Science.gov

Sample records for language acquisition

  1. Investigating Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordens, Peter, Ed.; Lalleman, Josine, Ed.

    Essays in second language acquisition include: "The State of the Art in Second Language Acquisition Research" (Josine Lalleman); "Crosslinguistic Influence with Special Reference to the Acquisition of Grammar" (Michael Sharwood Smith); "Second Language Acquisition by Adult Immigrants: A Multiple Case Study of Turkish and Moroccan Learners of…

  2. Language Acquisition and Language Revitalization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Grady, William; Hattori, Ryoko

    2016-01-01

    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,…

  3. First Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Eve V.

    This book examines children's acquisition of a first language, the stages they go through, and how they use language as they learn. There are 16 chapters in 4 parts. After chapter 1, "Acquiring Languages: Issues and Questions," Part 1, "Getting Started," offers (2) "In Conversation with Children," (3) "Starting on Language: Perception," (4) "Early…

  4. Language acquisition is language change.

    PubMed

    Crain, Stephen; Goro, Takuya; Thornton, Rosalind

    2006-01-01

    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.

  5. First Language Acquisition and Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena

    2011-01-01

    "First language acquisition" commonly means the acquisition of a single language in childhood, regardless of the number of languages in a child's natural environment. Language acquisition is variously viewed as predetermined, wondrous, a source of concern, and as developing through formal processes. "First language teaching" concerns schooling in…

  6. Complexity in language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Clark, Alexander; Lappin, Shalom

    2013-01-01

    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.

  7. Language Transfer in Language Learning. Language Acquisition & Language Disorders 5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  8. Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaughlin, Barry; Harrington, Michael

    1989-01-01

    A distinction is drawn between representational and processing models of second-language acquisition. The first approach is derived primarily from linguistics, the second from psychology. Both fields, it is argued, need to collaborate more fully, overcoming disciplinary narrowness in order to achieve more fruitful research. (GLR)

  9. Unsupervised Language Acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Marcken, Carl

    1996-11-01

    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.

  10. Second language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Juffs, Alan

    2011-05-01

    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.

  11. Language Acquisition without an Acquisition Device

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Grady, William

    2012-01-01

    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…

  12. Theories of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Vetter, H J; Howell, R W

    1971-03-01

    Prior to the advent of generative grammar, theoretical approaches to language development relied heavily upon the concepts ofdifferential reinforcement andimitation. Current studies of linguistic acquisition are largely dominated by the hypothesis that the child constructs his language on the basis of a primitive grammar which gradually evolves into a more complex grammar. This approach presupposes that the investigator does not impose his own grammatical rules on the utterances of the child; that the sound system of the child and the rules he employs to form sentences are to be described in their own terms, independently of the model provided by the adult linguistic community; and that there is a series of steps or stages through which the child passes on his way toward mastery of the adult grammar in his linguistic environment. This paper attempts to trace the development of human vocalization through prelinguistic stages to the development of what can be clearly recognized as language behavior, and then progresses to transitional phases in which the language of the child begins to approximate that of the adult model. In the view of the authors, the most challenging problems which confront theories of linguistic acquisition arise in seeking to account for structure of sound sequences, in the rules that enable the speaker to go from meaning to sound and which enable the listener to go from sound to meaning. The principal area of concern for the investigator, according to the authors, is the discovery of those rules at various stages of the learning process. The paper concludes with a return to the question of what constitutes an adequate theory of language ontogenesis. It is suggested that such a theory will have to be keyed to theories of cognitive development and will have to include and go beyond a theory which accounts for adult language competence and performance, since these represent only the terminal stage of linguistic ontogenesis.

  13. First language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Goodluck, Helen

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews current approaches to first language acquisition, arguing in favor of the theory that attributes to the child an innate knowledge of universal grammar. Such knowledge can accommodate the systematic nature of children's non-adult linguistic behaviors. The relationships between performance devices (mechanisms for comprehension and production of speech), non-linguistic aspects of cognition, and child grammars are also discussed. WIREs Cogn Sci 2011 2 47-54 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.95 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  14. Handbook of Child Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritchie, William C., Ed.; Bhatia, Tej K., Ed.

    This volume provides a comprehensive overview of the major areas of research in the field of child language acquisition. It is divided into seven parts and 19 chapters. Part I is an introduction and overview. Part II covers central issues in the study of child language acquisition, focusing on syntax, including those of innateness, maturation, and…

  15. Language Acquisition Is Language Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crain, Stephen; Goro, Takuya; Thornton, Rosalind

    2006-01-01

    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…

  16. Language Acquisition, Pidgins and Creoles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wode, Henning

    1981-01-01

    Suggests that structural universals between different-based pidgins result from universal linguo-cognitive processing strategies which are employed in learning languages. Some of the strategies occur in all types of acquisition, and others are more applicable to L2 type acquisition. Past research is discussed, and some exemplary data are given.…

  17. Intensive Input in Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trimino, Andy; Ferguson, Nancy

    This paper discusses the role of input as one of the universals in second language acquisition theory. Considerations include how language instructors can best organize and present input and when certain kinds of input are more important. A self-administered program evaluation exercise using relevant theoretical and methodological contributions…

  18. Music and Early Language Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Anthony; Gebrian, Molly; Slevc, L. Robert

    2012-01-01

    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

  19. Music and early language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Anthony; Gebrian, Molly; Slevc, L Robert

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. Sociolinguistics and Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  1. Language Acquisition and Learnability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bertolo, Stefano, Ed.

    This book has been conceived as a companion to learnability for the benefit of those linguists who base their work on Chomsky's "Principles and Parameters Hypothesis." General concepts from formal theory and complexity theory and important facts from psycholinguistics, historical linguistics, and language processing have been introduced in a…

  2. Functionalism in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomlin, Russell S.

    1990-01-01

    Examines the role of functional approaches to linguistics in understanding second-language acquisition (SLA), focusing on central premises, tenets, and theoretical problems. It is concluded that functional universals are too insufficiently grounded theoretically and empirically to contribute more than heuristic guidance to SLA theory. (141…

  3. Bilingualism and Third Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Theories of early language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Plunkett, K

    1997-07-01

    What features of brain processing and neural development support linguistic development in young children? To what extent is the profile and timing of linguistic development in young children determined by a pre-ordained genetic programme? Does the environment play a crucial role in determining the patterns of change observed in children growing up? Recent experimental, neuroimaging and computational studies of developmental change in children promise to contribute to a deeper understanding of how the brain becomes wired up for language. In this review, the muttidisciplinary perspectives of cognitive neuroscience, experimental psycholinguistics and neural network modelling are brought to bear on four distinct areas in the study of language acquisition: early speech perception, word recognition, word learning and the acquisition of grammatical inflections. It is suggested that each area demonstrates how linguistic development can be driven by the interaction of general learning mechanisms, highly sensitive to particular statistical regularities in the input, with a richly structured environment which provides the necessary ingredients for the emergence of linguistic representations that support mature language processing. Similar epigenetic principles, guiding the emergence of linguistic structure, apply to all these domains, offering insights into phenomena ranging from the precocity of young infant's sensitivity to speech contrasts to the complexities of the problem facing the young child learning the arabic plural.

  5. Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Lydia

    1990-01-01

    Discusses the motivation for Universal Grammar (UG), as assumed in the principles and parameters framework of generative grammar (Chomsky, 1981), focusing on the logical problem of first-language acquisition and the potential role of UG in second-language acquisition. Recent experimental research regarding the second-language status of the…

  6. 75 FR 13751 - Office of English Language Acquisition; Overview Information; Language Enhancement, and Academic...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-23

    ... Office of English Language Acquisition; Overview Information; Language Enhancement, and Academic... Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and... Secretary and Director, Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and...

  7. Child Language Acquisition. CAL Selected Bibliographies: 5

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falk, Julia S.

    1974-01-01

    This bibliography on child language acquisition which lists works published since 1966, includes book-length studies, anthologies, collected papers, conference reports, and journal and serial publications. (SW)

  8. Language Acquisition and Language Learning: A Plea for Syncretism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgs, Theodore V.

    1985-01-01

    Discusses the apparent opposition between the concepts of language learning and language acquisition in the context of adult second-language study. Proposes that these two concepts are mutually supportive, not mutually exclusive. Demonstrates how the implications of learning vs. acquisition can be integrated into a communicative…

  9. On Teaching Strategies in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hong

    2008-01-01

    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…

  10. Input, innateness, and induction in language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Morgan, J L

    1990-11-01

    Input and innateness compliment one another in language acquisition. Children exposed to different languages acquire different languages. Children's language experience, however, underdetermines the grammars that they acquire; the constraints that are not supplied by input must be available endogenously, and the ultimate origin of these endogenous contributions to acquisition may be traced to the biology of the mind. To the extent that assumptions of innateness encourage greater explicitness in the formulation of theories of acquisition, they should be welcomed. Excessively powerful assumptions of innateness may not be subject to empirical disconfirmation, however. Therefore, attention should be devoted to the development of a theory of language input, particularly with regard to identifying invariants of input. In combination with a linguistic theory providing an account of the endstate of acquisition, a theory of input would permit the deduction of properties of the mind that underlie the acquisition of language.

  11. Studies in First and Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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" (Forner); "Stress…

  12. A Pragmatic Approach to Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olshewsky, Thomas M.

    An extreme view of language acquisition sees base structures as innate, and acquisition of the grammar of a particular language as a process of learning the transformation rules needed to get from base structures to surface structures of adult native speakers. Base structures are understood to most resemble simple-active-affirmative-declarative…

  13. New Dimensions in Second Language Acquisition Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 Scovel; (4) "Exceptions to…

  14. Input and Intake in Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gagliardi, Ann C.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  15. Child Language Acquisition: Contrasting Theoretical Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ambridge, Ben; Lieven, Elena V. M.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. Child Second Language Acquisition of Syntax.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lakshmanan, Usha

    1995-01-01

    Reviews recent research in universal grammar-based child second language acquisition (SLA) research, arguing that child SLA studies can better explore the role of biological factors in language acquisition and strengthen the links between SLA and linguistic theory. (129 references) (MDM)

  17. Theories and Research on Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornejo, Ricardo J.; Cornejo, Luz O.

    Intended for students, teachers, parents, and administrators in charge of educating bilingual children, the monograph provides a summarized account of the information available regarding theories and research in second language acquisition, divided into four chapters. Chapter I is an historical overview of language acquisition theories,…

  18. Programmatic Ahistoricity in Second Language Acquisition Theory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Margaret

    1998-01-01

    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…

  19. Can Communicative Principles Enhance Classical Language Acquisition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overland, Paul; Fields, Lee; Noonan, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    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…

  20. Language Teaching and Acquisition of Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajavaara, Kari; Lehtonen, Jaakko

    A theoretical linguistic model is insufficient to deal with the problems of language teaching because of the complexity of the phenomena concerned and the dynamic nature of language acquisition and communication. Most linguistic models neglect the fact that, in communicative situations, language users construct the prerequisites of communicative…

  1. Incidental Foreign Language Acquisition from Media Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuppens, An H.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  2. Acquisition of speech rhythm in first language.

    PubMed

    Polyanskaya, Leona; Ordin, Mikhail

    2015-09-01

    Analysis of English rhythm in speech produced by children and adults revealed that speech rhythm becomes increasingly more stress-timed as language acquisition progresses. Children reach the adult-like target by 11 to 12 years. The employed speech elicitation paradigm ensured that the sentences produced by adults and children at different ages were comparable in terms of lexical content, segmental composition, and phonotactic complexity. Detected differences between child and adult rhythm and between rhythm in child speech at various ages cannot be attributed to acquisition of phonotactic language features or vocabulary, and indicate the development of language-specific phonetic timing in the course of acquisition.

  3. Language Processes and Second-Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Larry Lloyd

    A review of the literature and research concerning the language processes of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and an analysis of the findings regarding the characteristics of these processes and their relationship to the second-language learner led to the following conclusions: (1) the circumstances under which the first language is…

  4. Addressing Cultural and Native Language Interference in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allard, Daniele; Bourdeau, Jacqueline; Mizoguchi, Riichiro

    2011-01-01

    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…

  5. Generative Research on Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eubank, Lynn

    1995-01-01

    Reviews recent trends in generative research on second language acquisition, focusing on the role of universal grammar, parameter resetting, and anaphoric binding. An annotated bibliography discusses five important works in the field. (61 references) (MDM)

  6. Speaking and Instructed Foreign Language Acquisition. Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pawlak, Miroslaw; Waniek-Klimczak, Ewa; Majer, Jan

    2011-01-01

    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…

  7. Neural substrates of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kuhl, Patricia; Rivera-Gaxiola, Maritza

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18558865

  8. The Reading Venture: Accelerating Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  9. Toward More Substantial Theories of Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenson, Cinnamon Ann

    2015-01-01

    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…

  10. Cerebral Dominance, Language Acquisition, and Foreign Accents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scovel, Tom

    1969-01-01

    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…

  11. Foreign Language Acquisition and Melody Singing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mora, Carmen Fonseca

    2000-01-01

    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)

  12. Psycholinguistic Techniques in Second Language Acquisition Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marinis, Theodore

    2003-01-01

    Presents the benefits of using online methodologies in second language acquisition (SLA) research. Provides a selection of online experiments that have been widely used in first and second language processing studies that are suitable for SLA research and discusses the hardware and software packages required for setting up a psycholinguistic…

  13. Second Language Acquisition Theory and Pedagogy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 Approach: An Assessment"…

  14. Linguistic Perspectives from Spanish Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Mark, Ed.; Koike, Dale April, Ed.

    1998-01-01

    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…

  15. Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lantolf, James P.; Beckett, Tracy G.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  16. An Emergentist Perspective on Heritage Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Grady, William; Kwak, Hye-Young; Lee, On-Soon; Lee, Miseon

    2011-01-01

    It is widely recognized that the processor has a key role to play in creating and strengthening the mapping between form and meaning that is integral to language use. Adopting an emergentist approach to heritage language acquisition, the current study considers the extent to which the operation of the processor can contribute to an account of what…

  17. Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen-Freeman, Diane

    2000-01-01

    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…

  18. A Research on Second Language Acquisition and College English Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Changyu

    2009-01-01

    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…

  19. A new view of language acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2000-01-01

    At the forefront of debates on language are new data demonstrating infants' early acquisition of information about their native language. The data show that infants perceptually “map” critical aspects of ambient language in the first year of life before they can speak. Statistical properties of speech are picked up through exposure to ambient language. Moreover, linguistic experience alters infants' perception of speech, warping perception in the service of language. Infants' strategies are unexpected and unpredicted by historical views. A new theoretical position has emerged, and six postulates of this position are described. PMID:11050219

  20. Overpassivization in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kondo, Takako

    2005-01-01

    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…

  1. Input in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 Classroom"; "Input and Interaction in the…

  2. Age and Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singleton, David

    2001-01-01

    Reviews the age factor in second language learning. Sketches some of the relevant research findings that have emerged in the last three decades and hones in on the results recently published on age-related research. Concludes with a discussion of whether there is an age factor in second language learning. (Author/VWL)

  3. Semantic facilitation in bilingual first language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Bilson, Samuel; Yoshida, Hanako; Tran, Crystal D; Woods, Elizabeth A; Hills, Thomas T

    2015-07-01

    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.

  4. Second Language Acquisition, Teacher Education and Language Pedagogy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Rod

    2010-01-01

    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…

  5. Language Learners in Study Abroad Contexts. Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DuFon, Margaret A., Ed.; Churchill, Eton, Ed.

    2006-01-01

    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…

  6. Multilingual environment and natural acquisition of language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, Shunichi; Nakamura, Shigeru

    2000-06-01

    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. .

  7. Implementing Language Acquisition in Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carrigan, Richard P.

    2009-01-01

    Ads that read, "If you can speak it, you can teach it," attracted thousands of young people to travel the world to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). English language schools of the 1960s and 1970s flourished with the influx of native speakers who were given a scripted textbook with all the "right" things to say. However, by the end of the…

  8. [Language acquisition in CLP children. 3. Results].

