Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 121/122 (1998) ► pp. 39–50
Towards a Teaching of French to English-speaking Learners by Cognate Comprehension
Acquiring a foreign or a second language differs strongly according to the proximity of the target language and the mother tongue. In the case of distant languages, the learner tends to simplify the structure of his/her mother tongue and use semantax. On the other hand, the learner of a cognate language could consider the target language as a dialectal variant of his/her own mother tongue. The resulting adaptation would be an innate adaptation, a linguistic superposition. The didactic strategy would then consist in supervising this process of superposition and devising a teaching system based on 'cognate comprehension' of the closely related languages. Such a strategy could be used in the teaching of French to English-speaking learners, though English and French are not commonly considered closely related languages.
Published online: 01 January 1998