2004
Volume 56, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729

Abstract

Abstract

Central questions within L3 language acquisition research concern the activation of different background languages when it is the intention to use the L3. Why does the L1 serve as a source of transfer in some cases and the L2 in other cases? A number of explanations has been put forward. Some are based on structural or (psycho)typological similarities between languages while in others the L1- resp. L2-dominance within the learner’s mental network of linguistic knowledge is emphasized. The L2 status factor hypothesis (LSFH) claims that the L2 has a special status in the acquisition of an L3. This can be seen in syntax, even at an intermediate level (Bardel & Falk 2007). The question is whether, and in what way, LSFH applies when the L1 and L3 are more closely related and more similar to each other than the L2 and L3 are.

In this study we test four models of crosslinguistic influence by investigating German learners of Dutch with English as L2 and English learners of Dutch with German as L2. The task is a grammaticality judgement and correction task in order to get insights into intuitions about the target language. The two groups behave differently with regard to both acceptance and rejection of the test items. Our results clearly show both a positive and a negative transfer from the participants’ L2s, consistent with the predictions of the LSFH. Didactic implications for German learners of Dutch involve two types of individual scaffolding materials within task based language teaching: focus on form and enhancement of L1 metalinguistic knowledge.

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2018-11-01
2021-09-20
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