    PubMed

    Herrmann, W; Bitter, K

    1991-01-01

    Following part I "Fundamentals" and part II "Procedures", this third part presents the findings about language acquisition and the conditions governing this process in 315 CLP children. It has been shown that early language programs for CLP families leads to the linguistic rehabilitation of these children before they reach school age. Semantically and syntactically complex sentences at the age of 2-3 years results in good articulation at age 5-6. Early precision of articulation is usually associated with an increased risk for psychosomatic complications. The complexity of the cleft at birth is of minor importance for language acquisition, whereas early treatment, parents' compliance and avoidance of corrections and sensitizations are decisive for the successful course of the child's language development at the age of 5-6 years. PMID:1816972

  9. Three Myths from the Language Acquisition Literature

    PubMed Central

    Schoneberger, Ted

    2010-01-01

    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

  10. Second Language Acquisition and Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dugan, James E.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  11. Nativization, Linguistic Theory, and Deaf Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gee, James Paul; Goodhart, Wendy

    1985-01-01

    Considers the acquisition of language by deaf children of deaf parents and by deaf children of hearing parents in the light of such linguistic theories as Andersen's "nativization-denativization" and Bickerton's "bioprograms." Findings both support the theories and bring to light complexities that the theories do not exactly explain. (SED)

  12. Extended, Embodied Cognition and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Dwight

    2010-01-01

    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…

  13. A Connectionist Approach to Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  14. The Spirituality of Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Baxter

    2006-01-01

    Parallels between the reconstruction of self in Alcoholics Anonymous and the reconstruction of self in second language acquisition are drawn out and examined in three areas: ego deflation, identification at depth, and mutual assistance. These spiritual principles are shown to be theoretically and empirically supported in SLA literature and…

  15. Auditory Processing Disorder and Foreign Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veselovska, Ganna

    2015-01-01

    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…

  16. Complexity and Conflicting Grammars in Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westergaard, Marit

    2014-01-01

    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…

  17. Naturalistic acquisition in an early language classroom.

    PubMed

    Dahl, Anne; Vulchanova, Mila D

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Neuroimaging and Research into Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sabourin, Laura

    2009-01-01

    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…

  19. Three Myths from the Language Acquisition Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoneberger, Ted

    2010-01-01

    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)…

  20. Probabilistic models of language processing and acquisition.

    PubMed

    Chater, Nick; Manning, Christopher D

    2006-07-01

    Probabilistic methods are providing new explanatory approaches to fundamental cognitive science questions of how humans structure, process and acquire language. This review examines probabilistic models defined over traditional symbolic structures. Language comprehension and production involve probabilistic inference in such models; and acquisition involves choosing the best model, given innate constraints and linguistic and other input. Probabilistic models can account for the learning and processing of language, while maintaining the sophistication of symbolic models. A recent burgeoning of theoretical developments and online corpus creation has enabled large models to be tested, revealing probabilistic constraints in processing, undermining acquisition arguments based on a perceived poverty of the stimulus, and suggesting fruitful links with probabilistic theories of categorization and ambiguity resolution in perception.

  1. Endogenous sources of variation in language acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Han, Chung-hye; Musolino, Julien

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Endogenous sources of variation in language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Han, Chung-Hye; Musolino, Julien; Lidz, Jeffrey

    2016-01-26

    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.

  3. Language Acquisition and the Second/Foreign Language Classroom. Anthology Series 28.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis. Second Language Acquisition Research: Theoretical and Methodological Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  5. Frames of reference in spatial language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Shusterman, Anna; Li, Peggy

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27423134

  6. Frames of reference in spatial language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Shusterman, Anna; Li, Peggy

    2016-08-01

    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.

  7. Naturalistic acquisition in an early language classroom

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Anne; Vulchanova, Mila D.

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. The Influence of Language Distance and Language Status on the Acquisition of L3 Phonology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Llama, Raquel; Cardoso, Walcir; Collins, Laura

    2010-01-01

    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…

  9. First-language acquisition after childhood differs from second-language acquisition: the case of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Mayberry, R I

    1993-12-01

    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. PMID:8114493

  10. Words, rules, and mechanisms of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Endress, Ansgar D; Bonatti, Luca L

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. Comparing and Contrasting First and Second Language Acquisition: Implications for Language Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ipek, Hulya

    2009-01-01

    In an attempt to understand and explain first language (L1) acquisition and second language (L2) acquisition scholars have put forward many theories. These theories can aid language teachers to understand language learning and to assist their students in their language learning process. The current paper will first look at the similarities between…

  12. Acquisition by Processing: A Modular Perspective on Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Truscott, John; Smith, Mike Sharwood

    2004-01-01

    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…

  13. Grammar and the Lexicon: Developmental Ordering in Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, James A.; Marchman, Virginia A.

    2007-01-01

    Recent accounts of language acquisition propose that the knowledge structures that comprise language develop within a single, unified system that shares computational resources and representations. One implication of this approach is that developmental relations within the system become central to theorizing about language acquisition. Previous…

  14. Environmental Influence on Language Acquisition: Comparing Second and Foreign Language Acquisition of Swedish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hakansson, Gisela; Norrby, Catrin

    2010-01-01

    This article explores the influence of the learning environment on the second language acquisition of Swedish. Data were collected longitudinally over 1 year from 35 university students studying Swedish in Malmo, Sweden, and in Melbourne, Australia. Three areas were investigated: grammar, pragmatics, and lexicon. The development of grammar was…

  15. A random matrix approach to language acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaidis, A.; Kosmidis, Kosmas; Argyrakis, Panos

    2009-12-01

    Since language is tied to cognition, we expect the linguistic structures to reflect patterns that we encounter in nature and are analyzed by physics. Within this realm we investigate the process of lexicon acquisition, using analytical and tractable methods developed within physics. A lexicon is a mapping between sounds and referents of the perceived world. This mapping is represented by a matrix and the linguistic interaction among individuals is described by a random matrix model. There are two essential parameters in our approach. The strength of the linguistic interaction β, which is considered as a genetically determined ability, and the number N of sounds employed (the lexicon size). Our model of linguistic interaction is analytically studied using methods of statistical physics and simulated by Monte Carlo techniques. The analysis reveals an intricate relationship between the innate propensity for language acquisition β and the lexicon size N, N~exp(β). Thus a small increase of the genetically determined β may lead to an incredible lexical explosion. Our approximate scheme offers an explanation for the biological affinity of different species and their simultaneous linguistic disparity.

  16. Learning: Statistical Mechanisms in Language Acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wonnacott, Elizabeth

    The grammatical structure of human languages is extremely complex, yet children master this complexity with apparent ease. One explanation is that we come to the task of acquisition equipped with knowledge about the possible grammatical structures of human languages—so-called "Universal Grammar". An alternative is that grammatical patterns are abstracted from the input via a process of identifying reoccurring patterns and using that information to form grammatical generalizations. This statistical learning hypothesis receives support from computational research, which has revealed that even low level statistics based on adjacent word co-occurrences yield grammatically relevant information. Moreover, even as adults, our knowledge and usage of grammatical patterns is often graded and probabilistic, and in ways which directly reflect the statistical makeup of the language we experience. The current chapter explores such evidence and concludes that statistical learning mechanisms play a critical role in acquisition, whilst acknowledging holes in our current knowledge, particularly with respect to the learning of `higher level' syntactic behaviours. Throughout, I emphasize that although a statistical approach is traditionally associated with a strongly empiricist position, specific accounts make specific claims about the nature of the learner, both in terms of learning mechanisms and the information that is primitive to the learning system. In particular, working models which construct grammatical generalizations often assume inbuilt semantic abstractions.

  17. Language Acquisition and Language Learning: Developing the System of External and Internal Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zascerinska, Jelena

    2010-01-01

    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…

  18. Insights into Second Language Acquisition Theory and Different Approaches to Language Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponniah, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    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…

  19. Language Acquisitional Universals: L1, L2, Pidgins, and FLT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wode, Henning

    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…

  20. Teaching Second Language Acquisition Courses: Views from New Faculty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gorsuch, Greta J.; Beglar, David

    2004-01-01

    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…

  1. Language Acquisition: The Age Factor. Multilingual Matters 47.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singleton, David

    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…

  2. Revisiting First Language Acquisition through Empirical and Rational Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tahriri, Abdorreza

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. Assess the Critical Period Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Du, Lihong

    2010-01-01

    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…

  4. Problems in SLA. Second Language Acquisition Research Series

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Long, Michael H.

    2006-01-01

    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…

  5. Is CALL Obsolete? Language Acquisition and Language Learning Revisited in a Digital Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvis, Huw; Krashen, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    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…

  6. Societal Responses to Adult Difficulties in L2 Acquisition: Toward an Evolutionary Perspective on Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumann, John H.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  7. The Development of Theories of Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myles, Florence

    2010-01-01

    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…

  8. Age-Related Factors in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Twyford, Charles William

    The convergence of several lines of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic research suggests possible explanations for age-related influences on language acquisition. These factors, which include cognitive development, sociocultural context, affective factors, and language input, can be helpful to language educators. By being alert to the cognitive…

  9. Written Corrective Feedback in Second Language Acquisition and Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitchener, John; Ferris, Dana R.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  10. Multilingual Communication and Language Acquisition: New Research Directions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Canagarajah, A. Suresh; Wurr, Adrian J.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  11. Age as an Affective Factor in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bista, Krishna K.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  12. Effects of Age and Language in the Second Language Acquisition of the English Nominal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mis, Benjamin A.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  13. Perspectives of Bilingualism in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Primlyn, A. Linda

    2013-01-01

    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…

  14. The Status of Functional Categories in Child Second Language Acquisition: Evidence from the Acquisition of CP.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haznedar, Belma

    2003-01-01

    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…

  15. Transfer across Second Language Acquisition Theories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daftarifard, Parisa; Shirkhani, Servat

    2011-01-01

    Transfer has been discussed from different points of view since the advent of Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis [13], [8]. Mishina-Mori [19] 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…

  16. Review Article: Second Language Acquisition of Bantu Languages--A (Mostly) Untapped Research Opportunity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spinner, Patti

    2011-01-01

    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,…

  17. The Bounds of Adult Language Acquisition: Blocking and Learned Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Nick C.; Sagarra, Nuria

    2011-01-01

    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…

  18. The Ubiquity of Frequency Effects in First Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ambridge, Ben; Kidd, Evan; Rowland, Caroline F.; Theakston, Anna L.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  19. The Syntactic Positions of Adverbs and the Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Zi-hong

    2010-01-01

    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.…

  20. Use of Analogy in Computer Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pohl, Heidi L.; Nutter, Jane Terry

    1985-01-01

    Subjects in a study of analogic reasoning use in learning a computer language read text describing an invented LISP dialect and then solved problems and described language constructs. Five of six factors studied indicating use of analogy with a familiar computer language showed statistically significant results, supporting the hypothesis.…

  1. Infant Language Development Is Related to the Acquisition of Walking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walle, Eric A.; Campos, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  2. Reciprocal and Inversion Reversibility in Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flora, June Annette

    Kindergarten and first-grade children participated in a study of the role of reciprocal and inversion reversibility in language acquisition and cognitive development. Subjects completed cognitive tasks assessing conservation, seriation, and class inclusion, and language tasks assessing the active-passive transformation and the negative…

  3. Portraits of the L2 User. Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Vivian, Ed.

    This collection of papers treats second language users in their own right rather than as failed native speakers, reflecting a new shift within the field of second language acquisition research. The 13 papers are: (1) "Background to the L2 User" (Vivian Cook); (2) "Lexical Representation and Lexical Processing in the L2 User" (Anette de Groot); (3)…

  4. The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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" (Lydia White); (3) "The…

  5. Lexical Learning in Second Language Acquisition: Optionality in the Numeration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wakabayashi, Shigenori

    2009-01-01

    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…

  6. Psycholinguistic Techniques and Resources in Second Language Acquisition Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leah

    2012-01-01

    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)…

  7. Dissimilation in the Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Hang

    2016-01-01

    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…

  8. Sentence Reading and Writing for Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pichette, Francois; de Serres, Linda; Lafontaine, Marc

    2012-01-01

    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…

  9. A Probe into Classroom Teaching and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Zhengdan

    2009-01-01

    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…

  10. Implicit and Explicit Knowledge in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rebuschat, Patrick; Williams, John N.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  11. Some Implications of Research in Second Language Acquisition for Foreign Language Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lombardo, Linda

    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…

  12. Formulas in First and Second Language Acquisition. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 18.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vihman, Marilyn May

    The use of formulaic speech is seen as a learning strategy in children's first language (L1) acquisition to a limited extent, and to an even greater extent in their second language (L2) acquisition. While the first utterances of the child learning L1 are mostly one-word constructions, many of them are routine words or phrases that the child learns…

  13. The Dynamics of Second Language Emergence: Cycles of Language Use, Language Change, and Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Nick C.

    2008-01-01

    This article outlines an emergentist account whereby the limited end-state typical of adult second language learners results from dynamic cycles of language use, language change, language perception, and language learning in the interactions of members of language communities. In summary, the major processes are: 1. "Usage leads to change": High…

  14. Brain mechanisms in early language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kuhl, Patricia K

    2010-09-01

    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. PMID:20826304

  15. Brain Mechanisms in Early Language Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2010-01-01

    Summary 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 pre-reading 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. PMID:20826304

  16. A Statistical-Physics Approach to Language Acquisition and Language Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassandro, Marzio; Collet, Pierre; Galves, Antonio; Galves, Charlotte

    1999-02-01

    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.

  17. Hypermedia and Vocabulary Acquisition for Second Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meli, Rocio

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of multimedia as a delivery tool for enhancing vocabulary in second-language classrooms. The mixed method design focused on specific techniques to help students acquire Spanish vocabulary and communication skills. The theoretical framework for this study consisted of second language theories…

  18. AUDITORY FACTORS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE ACQUISITION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  19. The 'What' of Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen-Freeman, Diane

    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…

  20. First Language Phonetic Drift during Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Charles Bond

    2010-01-01

    Despite abundant evidence of malleability in speech production, previous studies of the effects of late second-language learning on first-language production have been limited to advanced learners. This dissertation examines these effects in novice learners, finding that experience in a second language rapidly, and possibly inexorably, affects…

  1. The Status of the "Weaker" Language in Unbalanced French/German Bilingual Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonnesen, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    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…

  2. Acquisition of Language Information from Online Databases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sano, Hikomaro

    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.

  3. The acquisition of a second language.

    PubMed

    Gordon, N

    2000-01-01

    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. PMID:10701098

  4. The acquisition of a second language.

    PubMed

    Gordon, N

    2000-01-01

    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.

  5. Language Acquisition through Modeling and Imitation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Endo, George Takashi

    Two environmental learning conditions based on generative linguistics were tested to determine whether they could induce in children (in grades 1-3) the acquisition of the rules of metaphors and the subsequent generation of metaphors based on the acquired rules. The first modeling condition (MC-1) emphasized the verbal-interaction effect: the…

  6. Second Language Grammatical Proficiency and Third Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moghtadi, Laleh; Koosha, Mansour; Lotfi, Ahmad Reza

    2014-01-01

    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…

  7. Neural correlates for the acquisition of natural language syntax.

    PubMed

    Tettamanti, Marco; Alkadhi, Hatem; Moro, Andrea; Perani, Daniela; Kollias, Spyros; Weniger, Dorothea

    2002-10-01

    Some types of simple and logically possible syntactic rule never occur in human language grammars, leading to a distinction between grammatical and nongrammatical syntactic rules. Comparison of the neuroanatomical correlates underlying the acquisition of grammatical and nongrammatical rules can provide relevant evidence on the neural processes dedicated to language acquisition in a given developmental stage. Until present no direct evidence on the neural mechanisms subserving language acquisition at any developmental stage has been supplied. We used fMRI in investigating the acquisition of grammatical and nongrammatical rules in the specified sense in 14 healthy adults. Grammatical rules compared with nongrammatical rules specifically activated a left hemispheric network including Broca's area, as shown by direct comparisons between the two rule types. The selective role of Broca's area was further confirmed by time x condition interactions and by proficiency effects, in that higher proficiency in grammatical rule usage, but not in usage of nongrammatical rules, led to higher levels of activation in this area. These findings provide evidence for the neural mechanisms underlying language acquisition in adults. PMID:12377145

  8. Acquisition, learning, or development of language? Skinner's "Verbal Behavior" revisited.

    PubMed

    López Ornat, Susana; Gallo, Pilar

    2004-11-01

    In 1957, Skinner, in his "Verbal Behavior", proposed an explanation on how a language is learned. In 1959, Chomsky strongly argued the non-learnability of language, establishing in the field of developmental psycholinguistics the substitution of the term "learning" for that of "acquisition". Currently, the constructivist models describe language acquisition as a process of ontogenetic, gradual, complex, and adaptive change. This new theoretical framework has been especially useful for rereading Verbal Behavior because it facilitates recovering the Skinnerian learning mechanisms. This can be observed in the recent research trends that recapture reinforcement and imitation (echoic responses), although they are now located in the initial phases of the process and are included in a cognitive dynamic that, by gradually increasing its complexity, can achieve grammar. The new constructivist theoretical framework, by retrieving the functional and referential aspects of language, can also take advantage of the classic Skinnerian proposal about the pragmatic types of verbal behavior, providing it with new meaning.

  9. What is the role of reinforcement in early language acquisition?

    PubMed

    Whitehurst, G J; Valdez-Menchaca, M C

    1988-04-01

    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.

