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…
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,…
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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.…
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…
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,…
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,…
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…
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…
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…
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. .
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
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…
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.
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…
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…
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
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…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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)
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…
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…
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)
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
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.…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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"…
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…
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"…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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)
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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 ;…
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…
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.
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
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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)
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…
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.
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.
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
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
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'…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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 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…
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)
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.
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.)
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
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
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
Qian, Manqiu; Xiao, Zhihong
Based on the practice of college English teaching and learning in China, the paper reviews the phenomenon and causes of the temporary fossilization in second language acquisition and offers some corresponding strategies for preventing and surmounting the obstacles in the hope of promoting the reactivation of the next climax.
The purpose of this study is to provide a theoretical explanation for the effectiveness of Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) in increasing second-language (L2) students' grammatical accuracy. WCF is examined via Skill Acquisition Theory (SAT) in order to account for uneven patterns of its effectiveness. As the study demonstrates, WCF is effective…
Alexieva, Petia Dimitrova
This dissertation examines the process of acquisition of semantic classes of reflexive verbs (RVs) in Russian by L2 learners with a native language English. The purpose of this study is to bridge the gap between current linguistic knowledge and the pedagogical literature existing in English on reflexives in Russian. RVs are taught partially and…
Churchill, Eton; Okada, Hanako; Nishino, Takako; Atkinson, Dwight
This article argues for the embodied and environmentally embedded nature of second language acquisition (SLA). Through fine-grained analysis of interaction using Goodwin's (2003a) concept of "symbiotic gesture"--gesture coupled with its rich environmental context to produce complex social action--we illustrate how a tutor, learner, and grammar…
This article reports the results of two experiments using the spacing technique (Leitner, 1972; Landauer & Bjork, 1978) in second language vocabulary acquisition. In the past, studies in this area have produced mixed results attempting to differentiate between massed, uniform and expanded intervals of spacing (Balota, Duchek, & Logan,…
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…
The current project examined whether and to what degree age of acquisition (AOA), defined as the first intensive exposure to a second language (L2) environment, can be predictive of the end state of postpubertal L2 oral proficiency attainment. Data were collected from 88 experienced Japanese learners of English and two groups of 20 baseline…
Orellana, Marjorie Faulstich
A study investigated the English language acquisition of three native Spanish-speaking children in a bilingual preschool, focusing on the spontaneous use of English when play-acting at being superhero figures from popular children's culture. The occurrence of this voice is contrasted with the children's use of Spanish for other types of play and…
Larson-Hall, Jenifer; Herrington, Richard
In this article we introduce language acquisition researchers to two broad areas of applied statistics that can improve the way data are analyzed. First we argue that visual summaries of information are as vital as numerical ones, and suggest ways to improve them. Specifically, we recommend choosing boxplots over barplots and adding locally…
Firth and Wagner's (1997) call for a more socially and contextually situated view of second language acquisition (SLA) research has generated a great deal of discussion and debate, a summary of which is offered in this reflective commentary. Given the individualistic, cognitive origin of the SLA field, such controversy is entirely understandable.…
Zhao, Aiping; Guo, Ying; Biales, Carrie; Olszewski, Arnold
This study examined the predictive role of several learner factors in second language (L2) incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading: L2 proficiency, motivation, anxiety, and mastery of strategies. Participants were 129 English learners in a comprehensive university in China. Participants read two English texts and were given an…
Lai, Cheng-Chieh; Kuo, Ming-Mu
The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of gender differences on the application of CALL programs for second language acquisition. Gender difference is an important theme in linguistic education because it influences the design of curriculum, teaching method, instructional strategy, and students' learning processes. This study applied…
... Federal Acquisition Regulation; Award-Fee Language Revision AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DoD), General... performance in the aggregate when performing award-fee assessments. B. Discussion and Analysis An interim rule... allowing higher fixed fee, negates the value of this rule change. Response: DoD is considering a...
Soderman, Anne K.; Oshio, Toko
The aim of the present study was to examine the social behaviour and competence of children, ages 3-6 as they progressed through the stages of second language acquisition in a dual-immersion program in English and Mandarin. Over 100 2-3 hour classroom observations were made during the school year. Teachers' evaluations of children's social…
Zlatin, Marsha A.; Horii, Yoshiyuki
This longitudinal study examines the early stages of language acquisition in four first-born infants from birth to two years. Selected aspects of vocal-verbal behavior exhibited by the children and their parents were examined. Home and laboratory recordings, diaries, interviews, and developmental observation were principal data sources. Substudies…
Pitchford, N. J.; Mullen, K. T.
When learning basic color vocabulary, young children show a selective delay in the acquisition of brown and gray relative to other basic color terms. In this study, we first establish the robustness of this finding and then investigate the extent to which perception, language, and color preference may influence color conceptualization.…
Much of the recent discussion surrounding the second language acquisition of morphology has centered on the question of whether learners can acquire new formal features. Lardiere's (2008, 2009) Feature Reassembly approach offers a new direction for research in this area by emphasizing the challenges presented by crosslinguistic differences in the…
Recent studies in the acquisition of a second language (L2) phonology have revealed that orthography can influence the way in which L2 learners come to establish target-like lexical representations (Escudero et al., 2008, 2014; Escudero and Wanrooij, 2010; Showalter, 2012; Showalter and Hayes-Harb, 2013). Most of these studies, however, involve…
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…
Moskovsky, Christo; Alrabai, Fakieh; Paolini, Stefania; Ratcheva, Silvia
While consensus exists about the critical role of learners’ motivation in second language acquisition, controlled investigations of the effects of teachers’ motivational strategies are limited. The research reported here used a quasi-experimental design to assess the effects of motivational strategies used by Saudi English as a foreign language…
Eckman, Fred R.
Evaluates arguments advanced in favor of special nativism in second-language acquisition (SLA). The article considers the following claims: Universal Grammar (UG) is the null hypothesis; any theory of SLA needs a theory of grammar; and showing that interlanguage grammars are underdetermined by the available input implies that UG must be accessible…
Carroll, Susanne E.
