, while adults regularized by conditioning particle usage on lexical items. Overall, results
Context is a key factor in designing and delivering adult learning programmes, and in multilingual environments the choice of language plays a decisive role. Four programmes, two in Asia (Bhutan Myanmar) and two in Africa (Ghana and Uganda), which focus on learning for development, integrate language considerations in different ways, related both…
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,…
Open University (OU) students are typically mature students who combine studying part-time with work or caring responsibilities; the average age of OU language students has been dropping, and about 30% of our new students are now under 25. The traditional view of adult learners who study languages is that they often study for pleasure or personal…
Conversations between adult students of English as a second language were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in order to establish principles of extralinguistic conversational repair technique among second language learners. A variety of gestural and kinesic features were discovered; these are described in detail and their use is contextualized…
Tett, Lyn, Ed.; Hamilton, Mary, Ed.; Hillier, Yvonne, Ed.
This book explores the social practice of literacy, numeracy and language and its implications for teaching and learning adult basic skills. Leading international experts argue that literacy, numeracy and language are more than just a set of skills or techniques, but are shaped by the social and cultural context within which they are taking place;…
Rodgers, Daryl M.
According to information-processing accounts of skill acquisition, learner performance becomes more automatic over time and with practice, requiring less attention, time, and cognitive effort (DeKeyser, "Skill acquisition theory," Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007a). This study set out to provide converging evidence for the development of…
Longhurst, Thomas M.
The second of four documents provides a summary of the scientific literature pertaining to spontaneous language acquisition in handicapped preschool children, and reviews and evaluates procedures for assessing language acquisition in these children. Chapter l focuses on language development in nonhandicapped children after they have acquired their…
Niyogi, Partha; Berwick, Robert C.
Language acquisition maps linguistic experience, primary linguistic data (PLD), onto linguistic knowledge, a grammar. Classically, computational models of language acquisition assume a single target grammar and one PLD source, the central question being whether the target grammar can be acquired from the PLD. However, real-world learners confront populations with variation, i.e., multiple target grammars and PLDs. Removing this idealization has inspired a new class of population-based language acquisition models. This paper contrasts 2 such models. In the first, iterated learning (IL), each learner receives PLD from one target grammar but different learners can have different targets. In the second, social learning (SL), each learner receives PLD from possibly multiple targets, e.g., from 2 parents. We demonstrate that these 2 models have radically different evolutionary consequences. The IL model is dynamically deficient in 2 key respects. First, the IL model admits only linear dynamics and so cannot describe phase transitions, attested rapid changes in languages over time. Second, the IL model cannot properly describe the stability of languages over time. In contrast, the SL model leads to nonlinear dynamics, bifurcations, and possibly multiple equilibria and so suffices to model both the case of stable language populations, mixtures of more than 1 language, as well as rapid language change. The 2 models also make distinct, empirically testable predictions about language change. Using historical data, we show that the SL model more faithfully replicates the dynamics of the evolution of Middle English. PMID:19497883
Niyogi, Partha; Berwick, Robert C
Language acquisition maps linguistic experience, primary linguistic data (PLD), onto linguistic knowledge, a grammar. Classically, computational models of language acquisition assume a single target grammar and one PLD source, the central question being whether the target grammar can be acquired from the PLD. However, real-world learners confront populations with variation, i.e., multiple target grammars and PLDs. Removing this idealization has inspired a new class of population-based language acquisition models. This paper contrasts 2 such models. In the first, iterated learning (IL), each learner receives PLD from one target grammar but different learners can have different targets. In the second, social learning (SL), each learner receives PLD from possibly multiple targets, e.g., from 2 parents. We demonstrate that these 2 models have radically different evolutionary consequences. The IL model is dynamically deficient in 2 key respects. First, the IL model admits only linear dynamics and so cannot describe phase transitions, attested rapid changes in languages over time. Second, the IL model cannot properly describe the stability of languages over time. In contrast, the SL model leads to nonlinear dynamics, bifurcations, and possibly multiple equilibria and so suffices to model both the case of stable language populations, mixtures of more than 1 language, as well as rapid language change. The 2 models also make distinct, empirically testable predictions about language change. Using historical data, we show that the SL model more faithfully replicates the dynamics of the evolution of Middle English.
