Eva Marie Koch - Speaker

Alexis Housen - Contributor

Johanna de Vos - Contributor

Kristin Lemhöfer - Contributor

Aline Godfroid - Contributor

While SLA through immersion is a very common phenomenon, our knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of uninstructed SLA in naturalistic, communicative situations is still restricted. Although there has been a growing body of psycholinguistic research investigating explicit and implicit L2 knowledge, learning and training (DeKeyser, 2003), comparative studies have often been biased toward advantages for explicit instruction and learning (Morgan-Short et al., 2012), and many studies tend to use a (semi-)artificial language paradigm (e.g., Rebuschat & Williams, 2012), limiting the generalizability of findings to SLA in natural contexts. Our study investigates the acquisition of a morphosyntactic aspect in a natural language (stem-vowel alternations in German strong verbs) in a communicative, yet experimentally controlled context (De Vos et al., in prep.). We used a meaning-based conversational task to measure learning from native-speaker input and compared learning outcomes of advanced L2 German learners (L1 Dutch) in an implicit (n = 10; a cover story concealed the study’s intentions) and explicit (n = 10; learners were instructed to focus on strong-verb inflection) learning condition. In both conditions, the participant and the experimenter (L1 German) engaged in a scripted dialogue and produced, in turn, picture-based sentences containing either a stemvowel-changing or non-stemvowel-changing verb. A pretest-posttest design was integrated into the conversational task, making it possible to measure learning in terms of participants’ improvement in accuracy after exposure, as compared to scores on items for which no input was provided. Comparable amounts of learning were found for both groups; thus, explicit instruction did not have an apparent added value. A retrospective interview revealed that participants in the implicit group had noticed the strong verbs but were unaware of the study’s learning purpose, suggesting that learning was incidental. Our findings illustrate that the principles of morphosyntactic learning can occur during conversation. References De Vos, J., Schriefers, H., & Lemhöfer, K. (in preparation). Naturalistic incidental spoken L2 word learning and retention: An experimental study. DeKeyser, R. M. (2003). Implicit and explicit learning. In C. J. Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 313–348). Oxford: Blackwell. Morgan-Short, K., Steinhauer, K., Sanz, C., & Ullman, M. T. (2012). Explicit and implicit second language training differentially affect the achievement of native-like brain activation patterns. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(4), 933–947. Rebuschat, P., & Williams, J. N. (2012). Implicit and explicit knowledge in second language acquisition. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33(4), 829–856.
6 Nov 2017

Event (Conference)

TitleConference on Multilingualism
Abbrev. TitleCOM2017

ID: 47454022