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ERIC Number: ED400710
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Underproduction Does Not Necessarily Mean Avoidance: Investigation of Underproduction Using Chinese ESL Learners.
Li, Jiang
A discussion of second language learning and second language underproduction proposes a differentiation between conscious avoidance and subconscious underproduction Reference is made to J. Schacter's avoidance theory, which was based on a study in which Chinese and Japanese students of English as a Second Language (ESL) produced fewer Relative Clauses (RCs) in English than learners having other native languages. Comparison of Chinese and English RCs reveals that they differ in both form and other aspects, including pragmatic functions. In a survey, 15 of 16 Chinese ESL learners denied having consciously tried to avoid English RCs. Two tests involving another group of Chinese ESL learners showed no evidence that they consciously avoided English RCs. It is concluded that it is not the apparent formal difference in languages at the source of the phenomenon (i.e., avoidance), but more subtle pragmatic differences that create subconscious underproduction of the construction. Implications for second language teaching are considered. Contains 18 references. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A