Pye, Clifton; Pfeiler, Barbara
This article demonstrates how the Comparative Method can be applied to cross-linguistic research on language acquisition. The Comparative Method provides a systematic procedure for organizing and interpreting acquisition data from different languages. The Comparative Method controls for cross-linguistic differences at all levels of the grammar and is especially useful in drawing attention to variation in contexts of use across languages. This article uses the Comparative Method to analyze the acquisition of verb suffixes in two Mayan languages: K'iche' and Yucatec. Mayan status suffixes simultaneously mark distinctions in verb transitivity, verb class, mood, and clause position. Two-year-old children acquiring K'iche' and Yucatec Maya accurately produce the status suffixes on verbs, in marked distinction to the verbal prefixes for aspect and agreement. We find evidence that the contexts of use for the suffixes differentially promote the children's production of cognate status suffixes in K'iche' and Yucatec.
Lim, Wen Li; Yusof, Yuhani; Rosli, Norhayati
Yusof-Goode (Y-G) rule, a new symbolization of representing rule in splicing system under framework of formal language theory to model the recombinant behaviors of DNA molecules, was introduced by Yusof in 2012. A language that contains the strings resulting from a splicing system is called splicing language. Limit language is a subset of splicing language where it is restricted to the molecules that will be present in the system after the reaction has run to completion. Adult language is a subset of limit language where it does not participate in further splicing. In this paper, the new concept of single stage splicing languages is introduced and some theorems have been formulated to stipulate the final state product of single stage limit languages of Yusof-Goode splicing system based on the characteristic of one initial string andone rule.
Cirillo, Michelle; Bruna, Katherine Richardson; Herbel-Eisenmann, Beth
In this article, we describe aspects of mathematical language that could be problematic to English-language learners, provide recommendations for teaching English-language learners, and suggest activities intended to foster language development in mathematics. (Contains 1 figure.)
Orena, Adriel John; Theodore, Rachel M; Polka, Linda
Adults show a native language advantage for talker identification, which has been interpreted as evidence that phonological knowledge mediates talker learning. However, infants also show a native language benefit for talker discrimination, suggesting that sensitivity to linguistic structure due to systematic language exposure promotes talker learning, even in the absence of functional phonological knowledge or language comprehension. We tested this hypothesis by comparing two groups of English-monolingual adults on their ability to learn English and French voices. One group resided in Montréal with regular exposure to spoken French; the other resided in Storrs, Connecticut and did not have French exposure. Montréal residents showed faster learning and better retention for the French voices compared to their Storrs-residing peers. These findings demonstrate that systematic exposure to a foreign language bolsters talker learning in that language, expanding the gradient effect of language experience on talker learning to perceptual learning that precedes sentence comprehension.
Edelman, Shimon; Waterfall, Heidi
One of the greatest challenges facing the cognitive sciences is to explain what it means to know a language, and how the knowledge of language is acquired. The dominant approach to this challenge within linguistics has been to seek an efficient characterization of the wealth of documented structural properties of language in terms of a compact generative grammar-ideally, the minimal necessary set of innate, universal, exception-less, highly abstract rules that jointly generate all and only the observed phenomena and are common to all human languages. We review developmental, behavioral, and computational evidence that seems to favor an alternative view of language, according to which linguistic structures are generated by a large, open set of constructions of varying degrees of abstraction and complexity, which embody both form and meaning and are acquired through socially situated experience in a given language community, by probabilistic learning algorithms that resemble those at work in other cognitive modalities.
language grounded in perception? These two questions are intimately related. One piece of language-specific information which children must learn is...the first part of this thesis I present, precisely formulated algorithms which attempt to answer the first. question. These algorithms utilize a cross...infer a unique language model despite t he ambiguity in the individual isolated situations. These algorithms have been implemented in a series of
Jenning, E A; Lubinski, R B
The purpose of this article is to discuss a cognitive approach to therapy with a language impaired adult. Two types of productive thinking are explored in this research: concept awareness and problem solving. These are dynamic and creative processes underlying the development and use of cognition and language. This single subject study follows an ABAB design and describes techniques used in therapy and methods for measuring productive thinking in a 66-yr-old moderately language impaired adult. Results indicate a sharp increase in the subject's thought productivity in a variety of contexts. A critical appraisal of reasons for therapy effectiveness are given.
