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Exploring the Impact of the Proficiency and Typology Factors: Two Cases of Multilingual Learners' L3 Learning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
2014 (English)In: Essential Topics in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism: Studies in Honor of David Singleton / [ed] Mirosław Pawlak, Larissa Aronin, Cham: Springer, 2014, p. 253-266Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The present study examines lexical crosslinguistic influence (CLI) from L1 and L2 in two cases of L3 learning. It focuses on the role of the proficiency level of the background languages and of typological proximity in the activation of the background languages in L3 oral production. Earlier research has shown that both these factors play a role for CLI. Here we aim at further understanding the role of these factors, and how they are related to the proficiency level of the L3. The first case, which will be summarized briefly and used as a point of comparison in this chapter, concerns a Swedish learner of Italian L3, with English, French and Spanish as L2s (Bardel and Lindqvist 2007). The results showed that low-proficiency Spanish L2 was the background language that was most used in the beginning of the acquisition process of Italian, especially in code-switches of function words. High-proficiency French L2 was also used but in a different way, mostly in word construction attempts. Both the proficiency and the typology factor played a role, but their impact varied at different stages of development in the L3. The second case concerns a bilingual Swedish/Italian L1 speaker learning Spanish L3, with English and French as L2s. The data was gathered following the same procedure as in the first study, and consist of three recordings of interviews and retellings. The results indicate that the proficiency and typology factors are decisive for CLI here too, but in slightly different ways as compared to the first case. Italian L1 is used for both code-switches and word construction attempts, suggesting that a high-proficiency language may well be activated for both purposes, if it is similar enough to the target language. These results show that further investigation of both factors is necessary for our understanding of their interplay.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2014. p. 253-266
Series
Second Language Learning and Teaching, ISSN 2193-7648
Keywords [en]
Target Language, Proficiency Level, Background Language, Romance Language, High Proficiency
National Category
Educational Sciences General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106719DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-01414-2_15ISI: 000336508900016ISBN: 978-3-319-01413-5 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-01414-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106719DiVA, id: diva2:738361
Projects
The role of the background languages in third language acquisition. Vocabulary and syntax
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2014-08-18 Created: 2014-08-18 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved

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