  10. The logical problem of language acquisition: a probabilistic perspective.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Anne S; Chater, Nick

    2010-08-01

    Natural language is full of patterns that appear to fit with general linguistic rules but are ungrammatical. There has been much debate over how children acquire these "linguistic restrictions," and whether innate language knowledge is needed. Recently, it has been shown that restrictions in language can be learned asymptotically via probabilistic inference using the minimum description length (MDL) principle. Here, we extend the MDL approach to give a simple and practical methodology for estimating how much linguistic data are required to learn a particular linguistic restriction. Our method provides a new research tool, allowing arguments about natural language learnability to be made explicit and quantified for the first time. We apply this method to a range of classic puzzles in language acquisition. We find some linguistic rules appear easily statistically learnable from language experience only, whereas others appear to require additional learning mechanisms (e.g., additional cues or innate constraints). PMID:21564242

  11. Second-Language Acquisition and Bilingualism: Research in Canada (1970-1979). Research Bulletin No. 501.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gardner, Robert C.; Desrochers, Alain M.

    This paper reviews the research on second language acquisition and bilingualism conducted in Canada over the past decade (1970-79). The material on second language acquisition is presented under the followinq headings: approaches to second language instruction, individual differences and second language acquisition, and effects of second language…

  12. Language Acquisition and Development. IDRA Focus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    IDRA Newsletter, 1995

    1995-01-01

    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 and enabled…

  13. Foreign Accents, Language Acquisition, and Cerebral Dominance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scovel, Tom

    1969-01-01

    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)

  14. Classroom Oriented Research in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  15. The Study of Bilingual Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. The Acquisition of Tense in English: Distinguishing Child Second Language from First Language and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paradis, Johanne; Rice, Mabel L.; Crago, Martha; Marquis, Janet

    2008-01-01

    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 specific language impairment (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…

  17. Three factors in the design and acquisition of language.

    PubMed

    O'Grady, William

    2012-09-01

    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.

  18. The Optimal Distance Model of Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, H. Douglas

    1980-01-01

    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)

  19. Plenary Speeches: Is the Second Language Acquisition Discipline Disintegrating?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulstijn, Jan H.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  20. The role of mirror neurons in language acquisition and evolution.

    PubMed

    Behme, Christina

    2014-04-01

    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.

  1. Some Psychological Aspects of Early Second-Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vilke, Mirjana

    1988-01-01

    Discussion of a study of eight-year-olds' acquisition of English during formal classroom situations notes advantages in introducing linguistic familiarity at an early school age, including beneficial effect upon cognitive growth, prevention of the development of ethnocentric tendencies, and increased motivation to learn a second language.…

  2. Transmission, Acquisition, Parameter-Setting, Reanalysis, and Language Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mufwene, Salikoko S.

    2011-01-01

    Jurgen Meisel's (JM) article is literally thought-provoking, especially for the issues that one can raise out of the central position that he develops, viz., "although bilingual acquisition in situations of language contact can be argued to be of significant importance for explanations of grammatical change, reanalysis affecting parameter settings…

  3. The Role of Variable Rules in Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Acculturation in Relation to the Acquisition of a Second Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Mei; Green, Raymond J.; Henley, Tracy B.; Masten, William G.

    2009-01-01

    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.…

  5. Spanish Second Language Acquisition: State of the Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 the…

  6. Language and Culture Acquisition among Iranians in the United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Diane M.

    1989-01-01

    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)

  7. Socio-affective Factors in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Anna Charr

    The case study of a Ukrainian university student in the United States investigated factors in the student's adjustment to the United States and acquisition of English as a second language. The student, aged 20, came to the United States to study music after being denied admission to a Russian conservatory because of his ethnic background, and had…

  8. Delayed Motor Skill Acquisition in Kindergarten Children with Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Strulovich-Schwartz, Orli; Julius, Mona

    2011-01-01

    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…

  9. Second Language Acquisition Research in Japan. JALT Applied Materials.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter, Ed.; Sawyer, Mark, Ed.; Ross, Steven, Ed.

    This collection of papers includes the following: "Second Language Acquisition Research in Japan: Theoretical Issues" (Peter Robinson, Mark Sawyer, and Steven Ross); (2) "Focus on Form: Implicit and Explicit Form Focused Instruction Incorporated into a Communicative Task" (Hitoshi Muranoi); (3) "A Task that Works for Negotiation of Meaning"…

  10. Statistical Literacy among Applied Linguists and Second Language Acquisition Researchers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loewen, Shawn; Lavolette, Elizabeth; Spino, Le Anne; Papi, Mostafa; Schmidtke, Jens; Sterling, Scott; Wolff, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    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…

  11. A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Second Language and Literacy Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang Leimbigler, Sheri

    2014-01-01

    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…

  12. Factors Influencing the Second Language Acquisition of Spanish Vibrants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurtado, Luz Marcela; Estrada, Chelsea

    2010-01-01

    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…

  13. Second Language Acquisition by Adult Immigrants: A Field Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  14. Consonants and Vowels: Different Roles in Early Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hochmann, Jean-Remy; Benavides-Varela, Silvia; Nespor, Marina; Mehler, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Language acquisition involves both acquiring a set of words (i.e. the lexicon) and learning the rules that combine them to form sentences (i.e. syntax). Here, we show that consonants are mainly involved in word processing, whereas vowels are favored for extracting and generalizing structural relations. We demonstrate that such a division of labor…

  15. Language Acquisition in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Developmental Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; de Marchena, Ashley B.; Schuh, Jillian M.; Kelley, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. Research on the Acculturation Model for Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumann, John H.

    1986-01-01

    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)

  17. An Empirical Generative Framework for Computational Modeling of Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waterfall, Heidi R.; Sandbank, Ben; Onnis, Luca; Edelman, Shimon

    2010-01-01

    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…

  18. Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use: The Taipei Lectures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  19. Language Acquisition and the Discovery of Phrase Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolff, J. Gerard

    1980-01-01

    Reports part of a continuing project to develop a theory of children's first-language acquisition using computer modeling techniques. Notes the correspondence of structures formed by the computer program with recognized structures in English. Discusses anomalies in the program's performance. (RL)

  20. Metadiscursive Processes in the Acquisition of a Second Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giacomi, Alain; Vion, Robert

    1986-01-01

    The acquisition of narrative competence in French by an Arabic-speaking migrant worker in interactions with target language speakers was explored, with hypotheses formed about the polyfunctional uses of certain forms to mark the chronology of events in the narrative or to introduce quoted speech. (Author/CB)

  1. The Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore: Implications for Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, L. Quentin

    This paper examines assumptions about second language acquisition, bilingualism, and language planning that underlie Singapore's bilingual education policy, noting how the experience in Singapore illuminates current theories in second language acquisition and language planning. In Singapore, English is promoted as the "working language," while…

  2. Infant language development is related to the acquisition of walking.

    PubMed

    Walle, Eric A; Campos, Joseph J

    2014-02-01

    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.

  3. Early language acquisition: Statistical learning and social learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2003-10-01

    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.

  4. Delayed motor skill acquisition in kindergarten children with language impairment.

    PubMed

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Strulovich-Schwartz, Orli; Julius, Mona

    2011-01-01

    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 24h and two weeks post-practice day. Differences in performance speed emerged between the groups: children with LI showed a later onset of rapid learning in the practice phase, and only the comparison group exhibited delayed, consolidation, gains 24h post-training. At two weeks post-training, children with LI improved, closing the gap in performance speed. Speed-accuracy trade-off was characteristic of speed improvements in LI. These results indicate atypical and delayed acquisition in children with LI, and support the view that deficient skill acquisition in LI goes beyond the language system.

  5. Summary Frames: Language Acquisition for Special Education and English Language Learner Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honnert, Alicia M.; Bozan, Sarah E.

    2005-01-01

    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…

  6. Border Crossings? Exploring the Intersection of Second Language Acquisition, Conversation Analysis, and Foreign Language Pedagogy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mori, Junko

    2007-01-01

    This article explores recent changes in the landscape of second language acquisition (SLA) and foreign language pedagogical (FLP) research. Firth and Wagner's (1997) proposal for the reconceptualization of SLA has been supported by SLA and FLP researchers who share the sentiment concerning the need for increased attention to social and contextual…

  7. Child-Adult Differences in Second Language Acquisition. Series on Issues in Second Language Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krashen, Stephen D., Ed.; And Others

    Studies of age differences in second language learning ability are collected along with commentary on the results. The 12 papers describe long and short term studies of children and adults that focus on the optimal age for second language acquisition, the effect of different teaching methods and environments on age differences, and theories that…

  8. The Evolution of Language Acquisition in Immigrant Students in Catalonia: The Role of the Home Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sansó, Clara; Navarro, José Luis; Huguet, Ángel

    2015-01-01

    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…

  9. "Language Learning" Roundtable: Memory and Second Language Acquisition 2012, Hong Kong

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Zhisheng; McNeill, Arthur; Mota, Mailce Borges

    2014-01-01

    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…

  10. Saying What We Mean: Making a Case for "Language Acquisition" to Become "Language Development"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen-Freeman, Diane

    2015-01-01

    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"…

  11. Language Attrition and Reactivation in the Context of Bilingual First Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slavkov, Nikolay

    2015-01-01

    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…

  12. Predictors of Second Language Acquisition in Latino Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez-Clellen, Vera; Simon-Cereijido, Gabriela; Sweet, Monica

    2012-01-01

    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,…

  13. Promoting Language Acquisitions: Technology and English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lacina, Jan

    2004-01-01

    Today, a plethora of Web sites and software packages are designed specifically for English language learners, and not only are most teacher candidates well-versed in how to use technology, they are likely familiar with numerous software programs that are appropriate to use with children. Although teacher candidates may be well-trained in how to…

  14. Explicit Grammar Instruction and the Acquisition of Second Language Verbal Morphology: A Framework for Generalized Learning in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baugher, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  15. Color, reference, and expertise in language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Clark, Eve V

    2006-08-01

    In learning the meaning of a new term, children need to fix its reference, learn its conventional meaning, and discover the meanings with which it contrasts. To do this, children must attend to adult speakers--the experts--and to their patterns of use. In the domain of color, children need to identify color terms as such, fix the reference of each one, and learn how each is used in the language. But color is a property, and terms for properties appear to be more difficult to grasp than do those for objects, actions, and relations. Although children find some domains easier to learn than others, they depend in each case on the expertise of adult speakers. PMID:16600283

  16. Acquisition of speech rhythm in a second language by learners with rhythmically different native languages.

    PubMed

    Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona

    2015-08-01

    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.

  17. Acquisition of speech rhythm in a second language by learners with rhythmically different native languages.

    PubMed

    Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26328670

  18. Language acquisition is model-based rather than model-free.

    PubMed

    Wang, Felix Hao; Mintz, Toben H

    2016-01-01

    Christiansen & Chater (C&C) propose that learning language is learning to process language. However, we believe that the general-purpose prediction mechanism they propose is insufficient to account for many phenomena in language acquisition. We argue from theoretical considerations and empirical evidence that many acquisition tasks are model-based, and that different acquisition tasks require different, specialized models.

  19. Research in Second Language Acquisition: Selected Papers of the Los Angeles Second Language Acquisition Research Forum. Issues In Second Language Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  20. Self-organizing map models of language acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ping; Zhao, Xiaowei

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Self-organizing map models of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Zhao, Xiaowei

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. Grammatical Acquisition: Inductive Bias and Coevolution of Language and the Language Acquisition Device.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briscoe, Ted

    2000-01-01

    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…

  3. Late acquisition of literacy in a native language.

    PubMed

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Keim, Roland; Brambati, Simona M; Tettamanti, Marco; Cappa, Stefano F; De Bleser, Ria; Perani, Daniela

    2007-01-01

    With event-related functional MRI (fMRI) and with behavioral measures we studied the brain processes underlying the acquisition of native language literacy. Adult dialect speakers were scanned while reading words belonging to three different conditions: dialect words, i.e., the native language in which subjects are illiterate (dialect), German words, i.e., the second language in which subjects are literate, and pseudo-words. Investigating literacy acquisition of a dialect may reveal how novel readers of a language build an orthographic lexicon, i.e., establish a link between already available semantic and phonological representations and new orthographic word forms. The main results of the study indicate that a set of regions, including the left anterior hippocampal formation and subcortical nuclei, is involved in the buildup of orthographic representations. The repeated exposure to written dialect words resulted in a convergence of the neural substrate to that of the language in which these subjects were already proficient readers. The latter result is compatible with a "fast" brain plasticity process that may be related to a shift of reading strategies. PMID:16639742

  4. Late acquisition of literacy in a native language.

    PubMed

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Keim, Roland; Brambati, Simona M; Tettamanti, Marco; Cappa, Stefano F; De Bleser, Ria; Perani, Daniela

    2007-01-01

    With event-related functional MRI (fMRI) and with behavioral measures we studied the brain processes underlying the acquisition of native language literacy. Adult dialect speakers were scanned while reading words belonging to three different conditions: dialect words, i.e., the native language in which subjects are illiterate (dialect), German words, i.e., the second language in which subjects are literate, and pseudo-words. Investigating literacy acquisition of a dialect may reveal how novel readers of a language build an orthographic lexicon, i.e., establish a link between already available semantic and phonological representations and new orthographic word forms. The main results of the study indicate that a set of regions, including the left anterior hippocampal formation and subcortical nuclei, is involved in the buildup of orthographic representations. The repeated exposure to written dialect words resulted in a convergence of the neural substrate to that of the language in which these subjects were already proficient readers. The latter result is compatible with a "fast" brain plasticity process that may be related to a shift of reading strategies.

  5. Natural Language Control of Resources for Experimental Data Acquisition Systems

    PubMed Central

    Harbort, Robert A.; Franklin, David; Spencer, James H.

    1980-01-01

    This presentation outlines the results of research into providing a “friendly interface” between a medical scientist and a medical data acquisition system for doing clinical research. The intended user of the system is presumed to have no knowledge of programming languages. The research has emphasized outlining the needs of such a user in terms of hardware configuration, developing specifications for meeting these needs dynamically, and creating a natural language control structure for setting up experiments without the help of a programmer or electronics technician.

  6. An empirical generative framework for computational modeling of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Waterfall, Heidi R; Sandbank, Ben; Onnis, Luca; Edelman, Shimon

    2010-06-01

    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.

  7. Linguistic Diversity in First Language Acquisition Research: Moving beyond the Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Barbara F.; Forshaw, William; Nordlinger, Rachel; Wigglesworth, Gillian

    2015-01-01

    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…

  8. A Minimalist Approach to Null Subjects and Objects in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, H.

    2004-01-01

    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…

  9. Social and Cognitive Factors in Second Language Acquisition: Selected Proceedings of the 1999 Second Language Research Forum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Ambridge, Ben; Kidd, Evan; Rowland, Caroline F; Theakston, Anna L

    2015-03-01

    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.

  11. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni

    2012-07-01

    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

  12. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni

    2012-07-01

    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.

  13. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: Evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni

    2012-01-01

    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

  14. The relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals: insights from different stages of language acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Van Rinsveld, Amandine; Brunner, Martin; Landerl, Karin; Schiltz, Christine; Ugen, Sonja

    2015-01-01

    Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater difficulties, error types, etc.) in arithmetic for bilingual individuals who frequently have to solve arithmetic problems in more than one language. The present study investigated how proficiency in two languages interacts with arithmetic problem solving throughout language acquisition in adolescents and young adults. Additionally, we examined whether the number word structure that is specific to a given language plays a role in number processing over and above bilingual proficiency. We addressed these issues in a German–French educational bilingual setting, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as teaching language. Importantly, German and French number naming structures differ clearly, as two-digit number names follow a unit-ten order in German, but a ten-unit order in French. We implemented a transversal developmental design in which bilingual pupils from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and young adults were asked to solve simple and complex additions in both languages. The results confirmed that language proficiency is crucial especially for complex addition computation. Simple additions in contrast can be retrieved equally well in both languages after extended language practice. Additional analyses revealed that over and above language proficiency, language-specific number word structures (e.g., unit-ten vs. ten-unit) also induced significant modulations of bilinguals' arithmetic performances. Taken together, these findings support the view of a strong relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals. PMID:25821442

  15. The relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals: insights from different stages of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Van Rinsveld, Amandine; Brunner, Martin; Landerl, Karin; Schiltz, Christine; Ugen, Sonja

    2015-01-01

    Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater difficulties, error types, etc.) in arithmetic for bilingual individuals who frequently have to solve arithmetic problems in more than one language. The present study investigated how proficiency in two languages interacts with arithmetic problem solving throughout language acquisition in adolescents and young adults. Additionally, we examined whether the number word structure that is specific to a given language plays a role in number processing over and above bilingual proficiency. We addressed these issues in a German-French educational bilingual setting, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as teaching language. Importantly, German and French number naming structures differ clearly, as two-digit number names follow a unit-ten order in German, but a ten-unit order in French. We implemented a transversal developmental design in which bilingual pupils from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and young adults were asked to solve simple and complex additions in both languages. The results confirmed that language proficiency is crucial especially for complex addition computation. Simple additions in contrast can be retrieved equally well in both languages after extended language practice. Additional analyses revealed that over and above language proficiency, language-specific number word structures (e.g., unit-ten vs. ten-unit) also induced significant modulations of bilinguals' arithmetic performances. Taken together, these findings support the view of a strong relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals. PMID:25821442

  16. The relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals: insights from different stages of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Van Rinsveld, Amandine; Brunner, Martin; Landerl, Karin; Schiltz, Christine; Ugen, Sonja

    2015-01-01

    Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater difficulties, error types, etc.) in arithmetic for bilingual individuals who frequently have to solve arithmetic problems in more than one language. The present study investigated how proficiency in two languages interacts with arithmetic problem solving throughout language acquisition in adolescents and young adults. Additionally, we examined whether the number word structure that is specific to a given language plays a role in number processing over and above bilingual proficiency. We addressed these issues in a German-French educational bilingual setting, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as teaching language. Importantly, German and French number naming structures differ clearly, as two-digit number names follow a unit-ten order in German, but a ten-unit order in French. We implemented a transversal developmental design in which bilingual pupils from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and young adults were asked to solve simple and complex additions in both languages. The results confirmed that language proficiency is crucial especially for complex addition computation. Simple additions in contrast can be retrieved equally well in both languages after extended language practice. Additional analyses revealed that over and above language proficiency, language-specific number word structures (e.g., unit-ten vs. ten-unit) also induced significant modulations of bilinguals' arithmetic performances. Taken together, these findings support the view of a strong relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals.