In this commentary, Lardiere's discussion of features is compared with the use of features in constraint-based theories, and it is argued that constraint-based theories might offer a more elegant account of second language acquisition (SLA). Further evidence is reported to question the accuracy of Chierchia's (1998) Nominal Mapping Parameter.…
Wilson, Rosemary; Dewaele, Jean-Marc
The present article focuses on data collection through web questionnaires, as opposed to the traditional pen-and-paper method for research in second language acquisition and bilingualism. It is argued that web questionnaires, which have been used quite widely in psychology, have the advantage of reaching out to a larger and more diverse pool of…
The simultaneous presence in a learner's grammar of two features that should be mutually exclusive (optionality) typifies second language acquisition. But generative approaches have no good means of accommodating the phenomenon. The paper proposes one approach, based on Truscott and Sharwood Smith's (2004) MOGUL framework. In this framework,…
Ellis, Rod; Heimbach, Rick
Reports on the effects of meaning negotiation on young children's acquisition of English-as-a-Second-Language word meanings while they listened individually and in small groups to directions containing words unknown to them and to encouragement to negotiate their understanding of the directions. Results show that the children varied in their…
BavaHarji, Madhubala; Alavi, Zhinoos Kamal; Letchumanan, Krishnaveni
This experimental design study examined the effects of viewing captioned instructional videos on EFL learners' content comprehension, vocabulary acquisition and language proficiency. It also examined the participants' perception of viewing the captioned instructional videos. The 92 EFL students in two classes, who were undertaking the "Tape…
This article adopts an input perspective in examining a poverty-of-the stimulus (POS) learning situation in second language acquisition (SLA). Analysis of grammaticality judgement data from 81 English-speaking and 85 Chinese-speaking learners of Japanese isolates triggering input that informed English learners of subtle semantic properties of the…
Three recent books take up different positions in the on-going debate about how, and out of what, to construct a theory of second language (L2) acquisition. Johnson (2004) advocates a "dialogically based approach", inspired by Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and Bakhtin's "dialogized heteroglossia", with which she would replace what she views as a…
This article examines four sets of factors that may potentially affect the incidental vocabulary acquisition from oral input of second-language (L2) learners. These include the intrinsic properties of L2 words; the nature of the input; the role of interaction; and individual learner factors. (Contains 85 references.) (MDM)
Schulz, Renate A.
Based on current second-language acquisition theory and research, it is proposed that curriculum planning and teaching activities be guided by three issues: supplying students with optimum comprehensible input; providing interaction in real communicative contexts; and increasing motivation to seek additional input and interactive opportunities.…
During the past ten years, research on second language acquisition (SLA) has expanded; at the same time, different models and hypotheses have been proposed to explain and account for the processes underlying SLA. Four models seem to be dominant at the present time: (1) the monitor model, which distinguishes between implicit or unconscious language…
Furtado, J C; Webster, W G
The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the age at which a second language is acquired influences the pattern of cerebral lateralization associated with that language. Subjects who differed in terms of the age at which they had acquired their second language (English or French) were tested on a concurrent task paradigm involving motor and language performance. Hemispheric processing was inferred from the pattern of lateralized and generalized interference between the tasks. No support was found for the age-of-acquisition hypothesis. Instead, the data indicated a language-specific effect. Regardless of age of acquisition and of whether the first language was English or French, bilingual subjects showed lateralized interference effects consistent with left-hemisphere processing when reading in English and translating from French into English, but no lateralized interference when reading in French and translating from English into French. Whether this effect reflects characteristics of the two languages or the influence of social factors in subject-experimenter interaction is considered.
This paper proposes a new model for null subjects, and focuses on its implications for language development. The literature on pro-drop generally considers that not allowing null subjects is, informally speaking, the “default” option in natural languages, and appeals to particular morphosyntactic mechanisms in order to account for those languages in which the subject can be omitted. Shifting the perspective, the inverse approach postulates that pro-drop is (almost) a default grammatical setting, and that non-pro-drop results from the intervention of independent factors that block pro-drop in the derivation. The paper explores the consequences of the inverse approach in the domain of language acquisition, arguing that this model allows to account for a number of properties of child languages. It opens an avenue of research worth exploring, one that could give new solutions to old problems. PMID:28261118
Madrid, D; Torres, I
The effect of negation training in a second language on the expression of negation in the native language was investigated. Four-year-old children from bilingual (Spanish/English) homes who showed no expressive or receptive ability in Spanish negation and were either proficient or nonproficient in English negation received Spanish negation training. Children who were proficient in English negation maintained correct responses in English and showed increased correct responses in Spanish following simultaneous training in both languages or in Spanish alone. Children who were nonproficient in English negation demonstrated a decrease in correct English responses following training in Spanish alone; however, children who received training in English and Spanish simultaneously showed increases in correct responses in both languages. These findings suggest that language training programs with children learning a second language should consider the relationship of the two language training conditions (simultaneous vs. independent) with the child's level of native language proficiency.
Madrid, Dennis; Torres, Irene
The effect of negation training in a second language on the expression of negation in the native language was investigated. Four-year-old children from bilingual (Spanish/English) homes who showed no expressive or receptive ability in Spanish negation and were either proficient or nonproficient in English negation received Spanish negation training. Children who were proficient in English negation maintained correct responses in English and showed increased correct responses in Spanish following simultaneous training in both languages or in Spanish alone. Children who were nonproficient in English negation demonstrated a decrease in correct English responses following training in Spanish alone; however, children who received training in English and Spanish simultaneously showed increases in correct responses in both languages. These findings suggest that language training programs with children learning a second language should consider the relationship of the two language training conditions (simultaneous vs. independent) with the child's level of native language proficiency. PMID:16795694
Van der Slik, Frans W. P.
This study reports on the impact of 11 West European first languages on the acquisition of Dutch. Using data from nearly 6,000 second-language learners, it was found that the mother tongue had a rather large impact on two language skills--namely, oral and written proficiency--as measured by the scores received by these learners on the State…
Baker, Gregory A.
Already academically at risk, students in the rapidly growing English Language Learner (ELL) student population in the United States face additional challenges due to regression of English language acquisition over the average ten-week agrarian summer break when they return to homes in which Spanish was the primary language spoken. While the…
Pons-Ridler, Suzanne; And Others
This study focused on auditory perception, or phonetic discrimination, in foreign language learning. Subjects of the study were English-speakers (n=35) learning French. Researchers measured subjects' auditory sensibility, comparing it with progress in phonetic discrimination during the school year. Progress in the latter was measured by both a…
Cook, Vivian, Ed.
