Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-54jdg Total loading time: 0.404 Render date: 2022-08-16T14:21:11.304Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

DOMAIN-GENERAL AUDITORY PROCESSING EXPLAINS MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF L2 ACQUISITION IN ADULTHOOD

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2020

Kazuya Saito*
Affiliation:
University CollegeLondon
Hui Sun
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
Magdalena Kachlicka
Affiliation:
University CollegeLondon
John Robert Carvajal Alayo
Affiliation:
Birkbeck, University of London
Tatsuya Nakata
Affiliation:
Rikkyo University
Adam Tierney
Affiliation:
Birkbeck, University of London
*
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kazuya Saito, University College London, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom. E-mail: k.saito@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

In this study, we propose a hypothesis that domain-general auditory processing, a perceptual anchor of L1 acquisition, can serve as the foundation of successful post-pubertal L2 learning. This hypothesis was tested with 139 post-pubertal L2 immersion learners by linking individual differences in auditory discrimination across multiple acoustic dimensions to the segmental, prosodic, lexical, and morphosyntactic dimensions of L2 proficiency. Overall, auditory processing was a primary determinant of a range of participants’ proficiency scores, even after biographical factors (experience, age) were controlled for. The link between audition and proficiency was especially clear for L2 learners who had passed beyond the initial phase of immersion (length of residence > 1 year). The findings suggest that greater auditory processing skill benefits post-pubertal L2 learners immersed in naturalistic settings for a sufficient period of time by allowing them to better utilize received input, which results in greater language gains and leads to more advanced L2 proficiency in the long run (similar to L1 acquisition).

Type
Research Article
Open Practices
Open data
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

The experiment in this article earned an Open Data badge for transparent practices. The materials are available at: https://www.iris-database.org/iris/app/home/detail?id=york:938207

This project was funded by the Kansai University Fund for Supporting Young Scholars 2018, “What vocabulary factors are crucial for the assessment and development of successful second language speech?” (awarded to the first, fifth, and sixth authors) and the Leverhulme Trust Research Grant, “Does having a good ear promote successful second language speech learning?” (awarded to the first and sixth authors). We would like to thank Yui Suzukida, Shungo Suzuki, and anonymous SSLA reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript, and Editors Susan Gass and Luke Plonsky for their support throughout the review/revision process.