  17. Language Learning in Mindbodyworld: A Sociocognitive Approach to Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Dwight

    2014-01-01

    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…

  18. Papers in First Language Acquisition. Odense Working Papers in Language and Communication No. 16.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bleses, Dorthe, Ed.; Wagner, Johannes, Ed.

    This collection of papers is from a conference held at Odense University, Denmark on recent research in language acquisition in children. Following an introduction by the editors, it contains the following papers: "Development in a Connectionist Framework: Rethinking the Nature-Nurture Debate" (Kim Plunkett); "Experimental Evidence on the…

  19. Bilingual First Language Acquisition: Exploring the Limits of the Language Faculty.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Genesee, Fred

    2001-01-01

    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)

  20. Language and Literacy Acquisition through Parental Mediation in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailes, Cynthia Neese; Erting, Lynne C.; Thumann-Prezioso, Carlene; Erting, Carol J.

    2009-01-01

    This longitudinal case study examined the language and literacy acquisition of a Deaf child as mediated by her signing Deaf parents during her first three years of life. Results indicate that the parents' interactions with their child were guided by linguistic and cultural knowledge that produced an intuitive use of child-directed signing (CDSi)…

  1. Relationship between Language Skills and Acquisition Rate of Sight Words among English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Matthew K.; Helman, Lori A.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the sight word acquisition rate (AR) of 43 second-grade students who were English language learners (ELL) from three diverse, urban schools. The AR was analyzed in relation to each student's oral proficiency in English, and examined whether or not children who are ELL but have a higher level of English proficiency would…

  2. A New View of Language Development: The Acquisition of Lexical Tone.

    PubMed

    Singh, Leher; Fu, Charlene S L

    2016-05-01

    Research in first language development draws disproportionately from nontone languages. Such research is often presumed to reveal developmental universals in spite of the fact that most languages are tone languages. Recent research in the acquisition of tone languages points to a distinct course of development as compared to nontone languages. Our purpose is to provide an integrated review of research on lexical tone acquisition. First, the linguistic properties and origins of tone languages are described. Following this, research on the acquisition of tones in perception and production is reviewed and integrated. Possible reasons for the uniqueness of tone in language acquisition are discussed. Finally, theoretical advances promised by further research on tone acquisition and specific research directions are proposed.

  3. Inhibiting your native language: the role of retrieval-induced forgetting during second-language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Levy, Benjamin J; McVeigh, Nathan D; Marful, Alejandra; Anderson, Michael C

    2007-01-01

    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.

  4. What predicts successful literacy acquisition in a second language?

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Ram; Siegelman, Noam; Narkiss, Alona; Afek, Liron

    2013-01-01

    We examined whether success (or failure) in assimilating the structure of a second language could be predicted by general statistical learning abilities that are non-linguistic 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 is not correlated with abilities related to a general G factor or working memory. We found that native speakers of English who picked up the implicit statistical structure embedded in the continuous stream of shapes, on average, better assimilated the Semitic structure of Hebrew words. Our findings thus suggest that languages and their writing systems are characterized by idiosyncratic correlations of form and meaning, and these 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. PMID:23698615

  5. What predicts successful literacy acquisition in a second language?

    PubMed

    Frost, Ram; Siegelman, Noam; Narkiss, Alona; Afek, Liron

    2013-07-01

    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.

  6. Two by two: a twin study of second-language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Dale, Philip S; Harlaar, Nicole; Haworth, Claire M A; Plomin, Robert

    2010-05-01

    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.

  7. 75 FR 60261 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Award-Fee Language Revision

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-29

    ... Federal Acquisition Regulation; Award-Fee Language Revision AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DoD), General.... SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have adopted as final, with changes, the interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation...

  8. Social Network Development, Language Use, and Language Acquisition during Study Abroad: Arabic Language Learners' Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewey, Dan P.; Belnap, R. Kirk; Hillstrom, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    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…

  9. Incidental acquisition of foreign language vocabulary through brief multi-modal exposure.

    PubMed

    Bisson, Marie-Josée; van Heuven, Walter J B; Conklin, Kathy; Tunney, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    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.

  10. Predictors of Second Language Acquisition in Latino Children With Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Clellen, Vera; Simon-Cereijido, Gabriela; Sweet, Monica

    2012-01-01

    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

  11. The Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones by English, Japanese and Korean Speakers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Hang

    2013-01-01

    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…

  12. Review Article: Recent Publications on Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ionin, Tania

    2013-01-01

    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…

  13. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Technology in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Cheng-Chieh; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of computer technology and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) programs for current second language learning. According to the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs' report (2002), more than nine million…

  14. The Missing Link in Vision and Governance: Foreign Language Acquisition Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramsch, Claire J.

    1987-01-01

    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,…

  15. Usage-Based Language: Investigating the Latent Structures That Underpin Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Nick C.; O'Donnell, Matthew Brook; Romer, Ute

    2013-01-01

    Each of us as language learners had different language experiences, yet somehow we have converged upon broadly the same language system. From diverse, often noisy samples, we have attained similar linguistic competence. How so? What mechanisms channel language acquisition? Could our linguistic commonalities possibly have converged from our shared…

  16. The Acquisition of Task-Specific Word Formation Devices in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lillo-Martin, Diane

    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…

  17. Words and possible words in early language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Marchetto, Erika; Bonatti, Luca L

    2013-11-01

    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. PMID:24041871

  18. Words and possible words in early language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Marchetto, Erika; Bonatti, Luca L

    2013-11-01

    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.

  19. Language Acquisition without Universal Grammar: A General Nativist Proposal for L2 Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Grady, William

    1996-01-01

    Explores the prospects for a "general nativist" theory of first- and second-language acquisition (SLA), outlines a modular acquisition device not including Universal Grammar, and considers the role of universal grammar in the emergence of a first language (L1). (50 references) (Author/CK)

  20. First Language Acquisition as a Guide for Theories of Learning and Pedagogy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gee, James Paul

    1994-01-01

    Articulates general principles of learning based on research of the earliest periods of language acquisition in childhood. The principles are meant to be suggestive and to contribute to the development of a first language acquisition-based theory of learning. (78 references) (MDM)

  1. Field Dependence/Independence in Second Language Acquisition and Implications for Educators and Instructional Designers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Suzanne Q.

    1997-01-01

    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…

  2. Assessment of Language Learners' Strategies: Do They Prefer Learning or Acquisition Strategies?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmisdort, Gonca

    2016-01-01

    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'…

  3. Incidental Foreign-Language Acquisition by Children Watching Subtitled Television Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ina, Lekkai

    2014-01-01

    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…

  4. Do Adults Show an Effect of Delayed First Language Acquisition When Calculating Scalar Implicatures?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidson, Kathryn; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  5. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research: A Mayan Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pye, Clifton; Pfeiler, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    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…

  7. Simulation/Gaming and the Acquisition of Communicative Competence in Another Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia-Carbonell, Amparo; Rising, Beverly; Montero, Begona; Watts, Frances

    2001-01-01

    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…

  8. Project G.L.A.D. A Program of Academic Excellence. Language Acquisition to Literacy in a Multilingual Setting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  9. The Study of the Role of the Background Languages in Third Language Acquisition. the State of the Art

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falk, Ylva; Bardel, Camilla

    2010-01-01

    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…

  10. The Evolutionary Significance of Pongid Sign Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  11. Caregivers' Suffix Frequencies and Suffix Acquisition by Language Impaired, Late Talking, and Typically Developing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warlaumont, Anne S.; Jarmulowicz, Linda

    2012-01-01

    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 ;…

  12. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution.

    PubMed

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-09-19

    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

  14. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution.

    PubMed

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-09-19

    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.

  15. Assumptions behind Singapore's Language-in-Education Policy: Implications for Language Planning and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, L. Quentin

    2009-01-01

    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 achievement…

  16. Second-language instinct and instruction effects: nature and nurture in second-language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Yusa, Noriaki; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Kim, Jungho; Kimura, Naoki; Uchida, Shinya; Yokoyama, Satoru; Miura, Naoki; Kawashima, Ryuta; Hagiwara, Hiroko

    2011-10-01

    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.

  17. Practical and Theoretical Issues in the Study of Heritage Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Grady, William; Lee, On-Soon; Lee, Jin-Hwa

    2011-01-01

    A promising source of insights into heritage language learning comes from the broader study of the role of input in language acquisition. We concentrate here on the possibility that qualitative differences in the proficiency of heritage and monolingual language learners can be traced to a qualitative difference in the input available to each…

  18. Some Thoughts on the Contrastive Analysis of Features in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lardiere, Donna

    2009-01-01

    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…

  19. Language Acquisition and Socialization: Three Developmental Stories and Their Implications. Sociolinguistic Working Paper Number 105.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ochs, Elinor; Schieffelin, Bambi B.

    Two claims are made concerning the interrelationship of language acquisition and socialization processes: (1) the process of acquiring language is deeply affected by the process of becoming a competent member of a society; and (2) the process of becoming a competent member of society is realized to a large extent through language and through…

  20. Building a "Working" Theory of Second Language Acquisition: For Classroom and ESL Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Dorothy Valcarcel

    This paper offers a collection of educational tools for those educators looking for a practical theory of second language acquisition. Educators working with English as a second language (ESL) learners should consider the following factors in trying to develop a working theory: (1) an understanding of what language is, classroom learning, the…

  1. Chinese-English Biliteracy Acquisition: Cross-Language and Writing System Transfer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Min; Perfetti, Charles A.; Liu, Ying

    2005-01-01

    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…

  2. Labov's Concept of the Vernacular Speech: The Site of Language Structure, Acquisition and Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agnihotri, Rama Kant

    2013-01-01

    The basic questions that a scholar interested in the study of language asks are concerned with language structure, acquisition, and change. William Labov is a linguist who has deeply influenced the linguistic scene in the past 60 years. It is to Labov's credit that he showed, backed by solid evidence, that the questions concerning language change,…

  3. The Probabilistic Analysis of Language Acquisition: Theoretical, Computational, and Experimental Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsu, Anne S.; Chater, Nick; Vitanyi, Paul M. B.

    2011-01-01

    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"…

  4. The Age-Length-Onset Problem in Research on Second Language Acquisition among Immigrants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevens, Gillian

    2006-01-01

    Studies investigating the possible effects of age at immigration (a proxy for age at onset of second language learning) on second language acquisition among immigrants often explicitly take the effect of length of residence in the destination country (a measure of exposure to opportunities to learn the second language) into account. A third…

  5. Directed Blogging with Community College ESL Students: Its Effects on Awareness of Language Acquisition Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Cathy

    2012-01-01

    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…

  6. Recovery from First-Language Transfer: The Second Language Acquisition of English Double Objects by Korean Speakers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oh, Eunjeong

    2010-01-01

    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…

  7. Caregivers' suffix frequencies and suffix acquisition by language impaired, late talking, and typically developing children.

    PubMed

    Warlaumont, Anne S; Jarmulowicz, Linda

    2012-11-01

    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.

  8. Open-ended category learning for language acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seabra Lopes, Luis; Chauhan, Aneesh

    2008-12-01

    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.

  9. The Irreversibility of Sensitive Period Effects in Language Development: Evidence from Second Language Acquisition in International Adoptees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norrman, Gunnar; Bylund, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    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…

  10. The Associations between Language Aptitude and Second Language Grammar Acquisition: A Meta-Analytic Review of Five Decades of Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Shaofeng

    2015-01-01

    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…

  11. The Influence of Working Memory and Phonological Processing on English Language Learner Children's Bilingual Reading and Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Orosco, Michael J.; Lussier, Cathy M.; Gerber, Michael M.; Guzman-Orth, Danielle A.

    2011-01-01

    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 1st…

  12. A Response to Spada and Lightbown: "Instruction, First Language Influence, and Developmental Readiness in Second Language Acquisition."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheen, Ron; Spada, Nina; Lightbown, Patsy

    2000-01-01

    Critiques a study on instruction, first language influence, and developmental readiness in second language acquisition. Agrees with conclusions of the study but argues that the study itself provided no justification for the conclusion other than what has been evident in research carried out on Quebec francophone school learners of English. The…

  13. The Effect of Age of Second Language Acquisition on the Representation and Processing of Second Language Words

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silverberg, Stu; Samuel, Arthur G.

    2004-01-01

    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…

  14. Prospective Foreign Language Teachers' Preference of Teaching Methods for the Language Acquisition Course in Turkish Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    GüvendIr, Emre

    2013-01-01

    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…

  15. Review of Doctoral Research in Second Language Acquisition, Language Learning and Teaching in Poland (2006-2010)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drozdzial-Szelest, Krystyna; Pawlak, Miroslaw

    2012-01-01

    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,…

  16. Age constraints on first versus second language acquisition: evidence for linguistic plasticity and epigenesis.

    PubMed

    Mayberry, Rachel I; Lock, Elizabeth

    2003-12-01

    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. PMID:14642540

  17. Linguistic Evolution through Language Acquisition: Formal and Computational Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  18. At the Interface between Language Testing and Second Language Acquisition: Language Ability and Context of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gu, Lin

    2014-01-01

    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…

  19. Immigrant Children and the Importance of Self-Esteem in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berryman, Jack

    1983-01-01

    Examines the development of the egocentric factor of self-esteem within the context of the acculturation process that immigrant children experience and shows how their self-esteem affects second language acquisition. (EKN)

  20. L'acquisition d'une language seconde: Quelques developpements theoriques recents (Second Language Acquisition: Some Recent Theoretical Developments).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Py, Bernard, Ed.

    1994-01-01

    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…

  1. Generative Perspectives on Language Acquisition: Empirical Findings, Theoretical Considerations, and Crosslinguistic Comparisons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 Functional Categories in Early…

  2. What We Know about Second Language Acquisition: A Synthesis from Four Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, L. Quentin; Zhao, Jing; Shin, Jee-Young; Wu, Shuang; Su, Jung-Hsuan; Burgess-Brigham, Renata; Gezer, Melike Unal; Snow, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. Learned Attention in Adult Language Acquisition: A Replication and Generalization Study and Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Nick C.; Sagarra, Nuria

    2011-01-01

    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,…

  4. The Role of Repeated Exposure to Multimodal Input in Incidental Acquisition of Foreign Language Vocabulary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisson, Marie-Josée; van Heuven, Walter J. B.; Conklin, Kathy; Tunney, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  5. Temporal Dynamics of Late Second Language Acquisition: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinhauer, Karsten; White, Erin J.; Drury, John E.

    2009-01-01

    The ways in which age of acquisition (AoA) may affect (morpho)syntax in second language acquisition (SLA) are discussed. We suggest that event-related brain potentials (ERPs) provide an appropriate online measure to test some such effects. ERP findings of the past decade are reviewed with a focus on recent and ongoing research. It is concluded…

  6. 76 FR 6696 - NASA Implementation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-08

    ... 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. ACTION... Fee revision issued in Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-46. DATES: Effective Date: February...

  7. 76 FR 46206 - NASA Implementation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-02

    ... 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. ACTION... Supplement (NFS) to implement the FAR Award Fee revision issued in Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC)...

