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    2014年, 第14卷, 第12期 刊出日期:2014-12-28 上一期    下一期
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    Language Learning Strategies in China: A Call for Teacher-friendly Research
    2014 (12):  1-11.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.001
    摘要 ( 230 )   PDF(314KB) ( 65 )  
    The astronomical number of people learning English in China and a small proportion of success stories mean a practical demand of research that focuses on learning how to learn. Research interest in language learning strategies started in China in the early 1990s and gradually gained momentum and peaked around twenty years later. The staggering amount of publications on the topic, however, has not produced the expected impact on learning and teaching, mainly because of the fact that the research has not been well applied. Meanwhile, a few findings can be said to have been over applied. These mainly include an over-emphasis on memory strategies and on the intentional learning of explicit knowledge. Luckily, some research findings have been well applied. Apart from providing many insights into strategic learning, research on language learning strategies has seen its salient impact on the national curriculum for basic education and on the textbooks. It is contended that researchers should re-orientate our research agenda from knowledge accumulation to knowledge application, and from facilitating learning to empowering learners.
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    A Meta-analysis of Cross-linguistic Syntactic Priming Effects
    2014 (12):  12-17.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.002
    摘要 ( 473 )   PDF(243KB) ( 38 )  
    Cross-linguistic syntactic priming (CLSP) refers to the phenomenon that the use of a particular structure (e.g., passives) in one language facilitates or primes the subsequent use of the parallel structure in the other language of a bilingual speaker. Individual studies examining CLSP effects have produced conflicting results. This study aims to estimate the population effects of cross-linguistic syntactic priming effects and lexical boost effect, and to examine how potential moderators (priming direction, L2 learners' proficiency levels, and structural similarities) influenced cross-linguistic priming, electronic research databases were searched systematically for published studies, which measured CLSP effects. Meta-analytic techniques were used to analyze 20 L1 to L2 cross-linguistic studies with 32 effects sizes and 10 L2 to L1 studies with 19 effect sizes. Most studies involved 20-45 minutes of priming activities. Heterogeneity exists within the crosslinguistic priming but the priming direction (L1 to L2 or L2 to L1), L2 learners' proficiency levels, experimental modes and structural similarities were not potential moderators. For the L1 to L2 studies, the results turned out to be homogeneous. For the L2 to L1 direction, though the results were heterogeneous, L2 learners' proficiency level, experimental modes, and structural similarities were not moderators. More detailed information should be given for the cross-linguistic priming studies and more refined meta-analysis containing more potential moderators should be carried out in the future.
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    Effects of Explicit Focus on Form on L2 Acquisition of English Passive Construction
    2014 (12):  18-31.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.003
    摘要 ( 209 )   PDF(639KB) ( 41 )  
    Intensive research on instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) over the last two decades has, overall, pointed to the usefulness of Focus on Form—a type of pedagogical intervention that engages learners' metalinguistic attention in an otherwise meaning-based environment—in fostering learners' communicative accuracy. A finer-grained understanding thereof has yet to be sought, especially vis-à-vis the type of focus on form and the nature of the target construction as potential mitigating variables. This small-scale study attempts to investigate the effectiveness of explicit Focus on Form (FonF) in the acquisition of the English passive construction. Two intact, lower-advanced level English-as-a-second-language (ESL) classes of a community English program in the U.S. participated in the study, with one serving as an experimental group and the other a control group. The study adopted a pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest design and spanned five weeks, including two weeks of treatment wherein the experimental group received eight mini-sessions of C-R and metalinguistic explanation, while the control group continued with their regular instruction. Results indicated that the treatment significantly facilitated the learning of the passive construction.