This book examines changes in the first language (L1) of people who know a second language (L2), seeing L2 users as people who differ from the monolingual in both first and second languages. It describes a range of psychological and linguistic approaches. The 13 chapters include the following: (1) "Introduction: The Changing L1 in the L2…
Golberg, Heather; Paradis, Johanne; Crago, Martha
The English second language development of 19 children (mean age at outset = 5 years, 4 months) from various first language backgrounds was examined every 6 months for 2 years, using spontaneous language sampling, parental questionnaires, and a standardized receptive vocabulary test. Results showed that the children's mean mental age equivalency…
Lafford, Barbara A.; Lafford, Peter A.; Sykes, Julie
Despite the problems presented by lexical errors in second language (L2) communication, most computer assisted language learning (CALL) programs tend to focus on the acquisition of grammar points rather than on the development of the L2 lexicon. In addition, CALL vocabulary tasks are typically limited in scope and mechanical in nature, covering…
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…
This study investigated French and Spanish EFL (English as a foreign language) learners' preferred use of three-word lexical bundles with discourse or stance-oriented function with a view to exploring the role of first language (L1) frequency effects in foreign language acquisition. Word combinations were extracted from learner performance data…
Tannacito, Dan J., Comp.
Each of the seven annotated bibliographies in this volume is concerned with the acquisition of English as a Second Language (ESL) by groups of learners who share a common first language or culture. Each bibliography was compiled by an advanced ESL student who is a native speaker of a language referenced by the bibliography. The first bibliography,…
The ways in which children learn a language--be it their mother tongue or their second language--can have a strong influence on their success in school. Researchers in linguistics and early child development have tried to determine the factors that can help and hinder language acquisition in young children, with some conflicting results. In this…
In second language acquisition research, the critical period hypothesis (cph) holds that the function between learners' age and their susceptibility to second language input is non-linear. This paper revisits the indistinctness found in the literature with regard to this hypothesis's scope and predictions. Even when its scope is clearly delineated and its predictions are spelt out, however, empirical studies-with few exceptions-use analytical (statistical) tools that are irrelevant with respect to the predictions made. This paper discusses statistical fallacies common in cph research and illustrates an alternative analytical method (piecewise regression) by means of a reanalysis of two datasets from a 2010 paper purporting to have found cross-linguistic evidence in favour of the cph. This reanalysis reveals that the specific age patterns predicted by the cph are not cross-linguistically robust. Applying the principle of parsimony, it is concluded that age patterns in second language acquisition are not governed by a critical period. To conclude, this paper highlights the role of confirmation bias in the scientific enterprise and appeals to second language acquisition researchers to reanalyse their old datasets using the methods discussed in this paper. The data and R commands that were used for the reanalysis are provided as supplementary materials.
In second language acquisition research, the critical period hypothesis (cph) holds that the function between learners' age and their susceptibility to second language input is non-linear. This paper revisits the indistinctness found in the literature with regard to this hypothesis's scope and predictions. Even when its scope is clearly delineated and its predictions are spelt out, however, empirical studies–with few exceptions–use analytical (statistical) tools that are irrelevant with respect to the predictions made. This paper discusses statistical fallacies common in cph research and illustrates an alternative analytical method (piecewise regression) by means of a reanalysis of two datasets from a 2010 paper purporting to have found cross-linguistic evidence in favour of the cph. This reanalysis reveals that the specific age patterns predicted by the cph are not cross-linguistically robust. Applying the principle of parsimony, it is concluded that age patterns in second language acquisition are not governed by a critical period. To conclude, this paper highlights the role of confirmation bias in the scientific enterprise and appeals to second language acquisition researchers to reanalyse their old datasets using the methods discussed in this paper. The data and R commands that were used for the reanalysis are provided as supplementary materials. PMID:23935947
Baroth, Edmund C.; Clark, Douglas J.; Losey, Robert W.
An example of the implementation of data fusion using a PC and a graphical programming language is discussed. A schematic of the data acquisition system and user interface panel for an adaptive structure test are presented. The computer programs (a series of icons 'wired' together) are also discussed. The way in which using graphical-based programming software to control a data acquisition system can simplify analysis of data, promote multidisciplinary interaction, and provide users a more visual key to understanding their data are shown.
Chapelle, Carol A.
The point of departure for this article is the contrast between the theoretical landscape within view of language teaching professionals in 1991 and that of today. I argue that the pragmatic goal of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) developers and researchers to create and evaluate learning opportunities pushes them to consider a variety…
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…
International Journal of Multilingualism, 2004
For the purposes of this article, the authors define "multilingualism" as a state of general communicative proficiency in more than two languages; that is, a person is multilingual when he or she can fulfill his or her communicative goals in at least three languages. Bilingualism and trilingualism are thus seen as specific subtypes of a…
Winitz, Harris, Ed.
Papers are presented from a conference that dealt with the similarities and differences between first and second language learning, ways of assessing the relationships, methodological procedures, and implications for development of procedures for teaching language handicapped children. The papers are presented under the following headings: (1)…
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…
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…
Linguistics has long recognised that figurative language in the form of metaphorical expressions structures and communicates attitudes towards the ideas and concepts being expressed and that multilingual students also employ linguistic figures frequently in their writing. In this study, multilingual students use figurative language to both…
Philp, Jenefer; Tognini, Rita
This paper specifically focuses on the findings of research on interaction in foreign language contexts in which time and L2 input are both limited. Although theoretical work on the relationship between interaction and second language development has placed great emphasis on the benefits of input, feedback and modified output when they arise from…
Nicolay, Anne-Catherine; Poncelet, Martine
First-language (L1) and second-language (L2) lexical development has been found to be strongly associated with phonological processing abilities such as phonological short-term memory (STM), phonological awareness, and speech perception. Lexical development also seems to be linked to attentional and executive skills such as auditory attention, flexibility, and response inhibition. The aim of this four-wave longitudinal study was to determine to what extent L2 vocabulary acquired through the particular school context of early L2 immersion education is linked to the same cognitive abilities. A total of 61 French-speaking 5-year-old kindergartners who had just been enrolled in English immersion classes were administered a battery of tasks assessing these three phonological processing abilities and three attentional/executive skills. Their English vocabulary knowledge was measured 1, 2, and 3 school years later. Multiple regression analyses showed that, among the assessed phonological processing abilities, phonological STM and speech perception, but not phonological awareness, appeared to underlie L2 vocabulary acquisition in this context of an early L2 immersion school program, at least during the first steps of acquisition. Similarly, among the assessed attentional/executive skills, auditory attention and flexibility, but not response inhibition, appeared to be involved during the first steps of L2 vocabulary acquisition in such an immersion school context.
This thesis puts forward the view that a purely signal- based approach to natural language processing is both plausible and desirable. By questioning the veracity of symbolic representations of meaning, it argues for a unified, non-symbolic model of knowledge representation that is both biologically plausible and, potentially, highly efficient. Processes to generate a grounded, neural form of this model-dubbed the semantic filter-are discussed. The combined effects of local neural organisation, coincident with perceptual maturation, are used to hypothesise its nature. This theoretical model is then validated in light of a number of fundamental neurological constraints and milestones. The mechanisms of semantic and episodic development that the model predicts are then used to explain linguistic properties, such as propositions and verbs, syntax and scripting. To mimic the growth of locally densely connected structures upon an unbounded neural substrate, a system is developed that can grow arbitrarily large, data- dependant structures composed of individual self- organising neural networks. The maturational nature of the data used results in a structure in which the perception of concepts is refined by the networks, but demarcated by subsequent structure. As a consequence, the overall structure shows significant memory and computational benefits, as predicted by the cognitive and neural models. Furthermore, the localised nature of the neural architecture also avoids the increasing error sensitivity and redundancy of traditional systems as the training domain grows. The semantic and episodic filters have been demonstrated to perform as well, or better, than more specialist networks, whilst using significantly larger vocabularies, more complex sentence forms and more natural corpora.
Norrman, Gunnar; Bylund, Emanuel
The question of a sensitive period in language acquisition has been subject to extensive research and debate for more than half a century. While it has been well established that the ability to learn new languages declines in early years, the extent to which this outcome depends on biological maturation in contrast to previously acquired knowledge remains disputed. In the present study, we addressed this question by examining phonetic discriminatory abilities in early second language (L2) speakers of Swedish, who had either maintained their first language (L1) (immigrants) or had lost it (international adoptees), using native speaker controls. Through this design, we sought to disentangle the effects of the maturational state of the learner on L2 development from the effects of L1 interference: if additional language development is indeed constrained by an interfering L1, then adoptees should outperform immigrant speakers. The results of an auditory lexical decision task, in which fine vowel distinctions in Swedish had been modified, showed, however, no difference between the L2 groups. Instead, both L2 groups scored significantly lower than the native speaker group. The three groups did not differ in their ability to discriminate non-modified words. These findings demonstrate that L1 loss is not a crucial condition for successfully acquiring an L2, which in turn is taken as support for a maturational constraints view on L2 acquisition. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/1J9X50aePeU.
Mayo, L H; Florentine, M; Buus, S
To determine how age of acquisition influences perception of second-language speech, the Speech Perception in Noise (SPIN) test was administered to native Mexican-Spanish-speaking listeners who learned fluent English before age 6 (early bilinguals) or after age 14 (late bilinguals) and monolingual American-English speakers (monolinguals). Results show that the levels of noise at which the speech was intelligible were significantly higher and the benefit from context was significantly greater for monolinguals and early bilinguals than for late bilinguals. These findings indicate that learning a second language at an early age is important for the acquisition of efficient high-level processing of it, at least in the presence of noise.
reorganization of the information to be learned, and " Social Mediation/Affective Strategies. Techniques used by the learner which require the presence of...acquisition takes place (e.g., classroom, social setting, etc.), " Learner variables (e.g., age, aptitude, motivation, cognitive style, etc.), 6 " The nature...components: the linguistic component, the social component, the learner 9 -Sw q~rv’ component, the target language users component, and the social context comn
Granito, Carmen; Scorolli, Claudia; Borghi, Anna Maria
While embodied approaches of cognition have proved to be successful in explaining concrete concepts and words, they have more difficulties in accounting for abstract concepts and words, and several proposals have been put forward. This work aims to test the Words As Tools proposal, according to which both abstract and concrete concepts are grounded in perception, action and emotional systems, but linguistic information is more important for abstract than for concrete concept representation, due to the different ways they are acquired: while for the acquisition of the latter linguistic information might play a role, for the acquisition of the former it is instead crucial. We investigated the acquisition of concrete and abstract concepts and words, and verified its impact on conceptual representation. In Experiment 1, participants explored and categorized novel concrete and abstract entities, and were taught a novel label for each category. Later they performed a categorical recognition task and an image-word matching task to verify a) whether and how the introduction of language changed the previously formed categories, b) whether language had a major weight for abstract than for concrete words representation, and c) whether this difference had consequences on bodily responses. The results confirm that, even though both concrete and abstract concepts are grounded, language facilitates the acquisition of the latter and plays a major role in their representation, resulting in faster responses with the mouth, typically associated with language production. Experiment 2 was a rating test aiming to verify whether the findings of Experiment 1 were simply due to heterogeneity, i.e. to the fact that the members of abstract categories were more heterogeneous than those of concrete categories. The results confirmed the effectiveness of our operationalization, showing that abstract concepts are more associated with the mouth and concrete ones with the hand, independently from
Andrews, Edna; Frigau, Luca; Voyvodic-Casabo, Clara; Voyvodic, James; Wright, John
BOLD fMRI is often used for the study of human language. However, there are still very few attempts to conduct longitudinal fMRI studies in the study of language acquisition by measuring auditory comprehension and reading. The following paper is the first in a series concerning a unique longitudinal study devoted to the analysis of bi- and multilingual subjects who are: (1) already proficient in at least two languages; or (2) are acquiring Russian as a second/third language. The focus of the current analysis is to present data from the auditory sections of a set of three scans acquired from April, 2011 through April, 2012 on a five-person subject pool who are learning Russian during the study. All subjects were scanned using the same protocol for auditory comprehension on the same General Electric LX 3T Signa scanner in Duke University Hospital. Using a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) for statistical analysis, proficiency measurements are shown to correlate significantly with scan results in the Russian conditions over time. The importance of both the left and right hemispheres in language processing is discussed. Special attention is devoted to the importance of contextualizing imaging data with corresponding behavioral and empirical testing data using a multivariate analysis of variance. This is the only study to date that includes: (1) longitudinal fMRI data with subject-based proficiency and behavioral data acquired in the same time frame; and (2) statistical modeling that demonstrates the importance of covariate language proficiency data for understanding imaging results of language acquisition. PMID:24961428