Rost, Gwyneth C.; McGregor, Karla K.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether citizens with language impairment understand legal rights as conveyed in Miranda warnings. Method Grisso's Instruments for Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda Rights (1998) was administered to 34 young adults, half of whom met the diagnostic criteria for specific language impairment (SLI). A correlational analysis of the relationship between language scores and Miranda rights comprehension was conducted, as were tests of differences between individuals with SLI (n = 17) and individuals without SLI. Results Language ability was positively correlated with overall performance on the Miranda measure. As a group, individuals with SLI were significantly poorer than their peers with normal language at defining Miranda vocabulary and applying Miranda rights in hypothetical situations. The group with SLI was also marginally less able to paraphrase Miranda sentences. Conclusion Language impairment limits comprehension of Miranda warnings. As a result, citizens with language impairment are at risk of being denied their constitutional rights. PMID:22230180
This study analyzed ethnic authenticity with regard to language use in 16 books for children and young adults used in Central Michigan University's English 582 course, "Cultural Pluralism in Children and Young Adult Literature." Four ethnic groups were included: Native American, African American, Asian American, and Hispanic American. To evaluate…
National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE), 2003
This report provides an overview of the field of adult English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) instruction in the United States today. First, it places adult ESOL in the broader context of the U.S. education system, and then it describes trends and issues in the areas of program design and instructional practice, assessment, teacher…
Lee, Joanna C.; Tomblin, J. Bruce
The aim of the study was to examine reinforcement learning (RL) in young adults with developmental language impairment (DLI) within the context of a neurocomputational model of the basal ganglia-dopamine system (Frank, Seeberger, & O'Reilly, 2004). Two groups of young adults, one with DLI and the other without, were recruited. A probabilistic…
Mace, Jane, Ed.
This book contains an introduction and 11 essays describing reading and writing projects in which adult literacy learners enrolled in the following types of programs participated: adult literacy and/or language classes, refugee groups, oral history and reminiscence projects, and community publishing and writing workshops. The following essays are…
California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Adult, Alternative, and Continuation Education Div.
The manual is designed to assist California educators and public in understanding the various aspects of an effective English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) program for adults. It provides theory-based and practical guidelines for conceptualizing, planning, designing, managing, and evaluating such programs. Chapters address these topics: the adult ESL…
This book examines how the underlying linguistic competence of second language (L2) learners is constrained by the same universal principals governing natural language. It is assumed that there is an innately given universal grammar (UG) which constrains L1 grammars, limiting the kinds of hypotheses that L1 acquirers entertain about the nature of…
Many notions can be incorporated into the foreign language commercial course to explain and complement its intrinsic technical content. A course in commercial French was developed at the College of Charleston (South Carolina) in response to the foreign language instruction opportunities and potential graduate employment opportunities provided by…
Renie, Delphine; Chanier, Thierry
Discusses how collaborative learning (CL) can be used in a computer-assisted learning (CAL) environment for language learning, reviewing research in the fields of applied linguistics, educational psychology, and artificial intelligence. An application of CL and CAL in the learning of French as a Second Language, focusing on interrogative…
Ferris, Dana R.
Written corrective feedback, referred to hereafter as "written CF" and also known as "grammar correction" or "error correction", has been a controversial topic in second language studies over the past fifteen years. Inspired by John Truscott's thought-provoking 1996 essay in "Language Learning", many different researchers have undertaken new…
Napier Boyer, Pamela
The purpose of this research was to ascertain if the reading comprehension skills of English-speaking fifth grade students improve when they study a second language. The research was done in an inner-city elementary school in Rochester, New York. The researcher provided a weekly after-school workshop in foreign languages for a group of children…
Watson-Gegeo, Karen Ann; Ulichny, Polly
A discussion of ethnographic research methods in language learning research focuses on what is involved in good descriptive and analytic ethnographic research and the value of the approach in the study of English as a second language (ESL). A basic definition of ethnography is offered, some key research principles are identified, and the…
Larsen-Freeman, Diane; Strom, Virginia
Compositions written by 48 university students of English as a Second Language (ESL) were examined as a step in the development of an index for proficiency in a second language. A feature analysis of the compositions revealed the following tendencies: (1) syntactic sophistication and tense usage improved as proficiency increased, (2) errors in…
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…
Collentine, Joseph; Freed, Barbara F.
