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Lisa Verbeek ◽  
Constance Vissers ◽  
Mirjam Blumenthal ◽  
Ludo Verhoeven

Purpose: This study investigated the roles of cross-language transfer of first language (L1) and attentional control in second-language (L2) speech perception and production of sequential bilinguals, taking phonological overlap into account. Method: Twenty-five monolingual Dutch-speaking and 25 sequential bilingual Turkish–Dutch-speaking 3- and 4-year-olds were tested using picture identification tasks for speech perception in L1 Turkish and L2 Dutch, single-word tasks for speech production in L1 and L2, and a visual search task for attentional control. Phonological overlap was manipulated by dividing the speech tasks into subsets of phonemes that were either shared or unshared between languages. Results: In Dutch speech perception and production, monolingual children obtained higher accuracies than bilingual peers. Bilinguals showed equal performance in L1 and L2 perception but scored higher on L1 than on L2 production. For speech perception of shared phonemes, linear regression analyses revealed no direct effects of attention and L1 on L2. For speech production of shared phonemes, attention and L1 directly affected L2. When exploring unshared phonemes, direct effects of attentional control on L2 were demonstrated not only for speech production but also for speech perception. Conclusions: The roles of attentional control and cross-language transfer on L2 speech are different for shared and unshared phonemes. Whereas L2 speech production of shared phonemes is also supported by cross-language transfer of L1, L2 speech perception and production of unshared phonemes benefit from attentional control only. This underscores the clinical importance of considering phonological overlap and supporting attentional control when assisting young sequential bilinguals' L2 development.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Patrick C. M. Wong ◽  
Xin Kang ◽  
Hon-Cheong So ◽  
Kwong Wai Choy

AbstractResearch over the past two decades has identified a group of common genetic variants explaining a portion of variance in native language ability. The present study investigates whether the same group of genetic variants are associated with different languages and languages learned at different times in life. We recruited 940 young adults who spoke from childhood Chinese and English as their first (native) (L1) and second (L2) language, respectively, who were learners of a new, third (L3) language. For the variants examined, we found a general decrease of contribution of genes to language functions from native to foreign (L2 and L3) languages, with variance in foreign languages explained largely by non-genetic factors such as musical training and motivation. Furthermore, genetic variants that were found to contribute to traits specific to Chinese and English respectively exerted the strongest effects on L1 and L2. These results seem to speak against the hypothesis of a language- and time-universal genetic core of linguistic functions. Instead, they provide preliminary evidence that genetic contribution to language may depend at least partly on the intricate language-specific features. Future research including a larger sample size, more languages and more genetic variants is required to further explore these hypotheses.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Yuehai Xiao ◽  
Angel Zhao

Informed by the poststructuralist theory, this study investigates the case of Ming, a Chinese professor of English, about the impacts of his first language (L1) and second language (L2) learning experience, and the changes of social contexts on his L1 and L2 identities construction. It was found that being a learner of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Ming’s identities development aligned with the poststructuralist theory, in which it is considered dynamic, fluid and conflicting. Ming negotiated and renegotiated his identities in various social contexts in China and the United States and finally gained acceptance into the L2 academic community. This study not only analyzes Ming’s experience with his language learning and identities, but also unravels that conflicts may be part of the process of identities construction, and encourages learners to be persistent and emotionally resilient, while using certain strategies to retain a stable L1 identity so that they can navigate through the negative encounters during the second language acquisition (SLA) process to sustain the development of their identities and L2 abilities.