  8. Low-Educated Immigrants and the Social Relevance of Second Language Acquisition Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young-Scholten, Martha

    2013-01-01

    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…

  9. The Acquisition of Tense and Agreement by Early Child Second Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Ming-Ching

    2012-01-01

    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…

  10. A Short Cut to Second Language Acquisition for Mature Learners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Evelyne

    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…

  11. Facebook: Facilitating Social Access and Language Acquisition for International Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Kent; Ranta, Leila

    2014-01-01

    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…

  12. Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition. The Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  13. A Study of the Cognitive, Affective and Socio-economic Factors Influencing Second-Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burstall, Clare

    Factors which influence the acquisition of a second language within the framework of the British educational system are examined in this study. An ongoing, 10-year, language experiment (1964-74) involving 18,000 students ranging in age from 8 to 13, concentrates on determining the desirability and practicability of starting modern language…

  14. The Interpretability Hypothesis: Evidence from Wh-Interrogatives in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsimpli, Ianthi Maria; Dimitrakopoulou, Maria

    2007-01-01

    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…

  15. State Implementation of Language Acquisition Policies and Reading Achievement among Hispanic Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez, Francesca; McEneaney, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    National Assessment of Educational Progress data were analyzed to assess differences in reading achievement for Hispanic fourth graders across states with varying policies on language acquisition, controlling for student and school characteristics. Results indicated that (a) both Hispanic English language learner (ELL) and non-ELL students in…

  16. Insights from Skill Acquisition Theory for Grammar Activity Sequencing and Design in Foreign Language Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Criado, Raquel

    2016-01-01

    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…

  17. The Linguistic Landscape as an Additional Source of Input in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cenoz, Jasone; Gorter, Durk

    2008-01-01

    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…

  18. Motivators for Demotivators Affecting English Language Acquisition of Saudi Preparatory Year Program Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daif-Allah, Ayman Sabry; Alsamani, Abdulaziz Saleh

    2014-01-01

    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…

  19. The Acquisition of Relative Clauses: How Do Second Language Learners of Arabic Do It?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Algady, Dola

    2013-01-01

    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)…

  20. Implications of Second Language Acquisition Theory for Business English Teaching in Current China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wenzhong, Zhu; Muchun, Wan

    2015-01-01

    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…

  1. Research in the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Costa, Peter I.; Bernales, Carolina; Merrill, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    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…

  2. Second Language Acquisition in Applied Linguistics: 1925-2015 and Beyond

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tarone, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    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…

  3. Utility of Krashen's Five Hypotheses in the Saudi Context of Foreign Language Acquisition/Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gulzar, Malik Ajmal; Gulnaz, Fahmeeda; Ijaz, Attiya

    2014-01-01

    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…

  4. Individual Differences in Sequence Learning Ability and Second Language Acquisition in Early Childhood and Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Granena, Gisela

    2013-01-01

    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…

  5. If a Chimpanzee Could Talk and Other Reflections on Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 "between speech…

  6. Individual Variation in Infant Speech Processing: Implications for Language Acquisition Theories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cristia, Alejandrina

    2009-01-01

    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…

  7. Orthographic Consistency and Individual Learner Differences in Second Language Literacy Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sun-A; Packard, Jerome; Christianson, Kiel; Anderson, Richard C.; Shin, Jeong-Ah

    2016-01-01

    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…

  8. Second Language Acquisition of Korean Evidentiality in Expressions of Psychological State of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhoades-Ko, Yun-Hee

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the second language acquisition of the evidentiality requirement in the Korean psychological state of mind expressions. When an experiencer of the psychological state of mind is different from the speaker, Korean language requires an evidential expression to the psychological predicate so that the speaker indicates the source…

  9. Review of Doctoral Research in Second Language Acquisition in Germany (2006-2009)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrent, Sigrid; Doff, Sabine; Marx, Nicole; Ziegler, Gudrun

    2011-01-01

    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…

  10. EMOTIONS AND IMAGES IN LANGUAGE--A LEARNING ANALYSIS OF THEIR ACQUISITION AND FUNCTION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  11. The Additive Effect of Bilingualism on Third Language Acquisition: A Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cenoz, Jasone

    2003-01-01

    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…

  12. Lexical Frequency and Exemplar-Based Learning Effects in Language Acquisition: Evidence from Sentential Complements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kidd, Evan; Lieven, Elena V. M.; Tomasello, Michael

    2010-01-01

    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…

  13. Playing to Learn: A Review of Physical Games in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomlinson, Brian; Masuhara, Hitomi

    2009-01-01

    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…

  14. Motion in first language acquisition: Manner and Path in French and English child language*.

    PubMed

    Hickmann, Maya; Taranne, Pierre; Bonnet, Philippe

    2009-09-01

    ABSTRACTTwo experiments compared how French vs. English adults and children (three to seven years) described motion events. Given typological properties (Talmy, 2000) and previous results (Choi & Bowerman, 1991; Hickmann, 2003; Slobin, 2003), the main prediction was that Manner should be more salient and therefore more frequently combined with Path (MP) in English than in French, particularly with four types of 'target' events, as compared to manner-oriented 'controls': motion up/down (Experiment I, N=200) and across (Experiment II, N=120), arrivals and departures (both experiments). Results showed that MP-responses (a) varied with events and increased with age in both languages, but (b) were more frequent in English at all ages with all events, and (c) were age- and event-specific among French speakers, who also frequently expressed Path or Manner alone. The discussion highlights several factors accounting for responses, with particular attention to the interplay between cognitive factors that drive language acquisition and typological properties that constrain this process from early on.

  15. The Automatization of Verbal Morphology in Instructed Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodgers, Daryl M.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. Computational Modeling for Language Acquisition: A Tutorial with Syntactic Islands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearl, Lisa S.; Sprouse, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Given the growing prominence of computational modeling in the acquisition research community, we present a tutorial on how to use computational modeling to investigate learning strategies that underlie the acquisition process. This is useful for understanding both typical and atypical linguistic development. Method: We provide a general…

  17. Acquisition of Mathematical Language: Suggestions and Activities for English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cirillo, Michelle; Bruna, Katherine Richardson; Herbel-Eisenmann, Beth

    2010-01-01

    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.)

  18. Speech perception and language acquisition in the first year of life.

    PubMed

    Gervain, Judit; Mehler, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    During the first year of life, infants pass important milestones in language development. We review some of the experimental evidence concerning these milestones in the domains of speech perception, phonological development, word learning, morphosyntactic acquisition, and bilingualism, emphasizing their interactions. We discuss them in the context of their biological underpinnings, introducing the most recent advances not only in language development, but also in neighboring areas such as genetics and the comparative research on animal communication systems. We argue for a theory of language acquisition that integrates behavioral, cognitive, neural, and evolutionary considerations and proposes to unify previously opposing theoretical stances, such as statistical learning, rule-based nativist accounts, and perceptual learning theories.

  19. Behavioral and computational aspects of language and its acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edelman, Shimon; Waterfall, Heidi

    2007-12-01

    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.

  20. Phonological processing in deaf signers and the impact of age of first language acquisition.

    PubMed

    MacSweeney, Mairéad; Waters, Dafydd; Brammer, Michael J; Woll, Bencie; Goswami, Usha

    2008-04-15

    Just as words can rhyme, the signs of a signed language can share structural properties, such as location. Linguistic description at this level is termed phonology. We report that a left-lateralised fronto-parietal network is engaged during phonological similarity judgements made in both English (rhyme) and British Sign Language (BSL; location). Since these languages operate in different modalities, these data suggest that the neural network supporting phonological processing is, to some extent, supramodal. Activation within this network was however modulated by language (BSL/English), hearing status (deaf/hearing), and age of BSL acquisition (native/non-native). The influence of language and hearing status suggests an important role for the posterior portion of the left inferior frontal gyrus in speech-based phonological processing in deaf people. This, we suggest, is due to increased reliance on the articulatory component of speech when the auditory component is absent. With regard to age of first language acquisition, non-native signers activated the left inferior frontal gyrus more than native signers during the BSL task, and also during the task performed in English, which both groups acquired late. This is the first neuroimaging demonstration that age of first language acquisition has implications not only for the neural systems supporting the first language, but also for networks supporting languages learned subsequently.

  1. The comparative method of language acquisition research: a Mayan case study.

    PubMed

    Pye, Clifton; Pfeiler, Barbara

    2014-03-01

    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.

  2. Age of acquisition effects on the functional organization of language in the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Mayberry, Rachel I; Chen, Jen-Kai; Witcher, Pamela; Klein, Denise

    2011-10-01

    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 did not vary in relation to age of acquisition. For both tasks, a more left lateralized pattern of activation was observed, with activity for grammatical judgment being more anterior than that observed for phonemic-hand judgment, which was more posterior by comparison. Age of acquisition was linearly and negatively related to activation levels in anterior language regions and positively related to activation levels in posterior visual regions for both tasks.

  3. Age of second language acquisition in multilinguals has an impact on gray matter volume in language-associated brain areas.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Anelis; Eppenberger, Leila S; Smieskova, Renata; Borgwardt, Stefan; Kuenzli, Esther; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula; Bendfeldt, Kerstin

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Age of second language acquisition in multilinguals has an impact on gray matter volume in language-associated brain areas.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Anelis; Eppenberger, Leila S; Smieskova, Renata; Borgwardt, Stefan; Kuenzli, Esther; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula; Bendfeldt, Kerstin

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. Age of second language acquisition in multilinguals has an impact on gray matter volume in language-associated brain areas

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Anelis; Eppenberger, Leila S.; Smieskova, Renata; Borgwardt, Stefan; Kuenzli, Esther; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula; Bendfeldt, Kerstin

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Written Corrective Feedback in Second Language Acquisition and Writing Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferris, Dana R.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  7. Fossilization and Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sims, William R.

    1989-01-01

    In interlanguage, the transitional state reaching from one's native language to a given target language, phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical, sociocultural, or psycholinguistic errors may be generated and systematized by the process of fossilization. Depending on the amount of time needed for remediation, fossilized features may be…

  8. The Commercial French Course: An Added Asset in Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cochelin-Parrott, Andree

    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…

  9. Universal Grammar, Crosslinguistic Variation and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Lydia

    2012-01-01

    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…

  10. Purism versus Pragmatism in Foreign Language Teaching and Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giauque, Gerald S.

    Ten commonly-held positions concerning language learning and teaching and counter-positions for each are presented with the counter-positions supported with experiences from a first-year French classroom. The positions challenged are: (1) it is inappropriate to mix English and the target language in the same spoken sentence; (2) students cannot…

  11. Applied Linguistics and Language Acquisition in the Elementary Education Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier Boyer, Pamela

    2010-01-01

    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…

  12. Ethnographic Inquiry into Second Language Acquisition and Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  13. The Effect of Afterschool Program Participation on English Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    London, Rebecca; Gurantz, Oded; Norman, Jon R.

    2011-01-01

    In the past quarter century, the nation's K-12 public schools have experienced a large influx of students who speak languages other than English. Research has shown that many factors affect how English learner (EL) students acquire English language skills, including their preparation before entering U.S. schools, their out-of-school environments,…

  14. Null Objects in Second Language Acquisition: Grammatical vs. Performance Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zyzik, Eve C.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  15. Using Literature for Children and Adolescents for Intermediate Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Mei-Ling; Squires, David

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. Words as Tools: Learning Academic Vocabulary as Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagy, William; Townsend, Dianna

    2012-01-01

    There is a growing awareness of the importance of academic vocabulary, and more generally, of academic language proficiency, for students' success in school. There is also a growing body of research on the nature of the demands that academic language places on readers and writers, and on interventions to help students meet these demands. In this…

  17. Perceived Foreign Accent in First Language Attrition and Second Language Acquisition: The Impact of Age of Acquisition and Bilingualism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopp, Holger; Schmid, Monika S.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  18. Learning difficulties or learning English difficulties? Additional language acquisition: an update for paediatricians.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Vanessa; Rhodes, Anthea; Paxton, Georgia

    2014-03-01

    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.

  19. Stages or Continua in Second Language Acquisition: A MOGUL Solution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Michael Sharwood; Truscott, John

    2005-01-01

    References to developmental stages and continua seem to be part and parcel of investigations into the acquisition of new grammars. Nonetheless, there seems to be an equivocation in the literature about which is actually the most helpful way of explaining how learner grammars evolve through time. Some see development essentially as gradual growth…

  20. Linking Infants' Distributional Learning Abilities to Natural Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Heugten, Marieke; Johnson, Elizabeth K.

    2010-01-01

    This study examines the link between distributional patterns in the input and infants' acquisition of non-adjacent dependencies. In two Headturn Preference experiments, Dutch-learning 24-month-olds (but not 17-month-olds) were found to track the remote dependency between the definite article "het" and the diminutive suffix "-je" while no such…

  1. How reading acquisition changes children's spoken language network.

    PubMed

    Monzalvo, Karla; Dehaene-Lambertz, Ghislaine

    2013-12-01

    To examine the influence of age and reading proficiency on the development of the spoken language network, we tested 6- and 9-years-old children listening to native and foreign sentences in a slow event-related fMRI paradigm. We observed a stable organization of the peri-sylvian areas during this time period with a left dominance in the superior temporal sulcus and inferior frontal region. A year of reading instruction was nevertheless sufficient to increase activation in regions involved in phonological representations (posterior superior temporal region) and sentence integration (temporal pole and pars orbitalis). A top-down activation of the left inferior temporal cortex surrounding the visual word form area, was also observed but only in 9year-olds (3years of reading practice) listening to their native language. These results emphasize how a successful cultural practice, reading, slots in the biological constraints of the innate spoken language network.

  2. The history of imitation in learning theory: the language acquisition process.

    PubMed

    Kymissis, E; Poulson, C L

    1990-09-01

    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.

  3. Sign Language and Language Acquisition in Man and Ape. New Dimensions in Comparative Pedolinguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Second Language Acquisition and First Language Loss in Adult Early Bilinguals: Exploring Some Differences and Similarities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montrul, Silvina

    2005-01-01

    This study compares the linguistic knowledge of adult second language (L2) learners, who learned the L2 after puberty, with the potentially "eroded" first language (L1) grammars of adult early bilinguals who were exposed to the target language since birth and learned the other language simultaneously, or early in childhood (before age 5). I make…

  5. Learning grammatical categories from distributional cues: flexible frames for language acquisition.

    PubMed

    St Clair, Michelle C; Monaghan, Padraic; Christiansen, Morten H

    2010-09-01

    Numerous distributional cues in the child's environment may potentially assist in language learning, but what cues are useful to the child and when are these cues utilised? We propose that the most useful source of distributional cue is a flexible frame surrounding the word, where the language learner integrates information from the preceding and the succeeding word for grammatical categorisation. In corpus analyses of child-directed speech together with computational models of category acquisition, we show that these flexible frames are computationally advantageous for language learning, as they benefit from the coverage of bigram information across a large proportion of the language environment as well as exploiting the enhanced accuracy of trigram information. Flexible frames are also consistent with the developmental trajectory of children's sensitivity to different sources of distributional information, and they are therefore a useful and usable information source for supporting the acquisition of grammatical categories.

  6. A Deaf Child's Language Acquisition Verified through Text Retelling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara; Griffiths, Cindy; Montgomery, Nancy

    1999-01-01

    This study evaluated a method of adult mediation with a deaf second grader which involved identification of language needs through transcription and analysis of the child's retellings of weekly basal stories, followed by targeted adult-mediated conversations. Evaluation indicated the student's performance on targeted semantic and syntactic…

  7. The Importance of Early Sign Language Acquisition for Deaf Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, M. Diane; Hauser, Peter C.; Miller, Paul; Kargin, Tevhide; Rathmann, Christian; Guldenoglu, Birkan; Kubus, Okan; Spurgeon, Erin; Israel, Erica

    2016-01-01

    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…

  8. Between Worlds: Access to Second Language Acquisition. Second Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, David E.; Freeman, Yvonne S.