Andrews, Edna; Frigau, Luca; Voyvodic-Casabo, Clara; Voyvodic, James; Wright, John
BOLD fMRI is often used for the study of human language. However, there are still very few attempts to conduct longitudinal fMRI studies in the study of language acquisition by measuring auditory comprehension and reading. The following paper is the first in a series concerning a unique longitudinal study devoted to the analysis of bi- and multilingual subjects who are: (1) already proficient in at least two languages; or (2) are acquiring Russian as a second/third language. The focus of the current analysis is to present data from the auditory sections of a set of three scans acquired from April, 2011 through April, 2012 on a five-person subject pool who are learning Russian during the study. All subjects were scanned using the same protocol for auditory comprehension on the same General Electric LX 3T Signa scanner in Duke University Hospital. Using a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) for statistical analysis, proficiency measurements are shown to correlate significantly with scan results in the Russian conditions over time. The importance of both the left and right hemispheres in language processing is discussed. Special attention is devoted to the importance of contextualizing imaging data with corresponding behavioral and empirical testing data using a multivariate analysis of variance. This is the only study to date that includes: (1) longitudinal fMRI data with subject-based proficiency and behavioral data acquired in the same time frame; and (2) statistical modeling that demonstrates the importance of covariate language proficiency data for understanding imaging results of language acquisition.
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
Dixon, Jennifer J.
This study explores No Child Left Behind's required timetable for English language learners (ELLs) to reach English language proficiency within five years, as outlined in the Annual Measurable Achievement Outcomes (AMAOs), despite the lack of research evidence to support this as a reasonable expectation. Analysis was conducted on the archived data…
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).
Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D
The present study tracked activation pattern differences in response to sign language processing by late hearing second language learners of American Sign Language. Learners were scanned before the start of their language courses. They were scanned again after their first semester of instruction and their second, for a total of 10 months of instruction. The study aimed to characterize modality-specific to modality-general processing throughout the acquisition of sign language. Results indicated that before the acquisition of sign language, neural substrates related to modality-specific processing were present. After approximately 45 h of instruction, the learners transitioned into processing signs on a phonological basis (e.g., supramarginal gyrus, putamen). After one more semester of input, learners transitioned once more to a lexico-semantic processing stage (e.g., left inferior frontal gyrus) at which language control mechanisms (e.g., left caudate, cingulate gyrus) were activated. During these transitional steps right hemispheric recruitment was observed, with increasing left-lateralization, which is similar to other native signers and L2 learners of spoken language; however, specialization for sign language processing with activation in the inferior parietal lobule (i.e., angular gyrus), even for late learners, was observed. As such, the present study is the first to track L2 acquisition of sign language learners in order to characterize modality-independent and modality-specific mechanisms for bilingual language processing.
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.
Cochlear implants generated intense debate almost immediately following their introduction in the 1980s. Today, with a vast number of deaf individuals with cochlear implants, the debate about the cochlear implant device and mode of communication continues. Q-methodology was used in this study to explore cochlear implants and language acquisition perspectives within the deaf community. Thirty respondents sorted 33 statements, which were collected from professional literature and mainstream media, into a forced-choice, quasi-normal template. A by-person factor analysis of the Q-sorts revealed 5 model viewpoints: (a) American Sign Language advocate, (b) bilingual advocate, (c) cochlear implant advocate, (d) diverse options advocate, and (e) English visually advocate. Even though the results indicate 5 distinct perspectives, the Q-method also revealed similarities among them. The results also show that there seems to be some agreement on using a bilingual approach, although the perspectives seem to disagree on which language should be acquired first.
Roeper, Tom W.
The core notion of modern Universal Grammar is that language ability requires abstract representation in terms of hierarchy, movement operations, abstract features on words, and fixed mapping to meaning. These mental structures are a step toward integrating representational knowledge of all kinds into a larger model of cognitive psychology. Examining first and second language at once provides clues as to how abstractly we should represent this knowledge. The abstract nature of grammar allows both the formulation of many grammars and the possibility that a rule of one grammar could apply to another grammar. We argue that every language contains Multiple Grammars which may reflect different language families. We develop numerous examples of how the same abstract rules can apply in various languages and develop a theory of how language modules (case-marking, topicalization, and quantification) interact to predict L2 acquisition paths. In particular we show in depth how Germanic Verb-second operations, based on Verb-final structure, can apply in English. The argument is built around how and where V2 from German can apply in English, seeking to explain the crucial contrast: “nothing” yelled out Bill/*“nothing” yelled Bill out in terms of the necessary abstractness of the V2 rule. PMID:26869945
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
Roeper, Tom W
The core notion of modern Universal Grammar is that language ability requires abstract representation in terms of hierarchy, movement operations, abstract features on words, and fixed mapping to meaning. These mental structures are a step toward integrating representational knowledge of all kinds into a larger model of cognitive psychology. Examining first and second language at once provides clues as to how abstractly we should represent this knowledge. The abstract nature of grammar allows both the formulation of many grammars and the possibility that a rule of one grammar could apply to another grammar. We argue that every language contains Multiple Grammars which may reflect different language families. We develop numerous examples of how the same abstract rules can apply in various languages and develop a theory of how language modules (case-marking, topicalization, and quantification) interact to predict L2 acquisition paths. In particular we show in depth how Germanic Verb-second operations, based on Verb-final structure, can apply in English. The argument is built around how and where V2 from German can apply in English, seeking to explain the crucial contrast: "nothing" yelled out Bill/(*)"nothing" yelled Bill out in terms of the necessary abstractness of the V2 rule.