Ilyas Yakut ◽  
Erdogan Bada

Language learners employ communication strategies (CSs) to avoid communication breakdowns in times of difficulty, and such strategies develop within strategic competence thanks to exposure to a target language. This research is designed as a developmental study aiming to investigate the possible effects of exposure to English as a foreign language on the use of CSs in the interlanguage of Turkish speakers of English. To attain this aim, we chose 20 Turkish learners of English from the beginner level, and they designated the topics they would speak and write about. Their oral and written performances on the topics were tested at the beginning prior to instruction, in the middle, and at the end of the academic year to observe whether CS usage altered over time. The findings revealed that participants resorted to different types of CSs in their speaking and writing tasks. The comparison of CS employment in each test showed that learners’ CS preferences, as well as L1 and L2-based CSs, changed over time in both speaking and writing. Therefore, it is concluded that exposure to the target language may have a significant effect on the preference of CSs. The results of this study are significant as they suggested that CSs in interlanguage evolves from L1-based to L2-based strategies. The findings of this study have important implications for teaching English as a foreign language in reference to the effects of language exposure on the use of CSs in both oral and written performances of L2 learners.

2022 ◽  
Vol 18 ◽  
pp. 75-91
Marzena Wysocka-Narewska ◽  

Code-switching has recently become an interesting phenomenon to study because it is a part of the developmental processes, as well as the result of the use of, and exposure to, multiple languages. For this reason, code-switching usually occurs during foreign language teaching and learning, “especially when studying English based on the different backgrounds and reasons” (Yusuf, 2009). Accordingly, code-switching can be examined from various viewpoints such as the form, location, patterns, conditions, and functions, in relation to the use or the roles of the L1 and L2 or FL in the classroom, the former being most often referred to. This paper aims to determine the conditions for the use of code-switching in a quite different situation, namely, among very young learners conceived of as monolinguals who happen to switch to English (FL) in the L1 classroom environment. The article opens with a brief characterization of code-switching, defining its most frequent forms and functions, and a description of bilingual and monolingual code-switching contexts, an emphasis being put on the role of L1 in the language adaptation process and switching. The study, composed of a questionnaire distributed among 5 kindergarten teachers in public kindergartens in Poland, has shown bits and pieces of code-switching to be observed among four groups of Polish children (early-aged monolinguals), and their “linguistic behaviors” on a daily basis in the kindergarten classroom. What has been hinted at ranges from the exact situations of switching to language samples, presented according to age, and possible reasons for the current state of affairs.

2021 ◽  
Vol 3 (2) ◽  
pp. 177-179
Bethany Gray ◽  
Jesse Egbert

2021 ◽  
Lindy B Comstock ◽  
Bruce Oliver

The functional organization of first (L1) and second (L2) language processing in bilinguals remains a topic of great interest to the neurolinguistics community. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies report meaningful differences in the location and extent of hemodynamic changes between tasks performed in the L1 and L2, yet there is no consensus on whether these networks can be considered truly distinct. In part, this may be due to the multiplicity of task designs implemented in such studies, which complicates the interpretation of their findings. This paper compares the results of previous bilingual meta-analyses to a new ALE meta-analysis that categorizes neuroimaging studies by task design. Factors such as the age of L2 acquisition (AoA) and the L2 language proficiency level of participants are also considered. The findings support previous accounts of the effect of participant characteristics on linguistic processing, while at the same time revealing dissociable differences in fMRI activation for L1 and L2 networks within and across tasks that appear independent of these external factors.

2021 ◽  
Vol 2 (3) ◽  
pp. 21-32
Noel Dassanayake

Traditional perspectives on monolingual education and total immersion have been substituted by more novel approaches to multilingual education such as translanguaging and partial immersion where the learners’ language repertoire is paid adequate respect. The present study investigates the role of L1 and L2 in teaching Chinese in Sri Lanka using 42 adult Chinese language learners in Sri Lanka as informants and a structured questionnaire was used as the main data collection tool. The informants have a highly divided perspective towards the use of L1 and L2 in the classroom. Most students have favored English instruction considering its efficacy in career prospects and Sinhala for convenience of comprehension. Considering the existing situation of Chinese language textbooks, language policy, and recent trends in multilingualism in Sri Lanka, total immersion is less likely to bring optimal effectiveness in teaching Chinese. The present study suggests that partial immersion and translanguaging would be more constructive for Sri Lankan students if cautiously handled with less hindrance to the delivery of target language content and its accuracy. A multilingual approach would, on one hand, offer a safe space for students to communicate while penetrating cross-cultural barriers through cultivation of culture-sensitivity.

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