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    Development of Implicit and Explicit Knowledge of Grammatical Structures in Chinese EFL Learners
    2014 (12):  32-47.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.004
    摘要 ( 274 )   PDF(669KB) ( 48 )  
    Although the theoretical distinction between implicit and explicit knowledge of a second language has long been recognized, minimal documented description exists of the development of the two types of knowledge in L2 learners due to the difficulty in finding separate measures of the two types. To address this gap, this study first investigated the construct validity of the four tests developed by R. Ellis (2005) intended to distinguish between the two knowledge types: an oral imitation test, a timed grammaticality judgment test (GJT), an untimed GJT and a metalinguistic knowledge test. The four tests, all examining 17 English grammatical structures, were administered to 88 native speakers of Chinese studying English as their major at the first three year levels in a Chinese university. The results from a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirmed the two-factor solution for the implicit/explicit model proposed in R. Ellis (2005). Repeated measures ANOVA was then used to reveal developmental trends of the two knowledge types in the EFL learners across the three year levels. The results showed that learners at higher year level (or higher proficiency level) generally had higher level of both implicit and explicit knowledge of grammatical structures, and overall, the Chinese EFL learners possessed higher level of explicit knowledge than implicit knowledge. With regard to individual grammatical structures, the results of this study confirmed R. Ellis' (2006b) finding that the level of difficulty of grammatical structures varied according to whether it was implicit or explicit knowledge of the structures involved.
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    Extending the Distributional Bias Hypothesis to the Acquisition of Honorific Morphology in L2 Korean
    2014 (12):  48-61.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.005
    摘要 ( 241 )   PDF(1150KB) ( 40 )  
    Korean verbs can be marked with both referent and addressee honorific morphology. An analysis of a teledrama corpus and a phone call corpus shows that these two morphological classes co-occur in a biased distribution indicating an association between the two classes. An experiment was conducted to determine whether Korean heritage speakers' acquisition of Korean was affected by this association as would be predicted by the distributional bias hypothesis. Twenty heritage learners of Korean performed a teledrama oral translation task which elicited two addressee honorific styles with and without referent honorific marking. A repeated measures ANOVA on the four possible addressee-referent honorific combination showed differences in performance. A post hoc analysis of pairwise contrasts indicated that performance was superior on the referent honorific (RH) plus hayyo addressee honorific (AH) combination relative to the RH plus hay AH combination. This result is incompatible with an account that explains acquisition in terms of the cumulative frequencies of the forms in input. It is also incompatible with accounts claiming that learners do not associate the forms during the acquisitional process. It is argued that the distributional bias hypothesis best accounts for the pattern of results and the frequency-driven conflation of semantically related concatenated affixes may have special significance for agglutinative languages such as Korean.
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    How to Make L2 Easier to Process? The Role of L2 Proficiency and Semantic Category in Translation Priming
    2014 (12):  62-76.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.006
    摘要 ( 244 )   PDF(425KB) ( 35 )  
    The current study reports four masked translation priming experiments and demonstrates that L2 proficiency plays a role in translation priming but it is not the only factor determining translation priming patterns. Instead, language dominance might be more accurate in predicting priming patterns. Given the asymmetrical representations of L1 and L2 as described by most bilingual models, the conditions to produce L2-L1 priming not only depends on the task, but also the category size in semantic categorization. Relevant results will be discussed in relation to bilingual models. One implication of the current results is that processing L2 in a specific semantic context can be optimal to L2 lexical access.
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    Acquisition of Mandarin Lexical Tones: The Effect of Global Pitch Tendency
    2014 (12):  77-91.  DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2014.12.007
    摘要 ( 245 )   PDF(1079KB) ( 87 )  
    This paper discusses the acquisition of Mandarin lexical tones by American second language (L2) learners. The analysis of the tone errors in the reading passage and the spontaneous speech showed that the surface Tone 4 error is the most frequent at the prosodic word (PW)-initial position in both the intermediate and the advanced learner groups. Attempts were made to account for this tone error pattern within some second language acquisition (SLA) frameworks, but in vain. It was argued that this tone error pattern may be due to the high pitch tendency at the phrase- or sentence-initial position in speech. Although this is more of a general pattern across languages, the production of such a tendency by L2 learners superseded the underlying tones, hence the surface Tone 4 errors. The special status of Tone 4 in L2 speech corresponds to the special status of the same tone in the first language (L1) speech (Wan, 2007). However, it was cautioned that such similarity should not be taken as evidence for the similarity in L1 and L2 acquisition in that different processes are involved in L1 and L2 production.
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    Notes on Contributors
    2014 (12):  92-93. 
    摘要 ( 110 )   PDF(64KB) ( 19 )  
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