Thirty years ago, Dell Hymes (1972) observed that knowing what goes on outside the school setting is necessary to understanding what goes on inside. He noted further that "the key to understanding language in context is to start not with language but with context ... [and then to] systematically relate the two" (pp. xix-lvii). Recently, the…
In arguing that language as speech is to be contrasted with language as writing, this paper examines some facts about the evolution of writing systems, draws upon some experimental studies, discusses the difference between speech and writing as being one of status within human cognitive structure, and notes that the difference may help explain why…
According to generative linguistic theory, certain principles underlying language structure are innately given, accounting for how children are able to acquire their mother tongues (L1s) despite a mismatch between the linguistic input and the complex unconscious mental representation of language that children achieve. This innate structure is…
This study is a continuation of an ethnographic study of a six-year-old Japanese child learning English as a Second Language. It is concluded that language transfer, overgeneralization, and simplification combined with natural development all worked together in the development of the subject's interlanguage, irrespective of the overwhelming input…
Paredes, Elsie Elena
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe how Colombian adult English language learners (ELL) select and use language learning strategies (LLS). This study used Oxford's (1990a) taxonomy for LLS as its theoretical framework. Semi-structured interviews and a focus group interview, were conducted, transcribed, and analyzed for 12…
Trim, J. L. M.
Increasing attention is being paid to the teaching of languages to adults. Communications improvements, tourism, immigration and international commerce are all contributing factors. Emerging third-world states often require a European language for internal and outside communication. Close contact among European nations demands knowledge of a…
A study of the kinds of requests for foreign language information made by adult students of Spanish, and a comparison of the kinds of inquiries made by students aged 19 to 23 and those over 55 years, are reported. The objective was to learn more about what language learning processes are contributing to the difference in success of the two groups.…
Laine, Matti; Polonyi, Tünde; Abari, Kálmán
In literates, reading is a fundamental channel for acquiring new vocabulary both in the mother tongue and in foreign languages. By using an artificial language learning task, we examined the acquisition of novel written words and their embedded regularities (an orthographic surface feature and a syllabic feature) in three groups of university…
Hopp, Holger; Schmid, Monika S.
This study investigates constraints on ultimate attainment in second language (L2) pronunciation in a direct comparison of perceived foreign accent of 40 late L2 learners and 40 late first language (L1) attriters of German. Both groups were compared with 20 predominantly monolingual controls. Contrasting participants who acquired the target…
Clifford, Vanessa; Rhodes, Anthea; Paxton, Georgia
Australia is a diverse society: 26% of the population were born overseas, a further 20% have at least one parent born overseas and 19% speak a language other than English at home. Paediatricians are frequently involved in the assessment and management of non-English-speaking-background children with developmental delay, disability or learning issues. Despite the diversity of our patient population, information on how children learn additional or later languages is remarkably absent in paediatric training. An understanding of second language acquisition is essential to provide appropriate advice to this patient group. It takes a long time (5 years or more) for any student to develop academic competency in a second language, even a student who has received adequate prior schooling in their first language. Refugee students are doubly disadvantaged as they frequently have limited or interrupted prior schooling, and many are unable to read and write in their first language. We review the evidence on second language acquisition during childhood, describe support for English language learners within the Australian education system, consider refugee-background students as a special risk group and address common misconceptions about how children learn English as an additional language.
Kymissis, E; Poulson, C L
The concept of imitation has undergone different analyses in the hands of different learning theorists throughout the history of psychology. From Thorndike's connectionism to Pavlov's classical conditioning, Hull's monistic theory, Mowrer's two-factor theory, and Skinner's operant theory, there have been several divergent accounts of the conditions that produce imitation and the conditions under which imitation itself may facilitate language acquisition. In tracing the roots of the concept of imitation in the history of learning theory, the authors conclude that generalized imitation, as defined and analyzed by operant learning theorists, is a sufficiently robust formulation of learned imitation to facilitate a behavior-analytic account of first-language acquisition.
Zavrel, Jakub; Veenstra, Jorn
A study analyzed the distribution of words in a three-million-word corpus of text from the "Wall Street Journal," in order to test a theory of the acquisition of word categories. The theory, an alternative to the semantic bootstrapping hypothesis, proposes that the child exploits multiple sources of cues (distributional, semantic, or…
Poreh, Amir M; Schweiger, Avraham
The present study investigated the effect of age of second-language acquisition (Hebrew) on verbal fluency in a random sample of 196 elderly Israelis from four distinct ethnic groups. Using conventional statistics, it was shown that phonemic fluency, particularly switching, is associated with education and the age of Hebrew acquisition, while semantic fluency, particularly clustering, is associated with age. Ethnic differences were not significant after controlling for the age of Hebrew acquisition and education. Additional analyses show that the tendency of subjects to use borrowed, non-Hebrew words on the phonemic fluency task was associated with lower total scores on this task and later age of Hebrew acquisition. In contrast, the tendency to use non-Hebrew words on the semantic fluency task was associated with age and higher total scores. These findings are discussed with regard to recent functional imaging studies of bilingual subjects. Such findings indicate that native and second languages form distinct areas of activation in the dominant anterior language area, an area often associated with phonemic processing and switching, whereas an overlap of activation of various languages has been demonstrated within the posterior language areas, those that are often associated with semantic processing.
Hakuta, Kenji; Bialystok, Ellen; Wiley, Edward
The critical-period hypothesis for second-language acquisition was tested on data from the 1990 U.S. Census using responses from 2.3 million immigrants with Spanish or Chinese language backgrounds. The analyses tested a key prediction of the hypothesis, namely, that the line regressing second-language attainment on age of immigration would be markedly different on either side of the critical-age point. Predictions tested were that there would be a difference in slope, a difference in the mean while controlling for slope, or both. The results showed large linear effects for level of education and for age of immigration, but a negligible amount of additional variance was accounted for when the parameters for difference in slope and difference in means were estimated. Thus, the pattern of decline in second-language acquisition failed to produce the discontinuity that is an essential hallmark of a critical period.
Laevers, Ferre; Buyse, Evelien; Willekens, Annemieke; Janssen, Tine
This research aims to develop instruments to assess language development in under-3s and the adult interventions that support it. After an extensive literature search, observations were conducted in 17 groups of children spread over two day-care centres. In total 42 children were observed during a 30-minute slot and 25 adults during a half day.…
Many adolescent and adult L2 learners in language classrooms, both in the US and other countries, have little or no alphabetic print literacy. Language teachers may turn to SLA research for assistance, yet almost all research on oral SLA has focused on educated, highly-literate learners (Bigelow & Tarone 2004; Tarone, Bigelow & Hansen 2009). The…
In Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, many Mongolian students are learning English as a third language. In the process of L3 teaching and learning, their mother tongue Mongolian, second language Chinese and target language English are involved. The present paper aims to find out teachers' and students' opinions of the use of the three languages in…
Provides a survey of the second language literature on the role of formulaic language, focusing on communicative, production, and learning strategy functions of such language. The need to address the theoretical and methodological difficulties surrounding the definition and identification of formulaic language is discussed. (105 references) (MDM)
Peng, Fred C. C., Ed.
A collection of research materials on sign language and primatology is presented here. The essays attempt to show that: sign language is a legitimate language that can be learned not only by humans but by nonhuman primates as well, and nonhuman primates have the capability to acquire a human language using a different mode. The following…
Elbro, Carsten; Daugaard, Hanne Trebbien; Gellert, Anna S.
Dyslexia is hard to diagnose in a second language. Poor performance on a test of reading may be caused by poor language proficiency in the second language or by limited schooling rather than by poor reading ability per se. This confound was supported in a study of 88 adult second language learners and 65 native language speakers. The incidence of…
Wagner, Jason Paul; Wulf, Douglas J.
Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) is used extensively in second-language (L2) writing classrooms despite controversy over its effectiveness. This study examines indirect WCF, an instructional procedure that flags L2 students' errors with editing symbols that guide their corrections. WCF practitioners assume that this guidance will lead to…
Engel de Abreu, Pascale M. J.; Gathercole, Susan E.