    This book purports to expand the learning potential of students by considering how the world inside the school interacts with outside social contexts. As the schooling of English language learners becomes ever more complex and political, this book has been updated in a second edition to address new trends and issues related to the teaching of…

  9. Second Language Acquisition Research: A Response to Rod Ellis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Diana; Nettle, Mark

    1994-01-01

    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…

  10. Another Language Teaching Approach: Dhority's Acquisition Through Creative Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bancroft, W. Jane

    1995-01-01

    Describes how Lozanov's suggestopedia has influenced other teaching methods to create another approach to second-language teaching. One of the best of these approaches is one that creatively combines elements from suggestopedia with strategies and concepts taken from other communicative based approaches. (28 references) (Author/CK)

  11. L2 Interactional Competence and Development. Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Joan Kelly; Hellermann, John; Doehler, Simona Pekarek

    2011-01-01

    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…

  12. Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey

    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…

  13. Executive and Phonological Processes in Second-Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M. J.; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  14. Research Timeline: Form-Focused Instruction and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nassaji, Hossein

    2016-01-01

    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…

  15. Facilitating Vocabulary Acquisition of Young English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lugo-Neris, Mirza J.; Jackson, Carla Wood; Goldstein, Howard

    2010-01-01

    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…

  16. Associations among Play, Gesture and Early Spoken Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Suzanne; Rumney, Lisa; Holler, Judith; Kidd, Evan

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the developmental interrelationships between play, gesture use and spoken language development in children aged 18-31 months. The children completed two tasks: (i) a structured measure of pretend (or "symbolic") play and (ii) a measure of vocabulary knowledge in which children have been shown to gesture.…

  17. The Input-Output Relationship in First Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrens, Heike

    2006-01-01

    This study provides an account of the distributional information and the production rates in a particularly rich corpus of German child and adult language. Three structural domains are analysed: the parts-of-speech distribution for a coded corpus of circa one million words as well as the internal constituency of 300,000 noun phrases and almost…

  18. Songs as Ambient Language Input in Phonology Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Au, Terry Kit-fong

    2013-01-01

    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…

  19. A Stylistic Approach to Foreign Language Acquisition and Literary Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  20. Language Acquisition in a Child with Cornelia De Lange Syndrome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  1. The "Globularization Hypothesis" of the Language-ready Brain as a Developmental Frame for Prosodic Bootstrapping Theories of Language Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Irurtzun, Aritz

    2015-01-01

    In recent research (Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco, 2014a,b) have advanced the hypothesis that our species-specific language-ready brain should be understood as the outcome of developmental changes that occurred in our species after the split from Neanderthals-Denisovans, which resulted in a more globular braincase configuration in comparison to our closest relatives, who had elongated endocasts. According to these authors, the development of a globular brain is an essential ingredient for the language faculty and in particular, it is the centrality occupied by the thalamus in a globular brain that allows its modulatory or regulatory role, essential for syntactico-semantic computations. Their hypothesis is that the syntactico-semantic capacities arise in humans as a consequence of a process of globularization, which significantly takes place postnatally (cf. Neubauer et al., 2010). In this paper, I show that Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco's hypothesis makes an interesting developmental prediction regarding the path of language acquisition: it teases apart the onset of phonological acquisition and the onset of syntactic acquisition (the latter starting significantly later, after globularization). I argue that this hypothesis provides a developmental rationale for the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis of language acquisition (cf. i.a. Gleitman and Wanner, 1982; Mehler et al., 1988, et seq.; Gervain and Werker, 2013), which claim that prosodic cues are employed for syntactic parsing. The literature converges in the observation that a large amount of such prosodic cues (in particular, rhythmic cues) are already acquired before the completion of the globularization phase, which paves the way for the premises of the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis, allowing babies to have a rich knowledge of the prosody of their target language before they can start parsing the primary linguistic data syntactically. PMID:26696916

  2. The "Globularization Hypothesis" of the Language-ready Brain as a Developmental Frame for Prosodic Bootstrapping Theories of Language Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Irurtzun, Aritz

    2015-01-01

    In recent research (Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco, 2014a,b) have advanced the hypothesis that our species-specific language-ready brain should be understood as the outcome of developmental changes that occurred in our species after the split from Neanderthals-Denisovans, which resulted in a more globular braincase configuration in comparison to our closest relatives, who had elongated endocasts. According to these authors, the development of a globular brain is an essential ingredient for the language faculty and in particular, it is the centrality occupied by the thalamus in a globular brain that allows its modulatory or regulatory role, essential for syntactico-semantic computations. Their hypothesis is that the syntactico-semantic capacities arise in humans as a consequence of a process of globularization, which significantly takes place postnatally (cf. Neubauer et al., 2010). In this paper, I show that Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco's hypothesis makes an interesting developmental prediction regarding the path of language acquisition: it teases apart the onset of phonological acquisition and the onset of syntactic acquisition (the latter starting significantly later, after globularization). I argue that this hypothesis provides a developmental rationale for the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis of language acquisition (cf. i.a. Gleitman and Wanner, 1982; Mehler et al., 1988, et seq.; Gervain and Werker, 2013), which claim that prosodic cues are employed for syntactic parsing. The literature converges in the observation that a large amount of such prosodic cues (in particular, rhythmic cues) are already acquired before the completion of the globularization phase, which paves the way for the premises of the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis, allowing babies to have a rich knowledge of the prosody of their target language before they can start parsing the primary linguistic data syntactically.

  3. Do Adults Show an Effect of Delayed First Language Acquisition When Calculating Scalar Implicatures?

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Kathryn; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2015-01-01

    Language acquisition involves learning not only grammatical rules and a lexicon, but also what someone is intending to convey with their utterance: the semantic/pragmatic component of language. In this paper we separate the contributions of linguistic development and cognitive maturity to the acquisition of the semantic/pragmatic component of language by comparing deaf adults who had either early or late first exposure to their first language (ASL). We focus on the particular type of meaning at the semantic/pragmatic interface called scalar implicature, for which preschool-age children typically differ from adults. Children's behavior has been attributed to either their not knowing appropriate linguistic alternatives to consider or to cognitive developmental differences between children and adults. Unlike children, deaf adults with late language exposure are cognitively mature, although they never fully acquire some complex linguistic structures, and thus serve as a test for the role of language in such interpretations. Our results indicate an overall high performance by late learners, especially when implicatures are not based on conventionalized items. However, compared to early language learners, late language learners compute fewer implicatures when conventionalized linguistic alternatives are involved (e.g. ). We conclude that (i) in general, Gricean pragmatic reasoning does not seem to be impacted by delayed first language acquisition and can account for multiple quantity implicatures, but (ii) the creation of a scale based on lexical items can lead to ease in alternative creation that may be advantageously learned early in life, and that this may be one of several factors contributing to differences between adults and children on scalar implicature tasks. PMID:26997850

  4. Implementing Oral English Language Acquisition Policy in Career and Technical Education Classes: Changing to a Social Pedagogy Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crockett, Kelley E.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  5. Music Perception Influences Language Acquisition: Melodic and Rhythmic-Melodic Perception in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Sallat, Stephan; Jentschke, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Music Perception Influences Language Acquisition: Melodic and Rhythmic-Melodic Perception in Children with Specific Language Impairment.

    PubMed

    Sallat, Stephan; Jentschke, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    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.

  7. Music Perception Influences Language Acquisition: Melodic and Rhythmic-Melodic Perception in Children with Specific Language Impairment.

    PubMed

    Sallat, Stephan; Jentschke, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. An experimental approach to language training in second language acquisition: Focus on negation

    PubMed Central

    Madrid, Dennis; Torres, Irene

    1986-01-01

    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

  9. Initial Acquisition of Mental Graphemic Representations in Children with Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolter, Julie A.; Apel, Kenn

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The authors examined initial acquisition of mental graphemic representations (MGRs) for a set of pseudowords in children with language impairment (LI). They also determined whether the linguistic properties of the words (i.e., phonotactic and orthotactic probabilities) influenced MGR learning and whether the ability to acquire initial…

  10. Second Language Acquisition of Reflexive Verbs in Russian by L1 Speakers of English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexieva, Petia Dimitrova

    2012-01-01

    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…

  11. Symbiotic Gesture and the Sociocognitive Visibility of Grammar in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Churchill, Eton; Okada, Hanako; Nishino, Takako; Atkinson, Dwight

    2010-01-01

    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…

  12. Features or Parameters: Which One Makes Second Language Acquisition Easier, and More Interesting to Study?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slabakova, Roumyana

    2009-01-01

    While agreeing with Lardiere that the "parameter-resetting" approach to understanding second language acquisition (SLA) needs rethinking, it is suggested that a more construction-based perspective runs the risk of losing deductive and explanatory power. An alternative is to investigate the constraints on feature assembly/re-assembly in second…

  13. Optionality in Second Language Acquisition: A Generative, Processing-Oriented Account

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Truscott, John

    2006-01-01

    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,…

  14. Structuring Narrative in 3D Digital Game-Based Learning Environments to Support Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neville, David O.

    2010-01-01

    The essay is a conceptual analysis from an instructional design perspective exploring the feasibility of using three-dimensional digital game-based learning (3D-DGBL) environments to assist in second language acquisition (SLA). It examines the shared characteristics of narrative within theories of situated cognition, context-based approaches to…

  15. Gender Difference in CALL Programs for English as a Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Cheng-Chieh; Kuo, Ming-Mu

    2007-01-01

    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…

  16. Learning (Not) to Predict: Grammatical Gender Processing in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopp, Holger

    2016-01-01

    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…

  17. Language Acquisition in the Absence of Explicit Negative Evidence: How Important Is Starting Small?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohde, Douglas L. T.; Plaut, David C.

    1999-01-01

    Examines connectionist simulations indicating that starting with simplified inputs or limited memory is not necessary in training recurrent neural networks to learn pseudo-natural languages; such restrictions hinder acquisition. Suggests that Gold's theorem and possible lack of explicit negative evidence do not implicate innate,…

  18. The Role of Perception, Language, and Preference in the Developmental Acquisition of Basic Color Terms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pitchford, N. J.; Mullen, K. T.

    2005-01-01

    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.…

  19. Colloquium--Toward a Reconceptualization of "Language" and "Acquisition" in SLA Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellermann, John; Olsher, David

    2010-01-01

    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…

  20. Complex Syntax Acquisition: A Longitudinal Case Study of a Child with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuele, Melanie C.; Dykes, Julianna C.

    2005-01-01

    Although there is extensive documentation of the morphological limitations of children with specific language impairment (SLI), few studies have reported on complex syntax acquisition in children with SLI. This case study examined the development of complex syntax in a child with SLI between 3 and 7 years. Twelve conversational samples were…

  1. A Sensitive Period for the Acquisition of Complex Morphology: Evidence from American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galvan, Dennis

    A study investigated acquisition of three independent yet simulatneously produced morphological systems in American Sign Language (ASL): the linguistic use of space, use of classifiers, and inflections for aspect, all information incorporated into the production of a sign. Subjects were 30 deaf children with severe or profound prelingual hearing…

  2. Spacing Techniques in Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition: Short-Term Gains vs. Long-Term Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuetze, Ulf

    2015-01-01

    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,…

  3. The Effects of Teachers’ Motivational Strategies on Learners’ Motivation: A Controlled Investigation of Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moskovsky, Christo; Alrabai, Fakieh; Paolini, Stefania; Ratcheva, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    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…

  4. Nature, Nurture, and Age in Language Acquisition: The Case of Speech Perception.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wode, Henning

    1994-01-01

    This paper reviews the research on speech perception and reassesses the contribution of innate capacities versus external stimulation in conjunction with age in first- and second-language acquisition. A developmental model of speech perception is then discussed in relation to neonatal auditory perception. (Contains 86 references.) (MDM)

  5. Acquisition of English as a Second Language at College Level--An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anil, Beena

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. Positive Evidence in Second Language Acquisition: Some Long-Term Effects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trahey, Martha

    1996-01-01

    Investigates the role of primary linguistic data in the acquisition of linguistic competence. The study examines the knowledge of adverb placement of francophone students learning English as a Second Language (ESL) one year after their exposure to a flood of data on adverb placement in English. Results indicate no change in the subjects'…

  7. Language Abilities, Reading Acquisition, and Developmental Dyslexia: A Discussion of Hypothetical and Observed Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawyer, Diane J.

    1992-01-01

    This study evaluated Frith's 3-phase model of reading acquisition with 300 children in 2 cohorts who were followed from kindergarten through grade 3. Varying relationships were found among global language abilities, word recognition abilities, and reading comprehension depending on grade level. Implications for the study and treatment of…

  8. Appropriating the Voice of the Superheroes: Three Pre-Schoolers' English Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  9. French Immersion Studies: From Second-Language Acquisition (SLA) to Social Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roy, Sylvie

    2008-01-01

    French immersion in Canada was instituted by parents in Quebec who wished their children to learn French in order to have social, political, and economic advantages. Several learning theories and research methods, especially those related to second-language acquisition (SLA), have been used in the field of French immersion. More recently,…

  10. Captioned Instructional Video: Effects on Content Comprehension, Vocabulary Acquisition and Language Proficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BavaHarji, Madhubala; Alavi, Zhinoos Kamal; Letchumanan, Krishnaveni

    2014-01-01

    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…

  11. The Priority of Listening Comprehension over Speaking in the Language Acquisition Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu, Fang

    2011-01-01

    By elaborating the definition of listening comprehension, the characteristic of spoken discourse, the relationship between STM and LTM and Krashen's comprehensible input, the paper puts forward the point that the priority of listening comprehension over speaking in the language acquisition process is very necessary.

  12. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-11-01

    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 model can aim to be cognitively plausible in multiple ways. We discuss these cognitive plausibility checkpoints generally and then apply them to a case study in word segmentation, investigating a promising Bayesian segmentation strategy. We incorporate cognitive plausibility by using an age-appropriate unit of perceptual representation, evaluating the model output in terms of its utility, and incorporating cognitive constraints into the inference process. Our more cognitively plausible model shows a beneficial effect of cognitive constraints on segmentation performance. One interpretation of this effect is as a synergy between the naive theories of language structure that infants may have and the cognitive constraints that limit the fidelity of their inference processes, where less accurate inference approximations are better when the underlying assumptions about how words are generated are less accurate. More generally, these results highlight the utility of incorporating cognitive plausibility more fully into computational models of language acquisition.

  13. Processes of Language Acquisition in Children with Autism: Evidence from Preferential Looking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swensen, Lauren D.; Kelley, Elizabeth; Fein, Deborah; Naigles, Letitia R.

    2007-01-01

    Two language acquisition processes (comprehension preceding production of word order, the noun bias) were examined in 2- and 3-year-old children (n=10) with autistic spectrum disorder and in typically developing 21-month-olds (n=13). Intermodal preferential looking was used to assess comprehension of subject-verb-object word order and the tendency…

  14. Stress and Deep Structure: A Measure of Language Acquisition, Grades K-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milner, Joseph O.

    A study was undertaken to see whether developmental patterns of language acquisition could be discovered in children beyond age five. Specifically, the study attempted to uncover a pattern in the development of the skill of stress interpretation, or the understanding of the effect of emphasis of a particular word on the deep structure of the…

  15. Strategies for Preventing and Resolving Temporary Fossilization in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Qian, Manqiu; Xiao, Zhihong

    2010-01-01

    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.

  16. Second Language Acquisition of the English Modal Auxiliaries "Can,""Could,""May," and "Might."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, Dorothy

    1990-01-01

    The expressions of the English modal auxiliaries "can,""could,""may," and "might" by 75 Panjabi-speaking students were studied. Students who were exposed to English at an earlier age showed better comprehension of verb forms. Modal acquisition by these second-language students mirrored that observed in native speakers. (39 references) (Author/JL)

  17. Theories of Second Language Acquisition: Three Sides, Three Angles, Three Points

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    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…

  18. The Influence of Foreign Scripts on the Acquisition of a Second Language Phonological Contrast

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathieu, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    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…

  19. Universal and Language-Specific Patterns in the Acquisition of Verb Argument Structures in German

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leischner, Franziska N.; Weissenborn, Jürgen; Naigles, Letitia R.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  20. The Second Language Acquisition of Number and Gender in Swahili: A Feature Reassembly Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spinner, Patti

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. Re-Assembling Formal Features in Second Language Acquisition: Beyond Minimalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Susanne E.

    2009-01-01

    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.…

  2. Improving Data Analysis in Second Language Acquisition by Utilizing Modern Developments in Applied Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larson-Hall, Jenifer; Herrington, Richard

    2010-01-01

    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…

  3. The Use of Web Questionnaires in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Rosemary; Dewaele, Jean-Marc

    2010-01-01

    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…

  4. Effectiveness of Music on Vocabulary Acquisition, Language Usage, and Meaning for Mainland Chinese ESL Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Xiangming; Brand, Manny

    2009-01-01

    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…

  5. Urban Children and Reading Mastery: An Examination of the Language Vocabulary Acquisition Approach to Teaching Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Jean C.

    2004-01-01

    The Language Vocabulary Acquisition Approach (LVA) to Reading Instruction is a revolutionary new approach to reading instruction for emergent and developing readers in urban settings. The Approach quickly immerses young urban children into print text, bombarding them with a preponderance of words, ideas and general understandings about their…

  6. Acquisition of Irish as a First Language (Insealbhu na Gaeilge Mar Chead Teanga).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O Baoill, Donall P., Ed.

    The results of ongoing research on the acquisition of Irish as a first language are presented in this collection of four papers from a 1991 seminar and a fifth paper specially commissioned for this volume. The study of Irish syntax is of particular interest because of its contribution to the ongoing search for a Universal Grammar. The papers and…

  7. Actions and Names: Observing Responses and the Role of Multiple Stimulus Control in Incidental Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cahill, Claire S.

