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2022 ◽  
pp. 117-136
Ana Pellicer-Sánchez ◽  
Laura Vilkaitė-Lozdienė ◽  
Anna Siyanova-Chanturia

2022 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
pp. 152-173
Sarat Kumar Doley

Second language (L2) attitude and motivation-related studies focusing on differences caused by age have mostly highlighted the temporal dimension of L2 attitude and motivation. Age-related L2 motivation studies have also been gainfully employed at comparisons between L2 learners of different age groups recruited from different L2 learning environments. Such studies have not, however, attempted an analysis of the L2 attitudinal and motivational differences that may exist among L2 learners within a closer age range, e.g., 18 to 25 years. This article presents the findings of an L2 attitude and motivation survey, using a modified version of Dӧrnyei et al. (2006) and Ryan (2005), conducted among secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate English as a second language (ESL) learners (N210) in India. It primarily presents a comparative analysis of the L2 attitudinal and motivational constructs of integrativeness, instrumentality, cultural interest, linguistic self-confidence, and L2 anxiety attested in the sample. Additionally, it offers a description of the correlation between the five L2 attitudinal and motivational constructs concerning the different ESL groups. As the ESL learners across the academic levels demonstrated ESL motivation more on the side of instrumentality, they also reported linguistic self-confidence more in the familiar environment of an L2 classroom than outside of it. Since better motivational strategies enhance learner dedication to the learning of a certain L2, an elaborated understanding of the specific differences in L2 attitude and motivation within this important age range should help design more useful and effective L2 pedagogical methods.

2022 ◽  
pp. 136216882110649
Joy Maa ◽  
Naoko Taguchi

Increasingly prevalent use of technologies such as instant messaging and online chat has transformed our traditional ways of learning and teaching pragmatics. This study presents an example of such transformation by demonstrating how computer-mediated communication (CMC) may be employed as a tool to provide second language (L2) learners opportunities to use interactional resources specific to the context of CMC, namely unique orthography and emoji. For the study, we introduced four university-level learners of Japanese to a language exchange messaging application and recorded their online text-based chat interactions with native Japanese speakers over a period of 12 weeks. We followed up the chat data with weekly stimulated verbal recalls (SVR) to investigate L2 learners’ intentions and perceptions surrounding their own and others’ use of unique orthography and emoji (48 SVR sessions total; average 30 minutes per session). Coding and thematic analysis of the chat data revealed learners’ agentive use of orthography and emoji as resources for communication. In addition, the SVR data revealed a variety of personal and interpersonal reasons behind their use, including learners’ concerns over self-presentation, interpersonal relationships, identity, and discourse management. The findings not only demonstrate how CMC can afford learners a unique environment for experimenting with a range of context-appropriate interactional resources to convey pragmatic meaning, but also shed light on the various, sometimes competing, considerations and complex processes underlying learners’ pragmatic choices in CMC.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 18
Abdulrahman Alzamil

Second language (L2) learners are very keen to master speaking in their L2, and this is among the most important of all language skills. However, speaking anxiety is a major obstacle to successful L2 learning. This study was designed to investigate university-level students’ attitudes towards speaking in English and their experience of anxiety. 81 participants who majored in English with an average age of 21.8 years were recruited. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews and administered a four-point Likert-scale questionnaire with 18 items, designed to address three constructs: a) fear of speaking in English; b) fear of making mistakes in English; and c) fear of being judged by others. The findings showed that although the participants were generally unconcerned about speaking English, their attitudes were different when they were asked about specific situations. When asked about their fear of making mistakes in front of their classmates, or of being judged by them, they agreed that in those circumstances they would experience anxiety.

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-30
Maribel Montero Perez

Abstract This article discusses research into the role of audio-visual input for second language (L2) or foreign language learning. It also addresses questions related to the effectiveness of audio-visual input with different types of on-screen text such as subtitles (i.e., in learners’ first language) and captions (i.e., subtitles in the same language as the L2 audio) for L2 learning. The review discusses the following themes: (a) the characteristics of audio-visual input such as the multimodal nature of the input and vocabulary demands of video; (b) L2 learners’ comprehension of audio-visual input and the role of different types of on-screen text; (c) the effectiveness of audio-visual input and on-screen text for aspects of L2 learning including vocabulary, grammar, and listening; and (d) research into L2 learners’ use and perceptions of audio-visual input and on-screen text. The review ends with a consideration of implications for teaching practice and a conclusion that discusses the generalizability of current research in relation to suggestions for future research.