References

Abrahamsson, N., & Hyltenstam, K. (2008). The robustness of aptitude effects in near-native second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 481509. https://doi.org/10.1017/S027226310808073X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abrahamsson, N., & Hyltenstam, K. (2009). Age of acquisition and nativelikeness in a second language – listener perception vs. linguistic scrutiny. Language Learning, 59, 249306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2015). lme4: Linear mixed-effects models using Eigen and S4. R package version, 1, 121.Google Scholar
Bidelman, G. M., Gandour, J. T., & Krishnan, A. (2011). Musicians and tone-language speakers share enhanced brainstem encoding but not perceptual benefits for musical pitch. Brain and Cognition, 77, 110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Birdsong, D. (2006). Age and second language acquisition and processing: A selective overview. Language Learning, 56, 949. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00353.x.Google Scholar
Birdsong, D., & Molis, M. (2001). On the evidence for maturational constraints in second-language acquisition. Journal of Memory and Language, 44, 235249. https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.2000.2750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Broersma, M., & Cutler, A. (2008). Phantom word activation in L2. System, 36, 2234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2007.11.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campbell, K. L., & Tyler, L. K. (2018). Language-related domain-specific and domain-general systems in the human brain. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 21, 132137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.04.008.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Carcagno, S., & Plack, C. J. (2011). Pitch discrimination learning: Specificity for pitch and harmonic resolvability, and electrophysiological correlates. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology: JARO, 12, 503517. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10162-011-0266-3.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Carroll, J. B., & Sapon, S. M. (1959). Modern language aptitude test. Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
Casini, L., Pech-Georgel, C., & Ziegler, J. C. (2018). It’s about time: Revisiting temporal processing deficits in dyslexia. Developmental Science, 21, 114. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12530.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Clinard, C. G., Tremblay, K. L., & Krishnan, A. R. (2010). Aging alters the perception and physiological representation of frequency: Evidence from human frequency-following response recordings. Hearing Research, 264, 4855.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cobb, T. (2012). Web Vocabprofile. http://www.lextutor.ca/vp/, an adaptation of Heatley, Nation, & Coxhead’s (2002) Range.Google Scholar
Cutler, A., & Butterfield, S. (1992). Rhythmic cues to speech segmentation: Evidence from juncture misperception. Journal of Memory and Language, 31, 218236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeKeyser, R. M. (2013). Age effects in second language learning: Stepping stones toward better understanding. Language Learning, 63, 5267. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2012.00737.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2013). The development of L2 oral language skills in two L1 groups: A 7-year study. Language Learning, 63, 163185. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Díaz, B., Erdocia, K., de Menezes, R. F., Mueller, J. L., Sebastián-Gallés, N., & Laka, I. (2016). Electrophysiological correlates of second-language syntactic processes are related to native and second language distance regardless of age of acquisition. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00133.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Doughty, C. J. (2019). Cognitive language aptitude. Language Learning, 69, 101126. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, N. C. (2006). Language acquisition as rational contingency learning. Applied Linguistics, 27, 124. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/ami038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Faretta-Stutenberg, M., & Morgan-Short, K. (2018). The interplay of individual differences and context of learning in behavioral and neurocognitive second language development. Second Language Research, 34, 67101. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658316684903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flege, J. E. (2009). Give input a chance! In Piske, T. & Young-Scholten, M. (Eds.), Input matters in SLA (pp. 175190). Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Flege, J. E., Munro, M., & MacKay, I. R. A. (1995). Factors affecting degree of perceived foreign accent in a second language. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 97, 31253134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flege, J. E., Takagi, N., & Mann, V. (1996). Lexical familiarity and English-language experience affect Japanese adults’ perception of /r/ and /l/. Journal of Acoustical Society of America, 99, 11611173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freed, B. F., Segalowitz, N., & Dewey, D. P. (2004). Context of learning and second language fluency in French: Comparing regular classroom, study abroad, and intensive domestic immersion programs. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26, 275301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Georgiou, G. K., Protopapas, A., Papadopoulos, T. C., Skaloumbakas, C., & Parrila, R. (2010). Auditory temporal processing and dyslexia in an orthographically consistent language. Cortex, 46, 13301344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2010.06.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibson, L. Y., Hogben, J. H., & Fletcher, J. (2006). Visual and auditory processing and component reading skills in developmental dyslexia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 23, 621642. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643290500412545.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Godfroid, A., Loewen, S., Jung, S., Park, J. H., Gass, S., & Ellis, R. (2015). Timed and untimed grammaticality judgments measure distinct types of knowledge: Evidence from eye-movement patterns. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37, 269297. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263114000850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goswami, U., Wang, H. L. S., Cruz, A., Fosker, T., Mead, N., & Huss, M. (2011). Language-universal sensory deficits in developmental dyslexia: English, Spanish, and Chinese. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 325337. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn.2010.21453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Halliday, L. F., & Bishop, D. V. M. (2006). Is poor frequency modulation detection linked to literacy problems? A comparison of specific reading disability and mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Brain and Language, 97, 200213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2005.10.007.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hamrick, P., Lum, J. A. G., & Ullman, M. T. (2018). Child first language and adult second language are both tied to general-purpose learning systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 14871492. https://doi.org/10.1073/PNAS.1713975115.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hornickel, J., & Kraus, N. (2013). Unstable representation of sound: A biological marker of dyslexia. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 35003504. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4205-12.2013.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jasmin, K., Dick, F., Holt, L. L., & Tierney, A. (2020). Tailored perception: Individuals’ speech and music perception strategies fit their perceptual abilities. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149, 914.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Johnson, D. M., Watson, C. S., & Jensen, J. K. (1987). Individual differences in auditory capabilities. I. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 81, 427438. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.394907.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kachlicka, M., Saito, K., & Tierney, A. (2019). Successful second language learning is tied to robust domain-general auditory processing and stable neural representation of sound. Brain and Language, 19, 215–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2019.02.004Google Scholar
Kempe, V., Thoresen, J. C., Kirk, N. W., Schaeffler, F., & Brooks, P. J. (2012). Individual differences in the discrimination of novel speech sounds: Effects of sex, temporal processing, musical and cognitive abilities. PLoS ONE, 7, e48623. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048623.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kidd, G. R., Watson, C. S., & Gygi, B. (2007). Individual differences in auditory abilities. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 122, 418435. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.2743154.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Krizman, J., Slater, J., Skoe, E., Marian, V., & Kraus, N. (2015). Neural processing of speech in children is influenced by extent of bilingual experience. Neuroscience Letters, 585, 4853.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lemhöfer, K., & Broersma, M. (2012). Introducing LexTALE: A quick and valid lexical test for advanced learners of English. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 325343. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-011-0146-0.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lengeris, A., & Hazan, V. (2010). The effect of native vowel processing ability and frequency discrimination acuity on the phonetic training of English vowels for native speakers of Greek. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128, 37573768. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.3506351.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Levitt, H. (1971). Transformed up-down methods in psychoacoustics. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 49, 467477. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1912375.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, S. (2016). The construct validity of language aptitude: A meta-analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38, 801842. https://doi.org/10.1017/S027226311500042X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linck, J. A., Hughes, M. M., Campbell, S. G., Silbert, N. H., Tare, M., Jackson, S. R., Smith, B. K., Bunting, M. F., & Doughty, C. J. (2013). Hi-LAB: A new measure of aptitude for high-level language proficiency. Language Learning, 63, 530566. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marslen-Wilson, W., Tyler, L. K., Warren, P., Grenier, P., & Lee, C. S. (1992). Prosodic effects in minimal attachment. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A, 45, 7387. https://doi.org/10.1080/14640749208401316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAllister, R., Flege, J. E., & Piske, T. (2002). The influence of L1 on the acquisition of Swedish quantity by native speakers of Spanish, English and Estonian. Journal of Phonetics, 30, 229258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Micheyl, C., Delhommeau, K., Perrot, X., & Oxenham, A. J. (2006). Influence of musical and psychoacoustical training on pitch discrimination. Hearing Research, 219, 3647. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2006.05.004.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mueller, J. L., Friederici, A. D., & Ma¨nel, C. (2012). Auditory perception at the root of language learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 1595315958. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1204319109.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Omote, A., Jasmin, K., & Tierney, A. (2017). Successful non-native speech perception is linked to frequency following response phase consistency. Cortex, 93, 146154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.005.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Piske, T., MacKay, I., & Flege, J. (2001). Factors affecting degree of foreign accents in an L2: A review. Journal of Phonetics, 29, 191215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Plonsky, L., & Gonulal, T. (2015). Methodological synthesis in quantitative L2 research: A review of reviews and a case study of exploratory factor analysis. Language Learning, 65, 936. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Plonsky, L., & Oswald, F. L. (2014). How big is “big”? Interpreting effect sizes in L2 research. Language Learning, 64, 878912. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
R Core Team. (2018). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. https://www.R-project.org/.Google Scholar