    2013-01-01

    The present research focuses on the possible relation between observing responses and language acquisition. In the first of three experiments, preschool aged participants with and without disabilities were presented with the opportunity to observe multiple aspects of a stimulus. A Naming experience was created in which the stimulus was presented…

  8. Input, Triggering and Poverty of the Stimulus in the Second Language Acquisition of Japanese Passives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hara, Masahiro

    2007-01-01

    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…

  9. Language development in Down syndrome: from the prelinguistic period to the acquisition of literacy.

    PubMed

    Abbeduto, Leonard; Warren, Steven F; Conners, Frances A

    2007-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is associated with abnormalities in multiple organ systems and a characteristic phenotype that includes numerous behavioral features. Language, however, is among the most impaired domains of functioning in DS and, perhaps, also the greatest barrier to independent meaningful inclusion in the community. In this article, we review what is known about the extent, nature, and correlates of the language and related problems of individuals with Down syndrome. In doing so, we focus largely on the syndrome-specific features of the language phenotype, although we also consider within-syndrome variation. The review focuses on the prelinguistic foundations of language and the major components of language (i.e., vocabulary, syntax, and pragmatics). We also consider two topics in the treatment and education of individuals with DS: prelinguistic communication intervention and the acquisition of literacy skills.

  10. The bilingual brain. Proficiency and age of acquisition of the second language.

    PubMed

    Perani, D; Paulesu, E; Galles, N S; Dupoux, E; Dehaene, S; Bettinardi, V; Cappa, S F; Fazio, F; Mehler, J

    1998-10-01

    Functional imaging methods show differences in the pattern of cerebral activation associated with the subject's native language (L1) compared with a second language (L2). In a recent PET investigation on bilingualism we showed that auditory processing of stories in L1 (Italian) engages the temporal lobes and temporoparietal cortex more extensively than L2 (English). However, in that study the Italian subjects learned L2 late and attained a fair, but not an excellent command of this language (low proficiency, late acquisition bilinguals). Thus, the different patterns of activation could be ascribed either to age of acquisition or to proficiency level. In the current study we use a similar paradigm to evaluate the effect of early and late acquisition of L2 in highly proficient bilinguals. We studied a group of Italian-English bilinguals who acquired L2 after the age of 10 years (high proficiency, late acquisition bilinguals) and a group of Spanish-Catalan bilinguals who acquired L2 before the age of 4 years (high proficiency, early acquisition bilinguals). The differing cortical responses we had observed when low proficiency volunteers listened to stories in L1 and L2 were not found in either of the high proficiency groups in this study. Several brain areas, similar to those observed for L1 in low proficiency bilinguals, were activated by L2. These findings suggest that, at least for pairs of L1 and L2 languages that are fairly close, attained proficiency is more important than age of acquisition as a determinant of the cortical representation of L2.

  11. Acquisition of Dutch as a Second Language: The Explanative Power of Cognate and Genetic Linguistic Distance Measures for 11 West European First Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van der Slik, Frans W. P.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  12. The Effect on Cumulative Language Acquisition Increase for English Language Learner Students in Kindergarten through Third Grade Who Attended Multiple Years of Summer Remediation Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  13. Entre dicho y hecho ...: An Assessment of the Application of Research from Second Language Acquisition and Related Fields to the Creation of Spanish CALL Materials for Lexical Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lafford, Barbara A.; Lafford, Peter A.; Sykes, Julie

    2007-01-01

    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…

  14. Real-Time Processing of ASL Signs: Delayed First Language Acquisition Affects Organization of the Mental Lexicon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberman, Amy M.; Borovsky, Arielle; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  15. Fostering Language Acquisition in Daycare Settings: What Does the Research Tell Us? Working Papers in Early Childhood Development, No. 49

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beller, Simone

    2008-01-01

    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…

  16. Second Language Acquisition: Selected, Annotated Bibliographies on Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indic, Spanish and Arabic Learners of English: Volume 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

  17. The Critical Period Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition: A Statistical Critique and a Reanalysis

    PubMed Central

    Vanhove, Jan

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. The critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition: a statistical critique and a reanalysis.

    PubMed

    Vanhove, Jan

    2013-01-01

    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.

  19. [Language acquisition in preterm infants during the first year of life].

    PubMed

    Nazzi, T; Nishibayashi, L L; Berdasco-Muñoz, E; Baud, O; Biran, V; Gonzalez-Gomez, N

    2015-10-01

    Previous studies have shown that preterm children are at a higher risk for cognitive and language delays than full-term children. Most of these studies have concentrated on the effects of prematurity during the preschool or school years, while the effect of preterm birth on the early development of language, much of which occurs during the first year of life, remains very little explored. This article focuses on this crucial period and reviews the studies that have explored early phonological and lexical development in preterm infants. The results of these studies show uneven proficiency in different language subdomains in preterm infants. This raises the possibility that different constraints apply to the acquisition of different linguistic subcomponents in this population, in part as a result of a complex interaction between maturation, experience, and language subdomains.

  20. Squeezing through the Now-or-Never bottleneck: Reconnecting language processing, acquisition, change, and structure.

    PubMed

    Chater, Nick; Christiansen, Morten H

    2016-01-01

    If human language must be squeezed through a narrow cognitive bottleneck, what are the implications for language processing, acquisition, change, and structure? In our target article, we suggested that the implications are far-reaching and form the basis of an integrated account of many apparently unconnected aspects of language and language processing, as well as suggesting revision of many existing theoretical accounts. With some exceptions, commentators were generally supportive both of the existence of the bottleneck and its potential implications. Many commentators suggested additional theoretical and linguistic nuances and extensions, links with prior work, and relevant computational and neuroscientific considerations; some argued for related but distinct viewpoints; a few, though, felt traditional perspectives were being abandoned too readily. Our response attempts to build on the many suggestions raised by the commentators and to engage constructively with challenges to our approach.

  1. Squeezing through the Now-or-Never bottleneck: Reconnecting language processing, acquisition, change, and structure.

    PubMed

    Chater, Nick; Christiansen, Morten H

    2016-01-01

    If human language must be squeezed through a narrow cognitive bottleneck, what are the implications for language processing, acquisition, change, and structure? In our target article, we suggested that the implications are far-reaching and form the basis of an integrated account of many apparently unconnected aspects of language and language processing, as well as suggesting revision of many existing theoretical accounts. With some exceptions, commentators were generally supportive both of the existence of the bottleneck and its potential implications. Many commentators suggested additional theoretical and linguistic nuances and extensions, links with prior work, and relevant computational and neuroscientific considerations; some argued for related but distinct viewpoints; a few, though, felt traditional perspectives were being abandoned too readily. Our response attempts to build on the many suggestions raised by the commentators and to engage constructively with challenges to our approach. PMID:27561252

  2. Second Language Acquisition across Modalities: Production Variability in Adult L2 Learners of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilger, Allison I.; Loucks, Torrey M. J.; Quinto-Pozos, David; Dye, Matthew W. G.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  3. Native Language and Foreign Language Acquisition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Volume 379.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)…

  4. Socio-Economic Status and Language Acquisition: Children's Performance on the New Reynell Developmental Language Scales

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Letts, Carolyn; Edwards, Susan; Sinka, Indra; Schaefer, Blanca; Gibbons, Wendy

    2013-01-01

    Background: Several studies in recent years have indicated a link between socio-economic status (SES) of families and children's language development, including studies that have measured children's language through formal standardized test procedures. High numbers of children with low performance have been found in lower socio-economic groups in…

  5. The Relationship between Second Language Acquisition Theory and Computer-Assisted Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapelle, Carol A.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  6. Language Acquisition among Adult Immigrants in Canada: The Effect of Premigration Language Capital

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamuti-Trache, Maria

    2013-01-01

    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…

  7. Figurative Language and Multicultural Education: Metaphors of Language Acquisition and Retention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erdmann, Susan

    2016-01-01

    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…

  8. [Language acquisition in cleft lip-palate (CLP) children. 2. Linguistic diagnosis and therapeutic approaches].

    PubMed

    Herrmann, W; Bitter, K

    1990-01-01

    The major tests and methods used in language acquisition diagnosis in CLP children of 3 months to 6 years of age are described. Apart from methods for phonetic analysis, such as spectrography, emphasis is being placed on the assessment of listening by hearing and of semantic and meta-linguistic acquisition. Additional information is obtained on the motoric, cognitive and social development (for detecting any possible multiple handicaps in these areas). In this context the major problems covered in cleft palate parent groups are also pointed out. Finally, the speech therapy provided for preschool children with severe speech problems (as compared with the control group) is outlined. PMID:2102408

  9. An adaptive structure data acquisition system using a graphical-based programming language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baroth, Edmund C.; Clark, Douglas J.; Losey, Robert W.

    1992-01-01

    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.

  10. Natural language acquisition in large scale neural semantic networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ealey, Douglas

    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.

  11. Language acquisition in the absence of explicit negative evidence: how important is starting small?

    PubMed

    Rohde, D L; Plaut, D C

    1999-08-25

    It is commonly assumed that innate linguistic constraints are necessary to learn a natural language, based on the apparent lack of explicit negative evidence provided to children and on Gold's proof that, under assumptions of virtually arbitrary positive presentation, most interesting classes of languages are not learnable. However, Gold's results do not apply under the rather common assumption that language presentation may be modeled as a stochastic process. Indeed, Elman (Elman, J.L., 1993. Learning and development in neural networks: the importance of starting small. Cognition 48, 71-99) demonstrated that a simple recurrent connectionist network could learn an artificial grammar with some of the complexities of English, including embedded clauses, based on performing a word prediction task within a stochastic environment. However, the network was successful only when either embedded sentences were initially withheld and only later introduced gradually, or when the network itself was given initially limited memory which only gradually improved. This finding has been taken as support for Newport's 'less is more' proposal, that child language acquisition may be aided rather than hindered by limited cognitive resources. The current article reports on connectionist simulations which indicate, to the contrary, that starting with simplified inputs or limited memory is not necessary in training recurrent networks to learn pseudonatural languages; in fact, such restrictions hinder acquisition as the languages are made more English-like by the introduction of semantic as well as syntactic constraints. We suggest that, under a statistical model of the language environment, Gold's theorem and the possible lack of explicit negative evidence do not implicate innate, linguistic-specific mechanisms. Furthermore, our simulations indicate that special teaching methods or maturational constraints may be unnecessary in learning the structure of natural language. PMID:10520565

  12. Nonword repetition in children with cochlear implants: A potential clinical marker of poor language acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Nittrouer, Susan; Caldwell-Tarr, Amanda; Sansom, Emily; Twersky, Jill; Lowenstein, Joanna H.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Cochlear implants (CIs) can facilitate the acquisition of spoken language for deaf children, but challenges remain. Language skills dependent upon phonological sensitivity are most at risk for these children, so having an effective way to diagnose problems at this level would be of value for school speech-language pathologists. The goal of this study was to assess whether a nonword repetition (NWR) task could serve that purpose. Method 104 second graders participated: 49 with NH and 55 with CIs. In addition to NWR, children were tested on ten measures involving phonological awareness/processing, serial recall of words, vocabulary, reading, and grammar. Results Children with CIs performed more poorly than children with NH on NWR, and sensitivity to phonological structure alone explained that performance for children in both groups. For children with CIs, two audiological factors positively influenced outcomes on NWR: being identified with hearing loss at younger ages and having experience wearing a hearing aid on the unimplanted ear at the time of receiving a first CI. NWR scores were better able to rule out language deficits than rule in such deficits. Conclusions Well-designed NWR tasks could have clinical utility in assessments of language acquisition for school-age children with CIs. PMID:25340675

  13. Cognitive abilities underlying second-language vocabulary acquisition in an early second-language immersion education context: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Nicolay, Anne-Catherine; Poncelet, Martine

    2013-08-01

    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.

  14. The irreversibility of sensitive period effects in language development: evidence from second language acquisition in international adoptees.

    PubMed

    Norrman, Gunnar; Bylund, Emanuel

    2016-05-01

    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. PMID:26264762

  15. The irreversibility of sensitive period effects in language development: evidence from second language acquisition in international adoptees.

    PubMed

    Norrman, Gunnar; Bylund, Emanuel

    2016-05-01

    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.

  16. Age of second-language acquisition and perception of speech in noise.

    PubMed

    Mayo, L H; Florentine, M; Buus, S

    1997-06-01

    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. PMID:9210123

  17. Null subjects: a problem for parameter-setting models of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Valian, V

    1990-05-01

    Some languages, like English, require overt surface subjects, while others, like Italian and Spanish, allow "null" subjects. How does the young child determine whether or not her language allows null subjects? Modern parameter-setting theory has proposed a solution, in which the child begins acquisition with the null subject parameter set for either the English-like value or the Italian-like value. Incoming data, or the absence thereof, force a resetting of the parameter if the original value was incorrect. This paper argues that the single-value solution cannot work, no matter which value is chosen as the initial one, because of inherent limitations in the child's parser, and because of the presence of misleading input. An alternative dual-value solution is proposed, in which the child begins acquisition with both values available, and uses theory-confirmation procedures to decide which value is best supported by the available data.

  18. Naming a Lego world. The role of language in the acquisition of abstract concepts.

    PubMed

    Granito, Carmen; Scorolli, Claudia; Borghi, Anna Maria

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Naming a Lego world. The role of language in the acquisition of abstract concepts.

    PubMed

    Granito, Carmen; Scorolli, Claudia; Borghi, Anna Maria

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. Multilingualism and fMRI: Longitudinal Study of Second Language Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Edna; Frigau, Luca; Voyvodic-Casabo, Clara; Voyvodic, James; Wright, John

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Multilingualism and fMRI: Longitudinal Study of Second Language Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Edna; Frigau, Luca; Voyvodic-Casabo, Clara; Voyvodic, James; Wright, John

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. Timelines for English Language Acquisition: A Study of the Rates of Second Language Acquisition among Hispanic English Language Learners Including Exceptionalities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Jennifer J.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. No Childhood Advantage in the Acquisition of Skill in Using an Artificial Language Rule

    PubMed Central

    Ferman, Sara; Karni, Avi

    2010-01-01

    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

  4. No childhood advantage in the acquisition of skill in using an artificial language rule.

    PubMed

    Ferman, Sara; Karni, Avi

    2010-10-27

    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

  5. The 'biliterate' ballot controversy: language acquisition and cultural shift among immigrants.

    PubMed

    Loo, C M

    1985-01-01

    This US study tested the validity of assumptions made regarding multilingual electoral ballot provisions. Rationale for language assistance was found to exist on the basis of number and proportion of recent immigrants, proportion of foreign born, lag of biliterate skill behind bilingual ability, linguistic differences between the Chinese language and English, and the discriminatory structure of the labor market. In California, where close to 1/2 the population is an ethnic minority, the issue is particularly relevant. Bilingual advocates view English-only advocates as "un-American" on legal and ideological grounds, while English-only advocates consider it "un-American" to be non-English speaking. In addition to census data and the existing literature, this study relies on the structured interview survey data of a representative sample of the Chinese adult population of San Francisco's Chinatown. 2/3 of the immigrants believed an immigrant should make some cultural changes, and 1/2 of the immigrants had done so. Data failed to support the claim that immigrants are uninformed that English is necessary for sociopolitical participation. Their more recent pattern of immigration, the linguistic differences between Asian languages and the English language, and structural constraints of US society make successive language acquisition difficult for Chinese migrant adults. Policy recommendations include: 1) changing language assistance criteria in the electoral process, 2) adding Vietnamese as a single language minority, 3) not considering Asian language minorities as 1 generic category, 4) justifying electoral assistance on several grounds, 5) disseminating data bearing directly on misguided assumptions related to language and cultural shift factors, and 6) renaming the "bilingual ballots" to "biliterate ballots." PMID:12341061

  6. The 'biliterate' ballot controversy: language acquisition and cultural shift among immigrants.

    PubMed

    Loo, C M

    1985-01-01

    This US study tested the validity of assumptions made regarding multilingual electoral ballot provisions. Rationale for language assistance was found to exist on the basis of number and proportion of recent immigrants, proportion of foreign born, lag of biliterate skill behind bilingual ability, linguistic differences between the Chinese language and English, and the discriminatory structure of the labor market. In California, where close to 1/2 the population is an ethnic minority, the issue is particularly relevant. Bilingual advocates view English-only advocates as "un-American" on legal and ideological grounds, while English-only advocates consider it "un-American" to be non-English speaking. In addition to census data and the existing literature, this study relies on the structured interview survey data of a representative sample of the Chinese adult population of San Francisco's Chinatown. 2/3 of the immigrants believed an immigrant should make some cultural changes, and 1/2 of the immigrants had done so. Data failed to support the claim that immigrants are uninformed that English is necessary for sociopolitical participation. Their more recent pattern of immigration, the linguistic differences between Asian languages and the English language, and structural constraints of US society make successive language acquisition difficult for Chinese migrant adults. Policy recommendations include: 1) changing language assistance criteria in the electoral process, 2) adding Vietnamese as a single language minority, 3) not considering Asian language minorities as 1 generic category, 4) justifying electoral assistance on several grounds, 5) disseminating data bearing directly on misguided assumptions related to language and cultural shift factors, and 6) renaming the "bilingual ballots" to "biliterate ballots."