This article reports a latent variable study exploring the specific links among executive processes of working memory, phonological short-term memory, phonological awareness, and proficiency in first (L1), second (L2), and third (L3) languages in 8- to 9-year-olds experiencing multilingual education. Children completed multiple L1-measures of…
Goodban, Marjorie T.
The paper describes a successful attempt to stimulate expressive language in Becky, a young child with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a condition characterized by moderate to severe mental retardation, dwarfed stature, and excessive body hair. The child participated in infant stimulation and individual speech therapy and her expressive output has…
This article provides a timeline of research on form-focused instruction (FFI). Over the past 40 years, research on the role of instruction has undergone many changes. Much of the early research concentrated on determining whether formal instruction makes any difference in the development of learner language. This question was motivated in part by…
Crago, Martha B.
The role of cultural context in the communicative interaction of young Inuit children, their caregivers, and their non-Inuit teachers was examined in a longitudinal ethnographic study conducted in two small communities of arctic Quebec. Focus was on discourse features of primary language socialization of Inuit families. (32 references) (Author/LB)
Berg, William J.; Martin-Berg, Laurey K.
This paper discusses an approach to teaching third college year "bridge" courses, showing that students in a course that focuses on language and culture as well as students in an introductory course on literary analysis can benefit from using a stylistic approach to literacy texts to understand both form and content. The paper suggests that a…
Clark, M. Diane; Hauser, Peter C.; Miller, Paul; Kargin, Tevhide; Rathmann, Christian; Guldenoglu, Birkan; Kubus, Okan; Spurgeon, Erin; Israel, Erica
Researchers have used various theories to explain deaf individuals' reading skills, including the dual route reading theory, the orthographic depth theory, and the early language access theory. This study tested 4 groups of children--hearing with dyslexia, hearing without dyslexia, deaf early signers, and deaf late signers (N = 857)--from 4…
Hopkins, Diana; Nettle, Mark
Two practicing English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL teachers respond to Rod Ellis' January 1993 article in "ELT Journal," which discussed importance of grammar instruction in EFL classrooms. Argues some of Ellis' assumptions about current classroom practices are inaccurate and a number of his "alternative" approaches to teaching grammar, such as…
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…
Colantoni, Laura; Steele, Jeffrey
Models such as Eckman's markedness differential hypothesis, Flege's speech learning model, and Brown's feature-based theory of perception seek to explain and predict the relative difficulty second language (L2) learners face when acquiring new or similar sounds. In this paper, we test their predictive adequacy as concerns native English speakers'…
Lugo-Neris, Mirza J.; Jackson, Carla Wood; Goldstein, Howard
Purpose: This study examined whether English-only vocabulary instruction or English vocabulary instruction enhanced with Spanish bridging produced greater word learning in young Spanish-speaking children learning English during a storybook reading intervention while considering individual language characteristics. Method: Twenty-two…
Au, Terry Kit-fong
Children cannot learn to speak a language simply from occasional noninteractive exposure to native speakers' input (e.g., by hearing television dialogues), but can they learn something about its phonology? To answer this question, the present study varied ambient hearing experience for 126 5- to 7-year-old native Cantonese-Chinese speakers…
Long, Michael H.; Porter, Patricia A.
Discusses both the pedagogical arguments and the psycholinguistic rationale for small-group work in the second language classroom. Claims that the negotiation work possible in group actiity makes it an attractive alternative to the teacher-led discussion. Reviews research findings on interlanguage which generally support the claims made for group…
Moon, Ji Hye
This dissertation aims to understand the maturational and non-maturational aspects of early bilingualism and language attrition in heritage speakers who have acquired their L1 incompletely in childhood. The study highlights the influential role of age and input dynamics in early L1 development, where the timing of reduction in L1 input and the…
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD. Office of Instruction and Program Development.
