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The role of L1 explicit metalinguistic knowledge in L3 oral production at the initial state*

  • YLVA FALK (a1), CHRISTINA LINDQVIST (a2) and CAMILLA BARDEL (a1)

Abstract

In this study we explore the role of explicit metalinguistic knowledge (MLK) of first language (L1) in the learning of a third language (L3). We compare the oral production of 40 participants with varying degrees of explicit MLK of the L1, who are exposed to a completely new L3. In accordance with the second language (L2) status factor, which is further motivated by the distinction between implicit competence and explicit knowledge (Bardel & Falk, 2012; Paradis, 2009), we hypothesize that the participants with low explicit MLK in their L1 will transfer from their L2, and that the participants with high explicit MLK in the L1 will transfer from their L1. The structure of interest is adjective placement, which is the same in the L1 and the L3 (but not in the participants’ L2s). The results show that the degree of explicit MLK in the L1 plays a decisive role at the initial state of L3 learning.

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Copyright

The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Ylva Falk, Department of Language Education, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden ylva.falk@isd.su.se

Footnotes

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*

This paper was written within the projects The Role of the Background Languages in Third Language Acquisition: Vocabulary and Syntax, and Lexical and Syntactic Transfer in Third Language Learning from The Swedish Research Council. The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers, the guest editor and the participants at the Workshop on Third Language (L3) Acquisition: A Focus on Cognitive Approaches held in Vitoria-Gasteiz in May 2012 for their valuable feedback. We would also like to thank Dr Per Näsman, senior statistician at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Stockholm, for helping us with the statistics. Finally we would like to thank Frederik Sjögren for language consulting.

Footnotes

References

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