Research on age and second language acquisition (L2A) is vast, but inconclusive. Such research has mainly been motivated by the Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH), which postulates that language acquisition becomes extremely difficult after the onset of puberty. Also, there is a lack of research on age and third/additional language (L3/Ln) learning. To fill this gap, this article examines differences in morphosyntactic knowledge between early and late learners of English as a L3/Ln. In this study, ‘early’ and ‘late’ learners are those participants first exposed to English as a medium of instruction (MOI) in 1st and 11th grades, respectively. Participants’ morphosyntactic knowledge was assessed based on two tasks: (a) a Grammaticality Judgment Task (GJT) and (b) an editing task. Three hundred and thirty five undergraduate and graduate students from two universities in Pakistan voluntarily participated in the research. Results of the group comparisons showed no statistically significant differences between early and late learners on the GJT; however, on the editing task, a modest but significant difference was observed between the two groups, with late learners scoring higher. This finding contradicts the predictions of the CPH.
Acommon approach to analyzing phraseological knowledge in first language (L1) and second language (L2) learners is to employ raw frequency data. Several studies have also analyzed n-gram use on the basis of statistical association scores. Results from n-gram studies have found significant differences between L1 and L2 writers and between intermediate and advanced L2 writers in terms of their bigram use. The current study expands on this research by investigating the connection between bigram and trigram association measures and human judgments of L2 writing quality. Using multiple statistical association indices, it examines bigram and trigram use by beginner and intermediate L1 Korean learners of English in English placement test essays. Results of a logistic regression indicated that intermediate writers employed a greater number of strongly associated academic bigrams and spoken trigrams. These findings have important implications for understanding lexical development in L2 writers and notions of writing proficiency.
Teasing can be approached as a linguistic resource for examining the interpersonal issues of im/ politeness and face, or as a discursive strategy for displaying relationships or constructing social identities. However, studies have underestimated the discursive constraints of teasing in specific contexts. Meanwhile, a majority of teasing studies were based on Western cultures and did not pay sufficient attention to the variety of teasing across cultures. By collecting data from two Chinese entertainment interviews, where the interviewer employs teasing frequently for performing institutional roles, this study examined how teasing functions to assist the interviewer to complete communicative goals, and explored the discursive constraints of teasing in media context. Data analysis exemplified how teasing helped the interviewer to manage an interview event, obtain the guest’s disclosure and seek audience involvement, helping to construct the interviewer’s professionality. Implications for understanding the discursive features of teasing in the Chinese media context were addressed.
Researchers investigating the incidental acquisition of vocabulary through reading must select either real or nonce words as targets. To determine whether this decision affects acquisition, English as a foreign language classes (English experimental n=80; nonce experimental n=89) were given a 2,381-token short story containing either 26 target English or nonce words. Analysis of the gain scores on an unexpected meaning recognition assessment for the two experimental and two control groups (English control n=73; nonce control n=114) found a statistically significant difference in acquisition. The large effect size found indicates the choice to use nonce targets has a clear effect on acquisition outcomes. Additional analysis also indicated the contextual richness of the words surrounding targets was subordinate to frequency of exposure in terms of encouraging incidental acquisition. Furthermore, learners’ L2 vocabulary size had only a negligible effect on acquisition outcomes. Further analyses, implications, and consequences in regard to research practices are discussed.