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.
Languages are composed of a conventionalized system of parts which allow speakers and signers to generate an infinite number of form-meaning mappings through phonological and morphological combinations. This level of linguistic organization distinguishes language from other communicative acts such as gestures. In contrast to signs, gestures are made up of meaning units that are mostly holistic. Children exposed to signed and spoken languages from early in life develop grammatical structure following similar rates and patterns. This is interesting, because signed languages are perceived and articulated in very different ways to their spoken counterparts with many signs displaying surface resemblances to gestures. The acquisition of forms and meanings in child signers and talkers might thus have been a different process. Yet in one sense both groups are faced with a similar problem: “how do I make a language with combinatorial structure”? In this paper I argue first language development itself enables this to happen and by broadly similar mechanisms across modalities. Combinatorial structure is the outcome of phonological simplifications and productivity in using verb morphology by children in sign and speech. PMID:25426085
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
del Pilar Agustin Llach, Maria
Lexical errors are a determinant in gaining insight into vocabulary acquisition, vocabulary use and writing quality assessment. Lexical errors are very frequent in the written production of young EFL learners, but they decrease as learners gain proficiency. Misspellings are the most common category, but formal errors give way to semantic-based…
Bloch, Constantine; Kaiser, Anelis; Kuenzli, Esther; Zappatore, Daniela; Haller, Sven; Franceschini, Rita; Luedi, Georges; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula
It is generally accepted that the presence of a second language (L2) has an impact on the neuronal substrates build up and used for language processing; the influence of the age of L2 exposure, however, is not established. We tested the hypothesis that the age of L2 acquisition has an effect on the cortical representation of a multilingual…
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…
With its focus on simplification universals, developmental orders, teachability, and functional-grammatical bases for acquisition, the well-known research on German (L2) language acquisition has contributed much to SLA research in general. At the same time, sociolinguistic investigations focus squarely on the difficult social conditions that…
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…
Casey, Laura Baylot; Bicard, David F.
Language development in typically developing children has a very predictable pattern beginning with crying, cooing, babbling, and gestures along with the recognition of spoken words, comprehension of spoken words, and then one word utterances. This predictable pattern breaks down for children with language disorders. This article will discuss…
Salmona Madriñan, Mara
This action research project was carried out in order to identify the role of first language in the second-language classroom. This study was conducted in a Colombian international school with an English immersion program for kindergarten students attending their first year of school. The purpose of this study was to identify if the use of the…
Chonchaiya, Weerasak; Tardif, Twila; Mai, Xiaoqin; Xu, Lin; Li, Mingyan; Kaciroti, Niko; Kileny, Paul R; Shao, Jie; Lozoff, Betsy
Auditory processing capabilities at the subcortical level have been hypothesized to impact an individual's development of both language and reading abilities. The present study examined whether auditory processing capabilities relate to language development in healthy 9-month-old infants. Participants were 71 infants (31 boys and 40 girls) with both Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and language assessments. At 6 weeks and/or 9 months of age, the infants underwent ABR testing using both a standard hearing screening protocol with 30 dB clicks and a second protocol using click pairs separated by 8, 16, and 64-ms intervals presented at 80 dB. We evaluated the effects of interval duration on ABR latency and amplitude elicited by the second click. At 9 months, language development was assessed via parent report on the Chinese Communicative Development Inventory - Putonghua version (CCDI-P). Wave V latency z-scores of the 64-ms condition at 6 weeks showed strong direct relationships with Wave V latency in the same condition at 9 months. More importantly, shorter Wave V latencies at 9 months showed strong relationships with the CCDI-P composite consisting of phrases understood, gestures, and words produced. Likewise, infants who had greater decreases in Wave V latencies from 6 weeks to 9 months had higher CCDI-P composite scores. Females had higher language development scores and shorter Wave V latencies at both ages than males. Interestingly, when the ABR Wave V latencies at both ages were taken into account, the direct effects of gender on language disappeared. In conclusion, these results support the importance of low-level auditory processing capabilities for early language acquisition in a population of typically developing young infants. Moreover, the auditory brainstem response in this paradigm shows promise as an electrophysiological marker to predict individual differences in language development in young children.
Razfar, Aria; Khisty, Lena Licon; Chval, Kathryn
This article provides a cultural-historical (CHAT) analysis of the practices used by an effective teacher of Latino/a children previously classified as "underachieving" and "beginning/novice" English Language Learners. Although the teacher would not describe her practices in strict CHAT, or sociocultural theory (SCT) terms, our analysis shows that…
Orellana, Marjorie Faulstich
A followup study looked at the language development of three children (aged 5-6 years during the present study) three years after initial observation. Initially, the children were Spanish-dominant; all had one native English-speaking parent; all were learning English easily. The followup study involved parent interviews and observations of the…
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…
Noels, Kimberly A.; Clement, Richard
A study of college students' motivation for learning, and other social-psychological aspects of second language learning, found students learn German for instrumental, friendship, travel, identification/influence, and knowledge reasons. Fluency was related to motivation, and students of German heritage had higher self-confidence in the German…
Suzuki, Takaaki; Kobayashi, Tessei
Syntactic bootstrapping facilitates children's initial learning of verb meanings based on syntactic information. A challenging case is the argument-drop languages, where the number of argument NPs is not a reliable cue for distinguishing between transitive and intransitive verbs. Despite this fact, the availability of syntactic bootstrapping in…
Situated within the framework of the systemic-functional linguistics (Halliday, 1994) and language-based theory of learning (Halliday, 1993), this article examines a shift toward a more objectified and "scientific" representation of reality in texts written by foreign language (FL) learners at various levels of acquisition. It argues that…
Nowak-Fabrykowski, Krystyna; Shkandrij, Miroslav
In this paper we explore the relationship between language acquisition, and the construction of a symbolic world. According to Bowers (1989) language is a collection of patterns regulating social life. This conception is close to that of Symbolic Interactionists (Charon, 1989) who see society as made up of interacting individuals who are symbol…
Dada, Shakila; Alant, Erna
Purpose: To describe the nature and frequency of the aided language stimulation program and determine the effects of a 3-week-long aided language stimulation program on the vocabulary acquisition skills of children with little or no functional speech (LNFS). Method: Four children participated in this single-subject,multiple-probe study across…
Coventry, William; Anton-Mendez, Ines; Ellis, Elizabeth M.; Levisen, Christina; Byrne, Brian; van Daal, Victor H. P.; Ellis, Nick C.
We present one of the first behavior-genetic studies of individual differences in school students' levels of achievement in instructed second language acquisition (ISLA). We assessed these language abilities in Australian twin pairs (maximum N pairs = 251) by means of teacher ratings, class rankings, and self-ratings of proficiency, and used the…
Leung, Alex Ho-Cheong
This paper explores the purported negative influence of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) on child second language acquisition (SLA) by studying Hong Kong Cantonese children's listening ability in second language (L2) English. 31 kindergarten third graders aged 4;6 to 6, and 29 first year secondary students aged 11-14 who have had a Filipino…
Researchers who assume that Universal Grammar (UG) plays a role in second language (L2) acquisition are still debating whether L2 learners have access to UG in its entirety (the Full Access hypothesis; e.g. Schwartz and Sprouse, 1994; 1996; White, 1989; 2003) or only to those aspects of UG that are instantiated in their first language (L1) grammar…
Self-assessment has been used to assess second language proficiency; however, as sources of measurement errors vary, they may threaten the validity and reliability of the tools. The present paper investigated the role of experiences in using Japanese as a second language in the naturalistic acquisition context on the accuracy of the…
Phoon, Hooi San; Abdullah, Anna Christina; Lee, Lay Wah; Murugaiah, Puvaneswary
To date, there has been little research done on phonological acquisition in the Malay language of typically developing Malay-speaking children. This study serves to fill this gap by providing a systematic description of Malay consonant acquisition in a large cohort of preschool-aged children between 4- and 6-years-old. In the study, 326 Malay-dominant speaking children were assessed using a picture naming task that elicited 53 single words containing all the primary consonants in Malay. Two main analyses were conducted to study their consonant acquisition: (1) age of customary and mastery production of consonants; and (2) consonant accuracy. Results revealed that Malay children acquired all the syllable-initial and syllable-final consonants before 4;06-years-old, with the exception of syllable-final /s/, /h/ and /l/ which were acquired after 5;06-years-old. The development of Malay consonants increased gradually from 4- to 6 years old, with female children performing better than male children. The accuracy of consonants based on manner of articulation showed that glides, affricates, nasals, and stops were higher than fricatives and liquids. In general, syllable-initial consonants were more accurate than syllable-final consonants while consonants in monosyllabic and disyllabic words were more accurate than polysyllabic words. These findings will provide significant information for speech-language pathologists for assessing Malay-speaking children and designing treatment objectives that reflect the course of phonological development in Malay.
Gorman, Brenda K
There is a considerable gap in English reading achievement between English-language learners and native speakers in the United States. Differentiation of whether English language learners' struggles are symptomatic of reading disability or related to second language acquisition is often challenging. These issues highlight the need for increased insight into reading development and disability in this population. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of cross-linguistic universals in reading acquisition, how reading disabilities manifest in various languages, and whether diagnostic and instructional approaches that are effective for native English speakers are also appropriate for English-language learners. Recommendations for assessment and intervention practices for at-risk and reading-disabled English-language learners are provided.
Gose, Robin Margaretha
English language learners (EL) are the fastest growing sub-group of the student population in California, yet ELs also score the lowest on the science section of the California Standardized Tests. In the area of bilingual education, California has dramatically changed its approach to English learners since the passage of Proposition 227 in 1998, which called for most EL instruction to be conducted in English (Cummins, 2000; Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2008). In reality, this means that EL students are often placed in programs that focus on basic language skills rather than rigorous content, meaning that they are not getting access to grade level science content (Lee & Fradd, 1998). As a result, many EL students exit eighth grade without a strong foundation in science, and they continue to score below their English-speaking peers on standardized achievements. While the usefulness of the academic language construct remains controversial (Bailey, 2012), the language used in science instruction is nevertheless often unfamiliar to both EL and English proficient students. The discourse is frequently specialized for discipline-specific interactions and activities (Bailey, 2007; Lemke, 1990). This qualitative case study examined academic language instruction in three middle school science classrooms at a dual language charter school. The goal was to understand how teachers integrate academic language and content for linguistically diverse students. The findings fom this study indicate that targeting language instruction in isolation from science content instruction prohibits students from engaging in the "doing of science" and scientific discourse, or the ability to think, reason, and communicate about science. The recommendations of this study support authentically embedding language development into rigorous science instruction in order to maximize opportunities for learning in both domains.
Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy
Each year, approximately 60,000 children of refugee background are resettled in Western countries. This paper reviews the effects of the refugee experience on cognitive functioning. The distinctive influences for these children include exposure to traumatic events and the need to acquire a new language, factors that need to be considered to avoid overdiagnosis of learning disorders and inappropriate educational placements. Prearrival trauma, psychological sequelae of traumatic events, developmental impact of trauma, and the quality of family functioning have been found to influence cognitive functioning, learning, and academic performance. In addition, the refugee child may be semiproficient in several languages, but proficient in none, whilst also trying to learn a new language. The influence that the child's limited English proficiency, literacy, and school experience may have on academic and test performance is demonstrated by drawing on the research on refugees' English language acquisition, as well as the more extensive literature on bilingual English language learners. Implications for interventions are drawn at the level of government policy, schools, and the individual. The paper concludes with the observation that there is a major need for longitudinal research on refugee children's learning and academic performance and on interventions that will close the academic gap, thereby enabling refugee children to reach their educational potential.
