The study of language attrition, whether it is concerned with first or second languages, focuses on the effects resulting from an individual's reduced use of the attrited language. Such reduction in use can be due to a change in the linguistic environment or to the termination of an instructional program. In either case, some other language (or languages) is or becomes the dominant one.
The present article reports on a series of studies, all focusing on individual attrition of English as a second language (ESL) in an environment where Hebrew is the dominant language. The predictor variables discussed are age, sociolinguistic features, input variables, and linguistic variables. The attrition process affecting English as a second language in a Hebrew dominant context seems to exhibit two major trends of change in language use: (a) a greater variability in the application of peripheral and highly marked structural rules, and (b) lower accessibility of specific lexical items. In each of these trends one can identify a limited reversal of the acquisition process, particularly with young children (5–8-year-olds) as well as a typological transfer process from the dominant language.