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Author: John M. Lipski

Abstract

This study examines sensitivity to putative grammatical constraints on intra-sentential code-switching, viewed as a relative measure of attainment in heritage bilingual grammars. This is exemplified by a series of interactive tasks carried out with heritage Portuguese speakers in Misiones Province, Argentina. The results demonstrate the viability of deploying a range of experimental techniques in field settings with heritage speakers who do not engage in habitual code switching.

In: Heritage Language Journal
Author: Julio Torres

Abstract

In this article, I reflect on the role of linguistic complexity in instructed heritage language (HL) acquisition by specifically examining morphosyntactic linguistic complexity as it relates to factors such as transparency, saliency, and communicative value. First, I critically evaluate previous proposals on linking formal HL studies to pedagogy by arguing that learning in instructed contexts is a complex task that requires research on a number of variables including linguistic complexity. Second, I summarize the lessons learned in the field of instructed second language acquisition with regard to complexity in additional language learning. Third, by reviewing an empirical study on the development of Spanish gender assignment and agreement in writing, I provide a few arguments for investigating the interplay between linguistic complexity and the prior language experience that HL learners bring into the learning environment. Informed by findings from instructed second language studies, I propose that instructed HL studies also examine how linguistic complexity is potentially interwoven with type of instruction and individual differences.

In: Heritage Language Journal

Abstract

Current HL pedagogy recommends focus on form approaches (Beaudrie, Ducar, & Potowski, 2014; Kisselev, Dubinina, & Polinsky, 2020) but within this broad category there are many techniques. To date only a few studies have compared HL learning gains on explicit and implicit focus on form instruction, and these have found explicit instruction to be more beneficial. The present study isolated the role of rule presentation on learning gains by comparing Spanish HL learners in a Processing Instruction condition (n = 26) who received rule presentation and explicit information about the target structure (indicative and subjunctive in adverbial clauses of time) prior to structured input, to HL learners in a Structured Input condition (n = 16) who received only structured input. Pretest/posttest/delayed posttest comparisons revealed that both PI and SI resulted in lasting learning gains, as well as a complex interplay between learners’ initial knowledge of the structure and the type of instruction, such that learners with little or no initial knowledge benefited from rule presentation, whereas learners with greater initial knowledge did not. Furthermore, data from think-alouds and retrospective interviews shows that all learners did not process the instruction similarly, and pedagogical implications are discussed.

In: Heritage Language Journal

Abstract

The concept of linguistic complexity, understood broadly as a range of basic and elaborate structures available and accessible to learners as evidenced in their production of speech and writing (Ortega, 2003), has featured prominently in second language development research since the inception of the field. The field of heritage language acquisition, however, has only recently begun to engage linguistic complexity as a comprehensive lens for studying heritage language development. The current study contributes to this fledgling area of research by investigating automatically extracted measures of syntactic complexity in the written language of heritage learners of Russian at various developmental levels. The analysis of 12 measures of syntactic complexity allows us to conclude that the majority of automatically extracted indices differentiate proficiency levels of heritage speakers in the study. The study results provide important insights into the nature of heritage language development and are readily applicable for assessment and pedagogical purposes.

In: Heritage Language Journal
In: Monty Howell. Milestones of Life among Rastafari
In: Monty Howell. Milestones of Life among Rastafari
In: Monty Howell. Milestones of Life among Rastafari
In: Monty Howell. Milestones of Life among Rastafari
In: Monty Howell. Milestones of Life among Rastafari