The purpose of this manual, which accompanies a video program, is to provide general background information for foreign language teachers who are, or soon will be, teaching in total, partial, or two-way immersion classrooms. Part of a series of video programs, this manual highlights current theories, issues, and questions about second language…
Pica, Teresa; Doughty, Catherine
Describes a study which investigated and described the linguistic input and conversational interaction found in English as a second language classrooms when small groups of students work together. The results are compared with classroom activities in which the students participate as a class in teacher-directed lessons. (SED)
This article examines the concept of simplification in second language (SL) learning, reviewing research on the simplified input that both naturalistic and classroom SL learners receive. Research indicates that simplified input, particularly if derived from naturally occurring interactions, does aid comprehension but has not been shown to…
This book illustrates how children learn foreign languages and when they can do so with the best results. The most recent studies in linguistics, neurology, education, and psychology are evaluated, and the findings are presented in a recipe format. Parents are encouraged to evaluate the multilingual children in their lives with the use of tools…
Crockett, Kelley E.
Federal and state policies have long sought to address the social inequities faced by limited English proficient (LEP) students through the improvement of English language acquisition. English language acquisition policy has focused on access to resources, qualified teachers, and instructional methodologies (e.g. pedagogy) that create a learning…
Qi, Zhenghan; Beach, Sara D; Finn, Amy S; Minas, Jennifer; Goetz, Calvin; Chan, Brian; Gabrieli, John D E
Language learning aptitude during adulthood varies markedly across individuals. An individual's native-language ability has been associated with success in learning a new language as an adult. However, little is known about how native-language processing affects learning success and what neural markers of native-language processing, if any, are related to success in learning. We therefore related variation in electrophysiology during native-language processing to success in learning a novel artificial language. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while native English speakers judged the acceptability of English sentences prior to learning an artificial language. There was a trend towards a double dissociation between native-language ERPs and their relationships to novel syntax and vocabulary learning. Individuals who exhibited a greater N400 effect when processing English semantics showed better future learning of the artificial language overall. The N400 effect was related to syntax learning via its specific relationship to vocabulary learning. In contrast, the P600 effect size when processing English syntax predicted future syntax learning but not vocabulary learning. These findings show that distinct neural signatures of native-language processing relate to dissociable abilities for learning novel semantic and syntactic information.
Sallat, Stephan; Jentschke, Sebastian
Language and music share many properties, with a particularly strong overlap for prosody. Prosodic cues are generally regarded as crucial for language acquisition. Previous research has indicated that children with SLI fail to make use of these cues. As processing of prosodic information involves similar skills to those required in music perception, we compared music perception skills (melodic and rhythmic-melodic perception and melody recognition) in a group of children with SLI (N = 29, five-year-olds) to two groups of controls, either of comparable age (N = 39, five-year-olds) or of age closer to the children with SLI in their language skills and about one year younger (N = 13, four-year-olds). Children with SLI performed in most tasks below their age level, closer matching the performance level of younger controls with similar language skills. These data strengthen the view of a strong relation between language acquisition and music processing. This might open a perspective for the possible use of musical material in early diagnosis of SLI and of music in SLI therapy. PMID:26508812
Sallat, Stephan; Jentschke, Sebastian
Language and music share many properties, with a particularly strong overlap for prosody. Prosodic cues are generally regarded as crucial for language acquisition. Previous research has indicated that children with SLI fail to make use of these cues. As processing of prosodic information involves similar skills to those required in music perception, we compared music perception skills (melodic and rhythmic-melodic perception and melody recognition) in a group of children with SLI (N = 29, five-year-olds) to two groups of controls, either of comparable age (N = 39, five-year-olds) or of age closer to the children with SLI in their language skills and about one year younger (N = 13, four-year-olds). Children with SLI performed in most tasks below their age level, closer matching the performance level of younger controls with similar language skills. These data strengthen the view of a strong relation between language acquisition and music processing. This might open a perspective for the possible use of musical material in early diagnosis of SLI and of music in SLI therapy.
English has a universal appeal and in India, English is associated with modernity and progress sometimes with the ideology of its cultural values. The economic value of English is very high in India as even a layman uses English words in his/her "native" communication. The second language acquisition happens for learners at various…
Hellermann, John; Olsher, David
Held at the American Association for Applied Linguistics Annual Conference, Denver, CO, USA; 21 March 2009. This all-day colloquium was part of an ongoing discussion of ways that methods and frameworks from micro-ethnography, Conversation Analysis (CA), and Vygotskian Sociocultural Theory are re-specifying "language" and "acquisition" from a…