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ERIC Number: EJ1103907
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1479-0718
The Role of Formal L2 Learning Experience in L3 Acquisition among Early Bilinguals
Park, Mihi; Starr, Rebecca L.
International Journal of Multilingualism, v13 n3 p274-291 2016
Early bilingualism is thought to facilitate language learning [Klein, E. C. (1995). "Second versus third language acquisition: Is there a difference?" "Language Learning", 45(3), 419-466; Cromdal, J. (1999). "Childhood bilingualism and metalinguistic skills: Analysis and control in young Swedish-English bilinguals." "Applied Psycholinguistics", 20(1), 1-20]. The present study tests whether experience with formal study of an L2 conveys further advantages to early bilinguals, and whether typological similarity of previously-learnt languages to L3 plays a significant role in L3 learning. Two groups of participants, Early Bilinguals (EBLs) and Early Bilinguals with formal L2 experience (EBLs+L2), were tested on acquisition of Korean case markers in four argument structures: intransitive verbs, transitive verbs with both arguments, transitive verbs with one omitted argument, and descriptive verbs. EBLs+L2 significantly outperformed EBLs and the two groups showed further differences by sentence type, with EBLs showing more difficulty with novel structures while EBLs+L2 did not. To examine the role of typological proximity, EBLs+L2 were divided into those who had studied Japanese (EBLs+Jap), which is structurally similar to Korean, and those with experience studying other languages (EBLs+non-Jap). In spite of typological similarity, EBLs+Jap did not significantly outperform EBLs+non-Jap overall. These results support the conclusion that formal study of an L2 conveys advantages to early bilinguals in L3 learning. Such experience results in greater metalinguistic awareness, allowing students to efficiently acquire structures that differ from their existing linguistic repertoire.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A