Isel, Frédéric; Baumgaertner, Annette; Thrän, Johannes; Meisel, Jürgen M; Büchel, Christian
Numerous studies have proposed that changes of the human language faculty caused by neural maturation can explain the substantial differences in ultimate attainment of grammatical competences between first language (L1) acquirers and second language (L2) learners. However, little evidence on the effect of neural maturation on the attainment of lexical knowledge in L2 is available. The present functional magnetic resonance study addresses this question via a cross-linguistic neural adaptation paradigm. Age of acquisition (AoA) of L2 was systematically manipulated. Concrete nouns were repeated across language (e.g., French-German, valise(suitcase)-Koffer(suitcase)). Whereas early bilinguals (AoA of L2<3years) showed larger repetition enhancement (RE) effects in the left superior temporal gyrus, the bilateral superior frontal gyrus and the right posterior insula, late bilinguals (AoA of L2>10years) showed larger RE effects in the middle portion of the left insula and in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG). We suggest that, as for grammatical knowledge, the attainment of lexical knowledge in L2 is affected by neural maturation. The present findings lend support to neurocognitive models of bilingual word recognition postulating that, for both early and late bilinguals, the two languages are interconnected at the conceptual level.
Spanoudis, George C; Natsopoulos, Demetrios
Memory and language operate in synergy. Recent literature stresses the importance of memory functioning in interpreting language deficits. Two groups of 50 children each, ages 8-12 were studied. The first group included children with specific language impairment, while the participants in the second group were typically developing children. The two groups, which were matched on age, nonverbal intelligence and varied significantly in verbal ability were examined, using a test battery of four memory functioning (phonological, working and long-term memory) and five mental verb measures. The statistical analyses indicated that the two groups differed significantly in all language and memory measures; a logistic regression analysis revealed that within each main group existed nested subgroups of different developmental patterns with working and long-term memory measures as the most robust discriminate markers of classification. Language impaired children had more difficulties in the acquisition of mental verbs because they are less able to process and store phonological information in working memory and long-term lexicon.
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.
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.
Many researchers believe that there is a logical problem at the center of language acquisition theory. According to this analysis, the input to the learner is too inconsistent and incomplete to determine the acquisition of grammar. Moreover, when corrective feedback is provided, children tend to ignore it. As a result, language learning must rely on additional constraints from universal grammar. To solve this logical problem, theorists have proposed a series of constraints and parameterizations on the form of universal grammar. Plausible alternatives to these constraints include: conservatism, item-based learning, indirect negative evidence, competition, cue construction, and monitoring. Careful analysis of child language corpora has cast doubt on claims regarding the absence of positive exemplars. Using demonstrably available positive data, simple learning procedures can be formulated for each of the syntactic structures that have traditionally motivated invocation of the logical problem. Within the perspective of emergentist theory (MacWhinney, 2001), the operation of a set of mutually supportive processes is viewed as providing multiple buffering for developmental outcomes. However, the fact that some syntactic structures are more difficult to learn than others can be used to highlight areas of intense grammatical competition and processing load. PMID:15658750
Wang, Min; Perfetti, Charles A; Liu, Ying
This study investigated cross-language and writing system relationship in biliteracy acquisition of children learning to read two different writing systems-Chinese and English. Forty-six Mandarin-speaking children were tested for their first language (Chinese-L1) and second language (English-L2) reading skills. Comparable experiments in Chinese and English were designed focusing on two reading processes-phonological and orthographic processing. Word reading skills in both writing systems were tested. Results revealed that Chinese onset matching skill was significantly correlated with English onset and rime matching skills. Pinyin, an alphabetic phonetic system used to assist children in learning to read Chinese characters, was highly correlated with English pseudoword reading. Furthermore, Chinese tone processing skill contributed a moderate but significant amount of variance in predicting English pseudoword reading even when English phonemic-level processing skill was taken into consideration. Orthographic processing skill in the two writing systems, on the other hand, did not predict each other's word reading. These findings suggest that bilingual reading acquisition is a joint function of shared phonological processes and orthographic specific skills.
Manduchi, G.; Flor, G. )
MDS-Plus is a general-purpose, data acquisition software package for pulsed physics experiments. It is based on the concept of an experiment model. The experiment model can be defined by means of the experiment description. The experiment description is a text description of the logical structure of the experiment, which defines the hardware structure together with the data acquisition actions, their sequence, and their interdependencies. The experiment description is then compiled into optimized internal data structures. A language-sensitive editor provides a user-friendly tool for producing syntactically correct experiment descriptions. The major design choices of syntax and implementation are presented and its integration with the preparation of the experiment is discussed.
Sakai, Kuniyoshi L; Nauchi, Arihito; Tatsuno, Yoshinori; Hirano, Kazuyoshi; Muraishi, Yukimasa; Kimura, Masakazu; Bostwick, Mike; Yusa, Noriaki
Second language (L2) acquisition is more susceptible to environmental and idiosyncratic factors than first language acquisition. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging for L2 learners of different ages of first exposure (mean: 12.6 and 5.6 years) in a formal school environment, and compared the cortical activations involved in processing English sentences containing either syntactic or spelling errors, where the testing ages and task performances of both groups were matched. We found novel activation patterns in two regions of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) that correlated differentially with the performances of the late and early learners. Specifically, activations of the dorsal and ventral triangular part (F3t) of the left IFG correlated positively with the accuracy of the syntactic task for the late learners, whereas activations of the left ventral F3t correlated negatively with the accuracy for the early learners. In contrast, other cortical regions exhibited differential correlation patterns with the reaction times (RTs) of the syntactic task. Namely, activations of the orbital part (F3O) of the left IFG, as well as those of the left angular gyrus, correlated positively with the RTs for the late learners, whereas those activations correlated negatively with the RTs for the early learners. Moreover, the task-selective activation of the left F3O was maintained for both the late and early learners. These results explain individual differences in L2 acquisition, such that the acquisition of linguistic knowledge in L2 is subserved by at least two distinct inferior frontal regions of the left F3t and F3O.
Markó, Kornél; Schulz, Stefan; Hahn, Udo
We present a method for the automated acquisition of a multilingual medical lexicon (for Spanish and Swedish) to be used within the framework of a medical cross-language text retrieval system. We incorporate seed lexicons and parallel corpora derived from the UMLS Metathesaurus. The seed lexicons for Spanish and Swedish are automatically generated from (previously manually constructed) Portuguese, German and English sources. Lexical and semantic hypotheses are then validated making iterative use of co-occurrence patterns of hypothesized translation synonyms in the parallel corpora.