Presson and MacWhinney - Second Language Grammar

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Project Name

Summary Table

Abstract

Background & Significance

Adult second language learning, unlike first language acquisition, must deal with learning barriers produced by L1 (first language) entrenchment, transfer, and social disincentives. In order to overcome these barriers, adult learners can rely on specialized reconfigurations of learning methods used by children learning their first language. These supports include: (1) graduated interval recall, (2) resonant co-training, and (3) explicit cue focusing. Presence of only one or two of these supports will lead to good learning, but the best and most robust learning occurs when all three are operative. This means that the overall hypothesis cannot be evaluated by a single definitive experiment. Instead, a series of experiments must be run to evaluate various configurations of the components. Also, it is possible that the effects of these methods may vary across linguistic levels (phonology, orthography, reading, lexicon, syntax, pragmatics, fluency). However, evidence for the effects of any combination of these supports in achieving any level of robustness on any given level would still provide important clues regarding ways to enhance the overall robustness of second language learning. This information could also be useful in understanding robustness in other domains.

Glossary

graduate interval recall resonant cotraining explicit cue focusing entrenchment transfer social disincentives

Research questions

Adult second language learning, unlike first language acquisition, must deal with learning barriers produced by L1 (first language) entrenchment, transfer, and social disincentives. In order to overcome these barriers, adult learners can rely on specialized reconfigurations of learning methods used by children learning their first language. These supports include: (1) graduated interval recall, (2) resonant co-training, and (3) explicit cue focusing. Presence of only one or two of these supports will lead to good learning, but the best and most robust learning occurs when all three are operative. This means that the overall hypothesis cannot be evaluated by a single definitive experiment. Instead, a series of experiments must be run to evaluate various configurations of the components. Also, it is possible that the effects of these methods may vary across linguistic levels (phonology, orthography, reading, lexicon, syntax, pragmatics, fluency). However, evidence for the effects of any combination of these supports in achieving any level of robustness on any given level would still provide important clues regarding ways to enhance the overall robustness of second language learning. This information could also be useful in understanding robustness in other domains.

Study One

Hypothesis

Independent Variables

Dependent Variables

Results

Explanation

Study Two

Hypothesis

Independent Variables

Dependent Variables

Results

Explanation

Further Information

Connections to Other Studies

Annotated Bibliography

References

Future Plans