  7. Lexical Errors and Accuracy in Foreign Language Writing. Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    del Pilar Agustin Llach, Maria

    2011-01-01

    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…

  8. Lexical Processing and Organization in Bilingual First Language Acquisition: Guiding Future Research

    PubMed Central

    DeAnda, Stephanie; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Zesiger, Pascal; Friend, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. On language acquisition in speech and sign: development of combinatorial structure in both modalities

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Multiple Grammars and the Logic of Learnability in Second Language Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Roeper, Tom W.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Lexical processing and organization in bilingual first language acquisition: Guiding future research.

    PubMed

    DeAnda, Stephanie; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Zesiger, Pascal; Friend, Margaret

    2016-06-01

    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

  12. On language acquisition in speech and sign: development of combinatorial structure in both modalities.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. Multiple Grammars and the Logic of Learnability in Second Language Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Roeper, Tom W

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Multiple Grammars and the Logic of Learnability in Second Language Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Roeper, Tom W

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. A tentative framework for the acquisition of language and modern human cognition.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2016-06-20

    Modern human beings process information symbolically, rearranging mental symbols to envision multiple potential realities. They also express the ideas they form using structured articulate language. No other living creature does either of these things. Yet it is evident that we are descended from a non-symbolic and non-linguistic ancestor. How did this astonishing transformation occur? Scrutiny of the fossil and archaeological records reveals that the transition to symbolic reasoning happened very late in hominid history - indeed, within the tenure of anatomically recognizable Homo sapiens. It was evidently not simply a passive result of the increase in brain size that typified multiple lineages of the genus Homo over the Pleistocene. Instead, a brain exaptively capable of complex symbolic manipulation and language acquisition was acquired in the major developmental reorganization that gave rise to the anatomically distinctive species Homo sapiens. The new capacity it conferred was later recruited through the action of a cultural stimulus, most plausibly the spontaneous invention of language.

  16. Language-experience facilitates discrimination of /d-th/ in monolingual and bilingual acquisition of English.

    PubMed

    Sundara, Megha; Polka, Linda; Genesee, Fred

    2006-06-01

    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.

  17. The intentionality model and language acquisition: engagement, effort, and the essential tension in development.

    PubMed

    Bloom, L; Tinker, E

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of the longitudinal research reported in this Monograph was to examine language acquisition in the second year of life in the context of developments in cognition, affect, and social connectedness. The theoretical focus for the research is on the agency of the child and the importance of the child's intentionality for explaining development, rather than on language as an independent object. The model of development for the research is a Model of Intentionality with two components: the engagement in a world of persons and objects that motivates acquiring a language, and the effort that is required to express and articulate increasingly discrepant and elaborate intentional state representations. The fundamental assumption in the model is that the driving force for acquiring language is in the essential tension between engagement and effort for linguistic, emotional, and physical actions of interpretation and expression. Results of lag sequential analyses are reported to show how different behaviors--words, sentences, emotional expressions, conversational interactions, and constructing thematic relations between objects in play--converged, both in the stream of children's actions in everyday events, in real time, and in developmental time between the emergence of words at about 13 months and the transition to simple sentences at about 2 years of age. Patterns of deviation from baseline rates of the different behaviors show that child emotional expression, child speech, and mother speech clearly influence each other, and the mutual influences between them are different at times of either emergence or achievement in both language and object play. The three conclusions that follow from the results of the research are that (a) expression and interpretation are the acts of performance in which language is learned, which means that performance counts for explaining language acquisition; (b) language is not an independent object but is acquired by a child in

  18. Modality-specific processing precedes amodal linguistic processing during L2 sign language acquisition: A longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26720258

  19. Modality-specific processing precedes amodal linguistic processing during L2 sign language acquisition: A longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-01

    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.

  20. Language Development in Children with Language Disorders: An Introduction to Skinner's Verbal Behavior and the Techniques for Initial Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casey, Laura Baylot; Bicard, David F.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  1. The Use of First Language in the Second-Language Classroom: A Support for Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salmona Madriñan, Mara

    2014-01-01

    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…

  2. The Age of Second Language Acquisition Determines the Variability in Activation Elicited by Narration in Three Languages in Broca's and Wernicke's Area

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloch, Constantine; Kaiser, Anelis; Kuenzli, Esther; Zappatore, Daniela; Haller, Sven; Franceschini, Rita; Luedi, Georges; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Nitsch, Cordula

    2009-01-01

    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…

  3. Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency and Language Acquisition in Bilingual Instruction--with an Outlook on a University Project in Albania.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portmann-Tselikas Paul R.

    2001-01-01

    Explores the contribution of cognitive-academic language proficiency to second language acquisition in instructional contexts, using Cummins' concepts of bilingual education. Discusses Albania's educational practices and reviews a joint project by Austrian and Albanian universities that shows how cognitive academic proficiency, along with…

  4. Second Language Acquisition as Situated Practice: Task Accomplishment in the French Second Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mondada, Lorenza; Doehler, Simona Pekarek

    2005-01-01

    This article provides an empirically based perspective on the contribution of conversation analysis (CA) and sociocultural theory to our understanding of learners' second language (L2) practices within what we call a strong socio-interactionist perspective. It explores the interactive (re)configuration of tasks in French second language…

  5. Orientations to Learning German: The Effects of Language Heritage on Second-Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noels, Kimberly A.; Clement, Richard

    1989-01-01

    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…

  6. Superhuman Forces: Young Children's English Language Acquisition and Spanish Language Loss.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  7. Re-Mediating Second Language Acquisition: A Sociocultural Perspective for Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Razfar, Aria; Khisty, Lena Licon; Chval, Kathryn

    2011-01-01

    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…

  8. The Social Construction of Age: Adult Foreign Language Learners. Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrew, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    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…

  9. Developmental trends in auditory processing can provide early predictions of language acquisition in young infants.

    PubMed

    Chonchaiya, Weerasak; Tardif, Twila; Mai, Xiaoqin; Xu, Lin; Li, Mingyan; Kaciroti, Niko; Kileny, Paul R; Shao, Jie; Lozoff, Betsy

    2013-03-01

    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. PMID:23432827

  10. On the Contrastive Analysis of Features in Second Language Acquisition: Uninterpretable Gender on Past Participles in English-French Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dekydtspotter, Laurent; Renaud, Claire

    2009-01-01

    Lardiere's discussion raises important questions about the use of features in second language (L2) acquisition. This response examines predictions for processing of a feature-valuing model vs. a frequency-sensitive, associative model in explaining the acquisition of French past participle agreement. Results from a reading-time experiment support…

  11. The Interaction of Language-Specific and Universal Factors during the Acquisition of Morphophonemic Alternations with Exceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baer-Henney, Dinah; Kügler, Frank; van de Vijver, Ruben

    2015-01-01

    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…

  12. Teaching and Learning the Language of Science: A Case Study of Academic Language Acquisition in a Dual Language Middle School

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    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.

  14. Neural circuitry of the bilingual mental lexicon: effect of age of second language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Isel, Frédéric; Baumgaertner, Annette; Thrän, Johannes; Meisel, Jürgen M; Büchel, Christian

    2010-03-01

    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. PMID:19695760

  15. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26563891

  16. Neural circuitry of the bilingual mental lexicon: effect of age of second language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Isel, Frédéric; Baumgaertner, Annette; Thrän, Johannes; Meisel, Jürgen M; Büchel, Christian

    2010-03-01

    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.

  17. Paired variability indices in assessing speech rhythm in Spanish/English bilingual language acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Work, Richard; Andruski, Jean; Casielles, Eugenia; Kim, Sahyang; Nathan, Geoff

    2005-04-01

    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.

  18. Memory functioning and mental verbs acquisition in children with specific language impairment.

    PubMed

    Spanoudis, George C; Natsopoulos, Demetrios

    2011-01-01

    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.

  19. Language input and acquisition in a Mayan village: how important is directed speech?

    PubMed

    Shneidman, Laura A; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2012-09-01

    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.

  20. Investigating the Acquisition of the Split-IP Parameter and the V2 Parameter in Second Language Afrikaans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conradie, Simone

    2006-01-01

    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…

  1. The Etiology of Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition in Australian School Students: A Behavior-Genetic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coventry, William; Anton-Mendez, Ines; Ellis, Elizabeth M.; Levisen, Christina; Byrne, Brian; van Daal, Victor H. P.; Ellis, Nick C.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  2. Don't Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater: The Indispensable Role of Memorization in Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blodget, Tom

    This paper asserts that memorization is an under-valued language acquisition strategy, noting that by including memorization in communication classrooms through oral question-and-answer prompts, songs, and memorized dialogues/skits, second language teachers can enhance student learning. The paper explains how oral questions offer a cooperative…

  3. Self-Assessment of Japanese as a Second Language: The Role of Experiences in the Naturalistic Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suzuki, Yuichi

    2015-01-01

    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…

  4. The Symbolic World of the Bilingual Child: Digressions on Language Acquisition, Culture and the Process of Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nowak-Fabrykowski, Krystyna; Shkandrij, Miroslav

    2004-01-01

    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…

  5. The Effect of Aided Language Stimulation on Vocabulary Acquisition in Children with Little or No Functional Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dada, Shakila; Alant, Erna

    2009-01-01

    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…

  6. Bad Influence?--An Investigation into the Purported Negative Influence of Foreign Domestic Helpers on Children's Second Language English Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leung, Alex Ho-Cheong

    2012-01-01

    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…

  7. Toward Mastering the Discourses of Reasoning: Use of Grammatical Metaphor at Advanced Levels of Foreign Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryshina-Pankova, Marianna

    2010-01-01

    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…

  8. Consonant acquisition in the Malay language: a cross-sectional study of preschool aged Malay children.

    PubMed

    Phoon, Hooi San; Abdullah, Anna Christina; Lee, Lay Wah; Murugaiah, Puvaneswary

    2014-05-01

    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.

  9. Advancing Our Understanding of the Link between Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition: The Need for Longitudinal Data

    PubMed Central

    Arciuli, Joanne; Torkildsen, Janne von Koss

    2012-01-01

    Mastery of language can be a struggle for some children. Amongst those that succeed in achieving this feat there is variability in proficiency. Cognitive scientists remain intrigued by this variation. A now substantial body of research suggests that language acquisition is underpinned by a child’s capacity for statistical learning (SL). Moreover, a growing body of research has demonstrated that variability in SL is associated with variability in language proficiency. Yet, there is a striking lack of longitudinal data. To date, there has been no comprehensive investigation of whether a capacity for SL in young children is, in fact, associated with language proficiency in subsequent years. Here we review key studies that have led to the need for this longitudinal research. Advancing the language acquisition debate via longitudinal research has the potential to transform our understanding of typical development as well as disorders such as autism, specific language impairment, and dyslexia. PMID:22969746

  10. Cross-linguistic universals in reading acquisition with applications to English-language learners with reading disabilities.

    PubMed

    Gorman, Brenda K

    2009-11-01

    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.

  11. Advancing Our Understanding of the Link between Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition: The Need for Longitudinal Data.

    PubMed

    Arciuli, Joanne; Torkildsen, Janne von Koss

    2012-01-01

    Mastery of language can be a struggle for some children. Amongst those that succeed in achieving this feat there is variability in proficiency. Cognitive scientists remain intrigued by this variation. A now substantial body of research suggests that language acquisition is underpinned by a child's capacity for statistical learning (SL). Moreover, a growing body of research has demonstrated that variability in SL is associated with variability in language proficiency. Yet, there is a striking lack of longitudinal data. To date, there has been no comprehensive investigation of whether a capacity for SL in young children is, in fact, associated with language proficiency in subsequent years. Here we review key studies that have led to the need for this longitudinal research. Advancing the language acquisition debate via longitudinal research has the potential to transform our understanding of typical development as well as disorders such as autism, specific language impairment, and dyslexia.

  12. A multiple process solution to the logical problem of language acquisition*

    PubMed Central

    MACWHINNEY, BRIAN

    2006-01-01

    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

  13. A multiple process solution to the logical problem of language acquisition.

    PubMed

    MacWhinney, Brian

    2004-11-01

    Many researchers believe that there is a logical problem at the centre 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.

  14. Chinese-English biliteracy acquisition: cross-language and writing system transfer.

    PubMed

    Wang, Min; Perfetti, Charles A; Liu, Ying

    2005-08-01

    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.

  15. Action-based language: a theory of language acquisition, comprehension, and production.

    PubMed

    Glenberg, Arthur M; Gallese, Vittorio

    2012-07-01

    Evolution and the brain have done a marvelous job solving many tricky problems in action control, including problems of learning, hierarchical control over serial behavior, continuous recalibration, and fluency in the face of slow feedback. Given that evolution tends to be conservative, it should not be surprising that these solutions are exploited to solve other tricky problems, such as the design of a communication system. We propose that a mechanism of motor control, paired controller/predictor models, has been exploited for language learning, comprehension, and production. Our account addresses the development of grammatical regularities and perspective, as well as how linguistic symbols become meaningful through grounding in perception, action, and emotional systems.

  16. Distinct roles of left inferior frontal regions that explain individual differences in second language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Kuniyoshi L; Nauchi, Arihito; Tatsuno, Yoshinori; Hirano, Kazuyoshi; Muraishi, Yukimasa; Kimura, Masakazu; Bostwick, Mike; Yusa, Noriaki

    2009-08-01

    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.

  17. Knowledge acquisition and representation for the Systems Test and Operations Language (STOL) Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seamster, Thomas L.; Eike, David R.; Ames, Troy J.

    1990-01-01

    This presentation concentrates on knowledge acquisition and its application to the development of an expert module and a user interface for an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS). The Systems Test and Operations Language (STOL) ITS is being developed to assist NASA control center personnel in learning a command and control language as it is used in mission operations rooms. The objective of the tutor is to impart knowledge and skills that will permit the trainee to solve command and control problems in the same way that the STOL expert solves those problems. The STOL ITS will achieve this object by representing the solution space in such a way that the trainee can visualize the intermediate steps, and by having the expert module production rules parallel the STOL expert's knowledge structures.

  18. An Alternative to Mapping a Word onto a Concept in Language Acquisition: Pragmatic Frames.

    PubMed

    Rohlfing, Katharina J; Wrede, Britta; Vollmer, Anna-Lisa; Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves

    2016-01-01

    The classic mapping metaphor posits that children learn a word by mapping it onto a concept of an object or event. However, we believe that a mapping metaphor cannot account for word learning, because even though children focus attention on objects, they do not necessarily remember the connection between the word and the referent unless it is framed pragmatically, that is, within a task. Our theoretical paper proposes an alternative mechanism for word learning. Our main premise is that word learning occurs as children accomplish a goal in cooperation with a partner. We follow Bruner's (1983) idea and further specify pragmatic frames as the learning units that drive language acquisition and cognitive development. These units consist of a sequence of actions and verbal behaviors that are co-constructed with a partner to achieve a joint goal. We elaborate on this alternative, offer some initial parametrizations of the concept, and embed it in current language learning approaches.

  19. An Alternative to Mapping a Word onto a Concept in Language Acquisition: Pragmatic Frames

    PubMed Central

    Rohlfing, Katharina J.; Wrede, Britta; Vollmer, Anna-Lisa; Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves

    2016-01-01

    The classic mapping metaphor posits that children learn a word by mapping it onto a concept of an object or event. However, we believe that a mapping metaphor cannot account for word learning, because even though children focus attention on objects, they do not necessarily remember the connection between the word and the referent unless it is framed pragmatically, that is, within a task. Our theoretical paper proposes an alternative mechanism for word learning. Our main premise is that word learning occurs as children accomplish a goal in cooperation with a partner. We follow Bruner’s (1983) idea and further specify pragmatic frames as the learning units that drive language acquisition and cognitive development. These units consist of a sequence of actions and verbal behaviors that are co-constructed with a partner to achieve a joint goal. We elaborate on this alternative, offer some initial parametrizations of the concept, and embed it in current language learning approaches. PMID:27148105

  20. Cross-Language Analysis and Second Language Acquisition. Volume 1. Jyvaskyla Cross-Language Studies, No. 9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajavaara, Kari, Ed.

    A collection of 17 papers, most presented at the Fifth International Conference on Contrastive Projects in June 1982 in Finland, includes: "Present Trends in Contrastive Linguistics,""Contrastive Linguistics in Bulgaria,""Communicative Competence in Foreign Language Teaching: A Project Report,""From Traditional Contrastive Linguistics Towards a…