Ruggles, D., Bharadwaj, H., & Shinn-Cunningham, B. G. (2012). Why middle-aged listeners have trouble hearing in everyday settings. Current Biology, 22, 14171422. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.05.025.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Russo, N., Nicol, T., Trommer, B., Zecker, S., & Kraus, N. (2009). Brainstem transcription of speech is disrupted in children with autism spectrum disorders. Developmental Science, 12, 557567. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00790.x.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Russo, N. M., Skoe, E., Trommer, B., Nicol, T., Zecker, S., Bradlow, A., & Kraus, N. (2008). Deficient brainstem encoding of pitch in children with autism spectrum disorders. Clinical Neurophysiology, 119, 17201731. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2008.01.108.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saito, K. (2013). Age effects on late bilingualism: The production development of/ɹ/by high-proficiency Japanese learners of English. Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 546562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2013.07.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K. (2015). Experience effects on the development of late second language learners’ oral proficiency. Language Learning, 65, 563595. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., Dewaele, J.-M., Abe, M., & In’nami, Y. (2018). Motivation, emotion, learning experience and second language comprehensibility development in classroom settings: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Language Learning, 68, 709743. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., Kachlicka, M., Sun, H., & Tierney, A. (2020a). Domain-general auditory processing as an anchor of post-pubertal L2 pronunciation learning: Behavioural and neurophysiological investigations of perceptual acuity, age, experience, development, and attainment. Journal of Memory and Language, 115, 104168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2020.104168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., Sun, H., & Tierney, A. (2019). Explicit and implicit aptitude effects on second language speech learning: Scrutinizing segmental and suprasegmental sensitivity and performance via behavioural and neurophysiological measures. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 22, 11231140. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1366728918000895.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., Sun, H., & Tierney, A. (2020b). Brief report: Test-retest reliability of explicit auditory processing measures. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.12.149484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., Sun, H., & Tierney, A. (2020c). Domain-general auditory processing determines success in second language pronunciation learning in adulthood: A longitudinal study. Applied Psycholinguistics. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716420000491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schneider, B. A., Daneman, M., & Pichora-Fuller, M. K. (2002). Listening in aging adults: From discourse comprehension to psychoacoustics. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56, 139152. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0087392.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Skoe, E., Krizman, J., Anderson, S., & Kraus, N. (2013). Stability and plasticity of auditory brainstem function across the lifespan. Cerebral Cortex, 25, 14151426.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Smith, J. O. (2007). Introduction to digital filters with audio applications. http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/filters/Google Scholar
Snowling, M. J., Gooch, D., McArthur, G., & Hulme, C. (2018). Language skills, but not frequency discrimination, predict reading skills in children at risk of dyslexia. Psychological Science, 29, 12701282. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618763090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Surprenant, A. M., & Watson, C. S. (2001). Individual differences in the processing of speech and nonspeech sounds by normal-hearing listeners. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 110, 20852095. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1404973.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Suzuki, Y., & DeKeyser, R. (2017). Exploratory research on second language practice distribution: An aptitude × treatment interaction. Applied Psycholinguistics, 38, 2756. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716416000084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Toscano, J. C., & McMurray, B. (2010). Cue integration with categories: Weighting acoustic cues in speech using unsupervised learning and distributional statistics. Cognitive Science, 34, 434464.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
UK Census (2011). Census aggregated data. Retrieved August 2018 from UK Data Service: http://doi.org/10.5257/census/aggregate-2011-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Zeeland, H., & Schmitt, N. (2013). Lexical coverage in L1 and L2 listening comprehension: The same or different from reading comprehension? Applied Linguistics, 34, 457479. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/ams074.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Werker, J. F., & Tees, R. C. (1999). Influences on infant speech processing: Toward a new synthesis. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 509535. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.50.1.509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White-Schwoch, T., Woodruff Carr, K., Thompson, E. C., Anderson, S., Nicol, T., Bradlow, A. R., Zecker, S. G., & Kraus, N. (2015). Auditory processing in noise: A preschool biomarker for literacy. PLoS Biology, 13, 117. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002196.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Whiteford, K. L., & Oxenham, A. J. (2018). Learning for pitch and melody discrimination in congenital amusia. Cortex, 103, 164178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.03.012.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wilson, R. S., Beckett, L. A., Barnes, L. L., Schneider, J. A., Bach, J., Evans, D. A., & Bennett, D. A. (2002). Individual differences in rates of change in cognitive abilities of older persons. Psychology and Aging, 17, 179193. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.17.2.179.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wong, P. C., & Perrachione, T. K. (2007). Learning pitch patterns in lexical identification by native English-speaking adults. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28, 565585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wong, P. C. M., Perrachione, T. K., & Parrish, T. B. (2007). Neural characteristics of successful and less successful speech and word learning in adults. Human Brain Mapping, 28, 9951006. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20330.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

DOMAIN-GENERAL AUDITORY PROCESSING EXPLAINS MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF L2 ACQUISITION IN ADULTHOOD
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

DOMAIN-GENERAL AUDITORY PROCESSING EXPLAINS MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF L2 ACQUISITION IN ADULTHOOD
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

DOMAIN-GENERAL AUDITORY PROCESSING EXPLAINS MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF L2 ACQUISITION IN ADULTHOOD
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *