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Adult instructed SLA of English subject properties

  • Elisabet Pladevall Ballester (a1)

Abstract

The acquisition of subject properties in adult instructed L2 English by Spanish speakers still constitutes an area of difficulty, especially in situations of minimal exposure where explicit teaching of the syntax of subjects rarely occurs. By exploring the L2 learners’ intuitions and corrections of grammatical and ungrammatical sentences containing subject properties, this article contributes new cross-sectional data from adult learners at three stages of L2 development: beginners, intermediate, and advanced groups. The data show initial L1 transfer and subsequent developmental progress. Yet results are clearly not target-like even among advanced learners, which suggests that adult learners do not resort to parameter-resetting in instructed L2A and necessarily apply general learning mechanisms to adopt L2 structures with feature specifications different from those of their L1.

Résumé

L’acquisition des propriétés des sujets par des hispanophones adultes se montre toujours difficile, surtout dans des situations d’exposition minimale où l’instruction explicite de la syntaxe des sujets a rarement lieu. En explorant les intuitions et les corrections des phrases grammaticales et agrammaticales chez les apprenants L2, cet article apporte de nouvelles données d’apprenants adultes à trois stades du développement de la L2: les apprenants débutants, les apprenants intermédiaires et les apprenants avancés. Les données révèlent un transfert L1 initial, suivi de progrès développemental. Cependant, les résultats indiquent que l’acquisition n’est pas optimale, même chez les apprenants avancés, ce qui suggère que les apprenants adultes n’accèdent pas le changement des paramètres pendant l’instruction L2, et qu’ils appliquent des mécanismes d’apprentissage généraux afin d’adopter des structures L2 avec des spécifications de traits différents de ceux de leur L1.

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Adult instructed SLA of English subject properties

  • Elisabet Pladevall Ballester (a1)

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