2022 ◽  
pp. 026765832110697
Jun Zhang ◽  
Yan Wu

Scalar implicatures involve inferring the use of a less informative term (e.g. some) to mean the negation of a more informative term (e.g. not all). A growing body of recent research on the derivation of scalar implicatures by adult second language (L2) learners shows that while they are successful in acquiring the knowledge of scalar implicatures, a property at the semantics–pragmatics interface, it remains controversial as to which mechanism, default or non-default, could account for L2 learners’ derivation of scalar implicatures. The present study used an online self-paced reading task to address this issue by examining the role of the speaker’s knowledge state in the interpretation of the existential quantifier some by Chinese-speaking learners of English in incremental sentence processing. Results showed that both L2 and native participants demonstrated comparable online sensitivity to the speaker’s knowledge state. Critically, when the scalar implicature was computed in situations where the speaker was more likely to know whether the statement with the stronger alternative was true, it gave rise to measurable reading latency, indicative of increased processing costs. We conclude by arguing that our findings are compatible with the context-driven models within the Gricean tradition.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
He Yang

It can be a great challenge for second language (L2) learners to comprehend meanings that are implied in utterances rather than the surface meaning of what was said. Moreover, L2 learners’ attitudes toward pragmatic learning are unknown. This mixed-methods study investigates L2 learners’ ability to comprehend conversational implicatures. It also explores their beliefs about and intentions to develop this ability using Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior (TPB). A total of 498 freshmen from a public university in China participated in the study. Data were collected using a web-based test, stimulated recall tasks and semi-structured interviews. Results show that the participants differed in recognizing the intended meanings. Complicated factors account for the variations. In addition to the types of implicature, learners’ beliefs about developing pragmatic comprehension also influence their learning intention, and subsequent performance. These beliefs include learners’ multi-layered, complex attitudes toward the outcomes of pragmatic learning, perceived self-efficacy beliefs regarding language proficiency and L2 cultural knowledge, actual behavioral control over opportunities and resources for pragmatic learning, and perceptions of less social pressure on pragmatic learning. The use of TPB may help language teachers and test designers to understand learners’ beliefs about L2 pragmatic learning in the English as a foreign language (EFL) context. Understanding the factors influencing learners’ intention will help design more effective teaching curricula that may integrate pragmatic instruction and testing in the future.

2022 ◽  
pp. 026765832110662
Becky Gonzalez

This study builds on prior research on second language (L2) Spanish psych verbs, which has centered on morphosyntactic properties, by examining their syntactic distribution, which relies on lexical semantic knowledge. The fact that certain forms are licensed for some verbs, but not others, is the result of an underlying lexical semantic difference across verb classes, represented here as a difference in formal feature strength. To fully acquire the relevant grammatical distribution, L2 learners must successfully acquire (i) licensing restrictions on argument structure and (ii) underlying lexical semantic representations of individual verbs. Three groups of L2 learners ( n = 66) and a group of native Spanish speakers ( n = 19) completed two judgment tasks (one with aural stimuli and one with written stimuli) which presented object experiencer psych verbs in multiple argument structures. Results show that advanced L2 learners are largely sensitive to the distribution tested here; however, while they have acquired relevant licensing restrictions, they may associate fixed feature settings with verbs that allow variable feature settings. These results are consistent with predictions made by the Feature Reassembly Hypothesis and highlight the role of lexical semantic features in second language acquisition.

Languages ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 7 (1) ◽  
pp. 7
Ane Icardo Isasa

This exploratory study gives a first glance at the development of the perception of the Spanish /e/-/ei/ contrast by heritage learners in comparison to that of L2 learners in the classroom. To this end, two types of semester-long, explicit phonetic instruction training are compared: High Phonetic Variability Training (HPVT) with exposure to multiple sources of speech, and regular standalone phonetics courses with low variability of speech input (LPVT). Data from two identical pre-test and post-test ABX perceptual discrimination tasks were obtained from 27 students, as well as 7 control speakers whose primary language is Spanish. Results show that heritage learners perceive the contrast better than L2 learners, and that HPVT significantly improves the perception of the /e/-/ei/ contrast. Although heritage learners perform close to a native ceiling and do not significantly differ from native controls, the improvement from pre-test to post-test is larger in heritage learners enrolled in HPVT than LPVT training. These results suggest that, although the discrimination accuracy of Spanish /e/ and /ei/ is already high for heritage learners at the pre-test stage, High Phonetic Variability Training can be beneficial in the perceptual development of their heritage language, even matching their accuracy to that of native speakers.

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