Edited by Gisela Granena, Daniel O. Jackson and Yucel Yilmaz
[Bilingual Processing and Acquisition 3] 2016
► pp. 41–67
Miniature natural language learning in L2 acquisition research
Researchers who wish to study mechanisms underlying second language (L2) learning and factors influencing its success face a trade-off between low experimental control in studies of naturalistic language acquisition and low typological and ecological validity in studies of artificial language learning. The methodological solution we propose is a miniature natural language learning paradigm, which exposes participants to selected elements of an unfamiliar L2, in the form of meaningful dialogues, over a period of several laboratory sessions. We show how this methodology allows researchers to understand how various components of learning interact as learners are exposed to vocabulary and grammar simultaneously, and how characteristics of both the learner and the input influence learning outcomes.
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