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ERIC Number: EJ1164211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0272-2631
The Beneficial Role of L1 Spoken Language Skills on Initial L2 Sign Language Learning: Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of M2L2 Acquisition
Williams, Joshua T.; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v39 n4 p833-850 Dec 2017
Understanding how language modality (i.e., signed vs. spoken) affects second language outcomes in hearing adults is important both theoretically and pedagogically, as it can determine the specificity of second language (L2) theory and inform how best to teach a language that uses a new modality. The present study investigated which cognitive-linguistic skills predict successful L2 sign language acquisition. A group (n = 25) of adult hearing L2 learners of American Sign Language underwent a cognitive-linguistic test battery before and after one semester of sign language instruction. A number of cognitive-linguistic measures of verbal memory, phonetic categorization skills, and vocabulary knowledge were examined to determine whether they predicted proficiency in a multiple linear regression analysis. Results indicated that English vocabulary knowledge and phonetic categorization skills predicted both vocabulary growth and self-rated proficiency at the end of one semester of instruction. Memory skills did not significantly predict either proficiency measures. These results highlight how linguistic skills in the first language (L1) directly predict L2 learning outcomes regardless of differences in L1 and L2 language modalities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1342962