Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2014, vol. 4, no. 3


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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    L2 learner age from a contextualised perspective
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Mihaljeviđ Djigunoviđ, Jelena
    In this qualitative study the author focuses on age effects on young learners’ L2 development by comparing the L2 learning processes of six young learners in an instructed setting: three who had started learning English as L2 at age 6/7 and three who had started at age 9/10. Both earlier and later young beginners were followed for three years (during their second, third and fourth year of learning English). The participants’ L2 development was measured through their oral out- put elicited by a two-part speaking task administered each year. Results of the analyses are interpreted taking into account each learners’ individual characteristics (learning ability, attitudes and motivation, self-concept) and the characteristics of the context in which they were learning their L2 (attitudes of school staff and parents to early L2 learning, home support, in-class and out-of-class exposure to L2, socio-economic status). The findings show that earlier and later young beginners follow different trajectories in their L2 learning, which reflects different interactions which age enters into with the other variables
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    What’s age got to do with it? Accounting for individual factors in second language accent
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Moyer, Alene
    Empirical research conducted over the past few decades suggests that the age at which an individual is first exposed to a second language affects long-term outcomes, in particular for phonology. The question that has occupied scholars of various bents is what, exactly, underlies the robust age effects observed. Does age imply immutable changes in one’s ability to ever sound native-like? Are these changes neurological, cognitive, or socio-psychological in nature? What role do L2 use and contact play? Do age-related influences apply to all individuals, or can language learners actually chart their own course when it comes to accent? This paper will outline basic assumptions of the critical period for phonology while suggesting a different approach to the age question that highlights the individual’s role in both process and outcome. Constructs such as L2 experience, motivation, self-concept, learning approach, and willingness to communicate are discussed in depth in order to show the fundamental connection between cognition and affect so critical for late phonological learning. A re-orientation of the age research is suggested as a result, to prioritize contextual understandings of language use and learner agency.
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    The effectiveness of early foreign language learning in the Netherlands
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) de Bot, Kees
    This article reports on a number of projects on early English teaching in the Netherlands. The focus of these projects has been on the impact of English on the development of the mother tongue and the development of skills in the foreign language. Overall the results show that there is no negative effect on the mother tongue and that the gains in English proficiency are substantial. Given the specific situation in the Netherlands where English is very present, in particular in the media, a real comparison of the findings with those from other countries is problematic.
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    Book Reviews
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Haimov, Jacqueline
    Sensitive Periods, Language Aptitude, and Ultimate L2 Attainment Editors: Gisela Granena and Mike Long Publisher: John Benjamins, 2013 ISBN:978-9027213129
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    Apt to change: The problematic of language awareness and language aptitude in age-related research
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Singleton, David
    Language awareness and language aptitude often crop up in discussion of various second language acquisition phenomena, including age-related phenomena. There is a troublesome and ongoing definitional and theoretical problem in this connec- tion: Different researchers have different perspectives on what is to be included in the respective notions; on how do to measure language awareness, on the one hand, and language aptitude, on the other; and on how or whether to differentiate the two constructs in terms of innateness versus experience. This article begins by addressing the entire problematic of the conceptualization of language awareness and language aptitude. The language awareness/aptitude issue features in the mat- urational debate in connection with two claims. First, it is discussed in relation to the view that second-language (L2) learning of older individuals is explicit (whereas that of younger individuals is implicit). Second, it is referred to in regard to the notion that there are older L2 learners who appear to be able to “beat” the critical period thanks to high levels of language aptitude. The article critically explores both these propositions and concludes that neither is particularly safe, especially given the uncertain state of the relevant research context
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    The misunderstood variable: Age effects as a function of type of instruction
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Pfenninger, Simone E.
    This study was designed to investigate the effects of age of onset and type of instruction on ultimate EFL attainment at the end of the period of normal schooling in Switzerland, measured in terms of written fluency, complexity, morphosyntactic accuracy, vocabulary size, and listening skills. Data were gathered from four groups of 18-year-old Swiss German learners of English: 50 were early starters who had attended an immersion (CLIL) program in elementary school and who continued CLIL in secondary school (EARLY CLIL), 50 had followed the same elementary school program but then received traditional EFL instruction after elementary school (EARLY MIX), 50 were late starters who began learning English immersively in secondary school, (LATE CLIL), while the other 50 attended a traditional EFL program in secondary school (LATE NON-CLIL). Results show that age of onset alone does not seem to be the distinguishing variable since early introduction of English in elementary school did not result in a higher level of proficiency when exposure to the language was limited to a few hours of class per week. The performance of the EARLY MIX participants was equaled and in certain areas significantly surpassed by the other groups, despite the additional five years of English study they had had in elementary school. The best results were found when early CLIL instruction was followed up by the use of English as an additional language of instruction in secondary school (EARLY CLIL group), which confirms the link between young starting age, implicit learning and long and massive exposure
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    Starting age and other influential factors: Insights from learner interviews
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Munoz, Carmen
    The present study uses oral interviews with foreign language learners in search of influential factors in their language learning histories. The sample for the study was drawn from a larger sample of intermediate/advanced learners of English as a foreign language with a minimum of 10 years of exposure/instruction. The sam- ple includes 6 early learners (range of starting age: 3.2-6.5) and 6 late learners (starting age: 11+). Half of them in each group were among those with the highest scores on two English language tests in the larger sample and half among those with the lowest scores on those same tests. A qualitative analysis of the interviews of these learners yields insights into their experience of foreign language learning and the role played in it by starting age and other significant factors, such as motivation and intensive contact with the language.
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    Looking for structure: Is the two-word stage of language development in apes and human children the same or different?
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Patkowski, Mark
    Previously published corpora of two-word utterances by three chimpanzees and three human children were compared to determine whether, as has been claimed, apes possess the same basic syntactic and semantic capacities as 2-year old children. Some similarities were observed in the type of semantic relations expressed by the two groups; however, marked contrasts were also uncovered. With respect to the major syntactic mechanism displayed in two-word child language, namely word order, statistically significant differences were found in all three comparisons that were tested. These results indicate that chimpanzees do not exhibit the linguistic capacities of 2-year old children.
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    Input or intimacy
    (Zakład Filologii Angielskiej Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Kaliszu, 2014-10) Navracsics, Judit
    According to the critical period hypothesis, the earlier the acquisition of a second language starts, the better. Owing to the plasticity of the brain, up until a certain age a second language can be acquired successfully according to this view. Early second language learners are commonly said to have an advantage over later ones especially in phonetic/phonological acquisition. Native-like pronunciation is said to be most likely to be achieved by young learners. However, there is evidence of accent-free speech in second languages learnt after puberty as well. Occasionally, on the other hand, a nonnative accent may appear even in early second (or third) language acquisition. Cross-linguistic influences are natural in multilingual development, and we would expect the dominant language to have an impact on the weaker one(s). The dominant language is usually the one that provides the largest amount of input for the child. But is it always the amount that counts? Perhaps sometimes other factors, such as emotions, come into play? In this paper, data obtained from an English- Persian-Hungarian trilingual pair of siblings (under age 4 and 3 respectively) is analyzed, with a special focus on cross-linguistic influences at the phonetic/phonological levels. It will be shown that beyond the amount of input there are more important factors that trigger interference in multilingual development
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego