This study compared children’s and adults’ L2 perception and production in the first hours of exposure to a foreign language. A total of 10 German children and 19 German adults performed a phoneme discrimination task and a sentence imitation task in Polish at two testing times. Exposed to a comparable input, the adult learners were found to perceive Polish sibilant contrasts more accurately than their child counterparts and to maintain this advantage over a two-week-long instruction. However, the two groups did not differ in their developing ability to produce the tested sibilants. A great deal of inter- and intra-individual differences in both learner groups was also attested. Our findings suggest that young L2 instructed learners are not necessarily better and/or faster perceivers and producers of novel language sounds than adult L2 instructed learners, who are able to discriminate a range of novel sibilant pairs even after very limited L2 exposure.
(2010) Accessing psycho-acoustic perception and language-specific perception with speech sounds. Laboratory Phonology, 1(1), 179–205.
Baker, W., & Trofimovich, P.
(2006) Perceptual paths to accurate production of L2 vowels: The role of individual differences. IRAL, 44(3), 231–250.
Baker, W., Trofimovich, P., Flege, J. E., Mack, M., & Halter, R.
(2008) Child-adult differences in second language phonetic learning: The role of cross-language similarity. Language and Speech, 51(4), 317–342.
(2016) La realisation phonique des mots en début d’apprentissage de langues seconds. Revue française de linguistique appliquée, xxi1, 139–151.
Best, C. T.
(1995) A direct realist view of cross-language speech perception. In W. Strange (Ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experience: Issues in cross-language research (pp. 171–204). Timonium, MD: York Press.
Best, C. T., McRoberts, G. W., & Goodell, E.
(2001) Discrimination of non-native consonant contrasts varying in perceptual assimilation to the listener’s native phonological system. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 109(2), 775–794.
(1997) The structure of age: In search of barriers to second language acquisition. Second Language Research, 13(2), 116–137.
Bukmaier, V. & Harrington, J.
(2016) The articulatory and acoustic characteristics of Polish sibilants and their consequences for diachronic change. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 46(3), 311–329.
(2002a) Age of learning and oral production in the third language. Interface. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 16(2), 63–73.
(2014) The effectiveness of early foreign language learning in the Netherlands. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 41, 409–418.
De Bot, K., Lowie, W., & Verspoor, M.
(2007) A dynamic systems approach to second language acquisition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 10(1), 7–21.
(2003) Implicit and explicit learning. In C. Doughty, & M. H. Long (Eds.), The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 313–348). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Flege, J. E.
(1995) Second-language speech learning: Theory, findings, and problems. In W. Strange (Ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experience: Issues in cross-language research (pp. 229–273). Timonium, MD: York Press.
(2006) The development of English (FL) perception and production skills: Starting age and exposure effects. In C. Muñoz (Ed.), Age and the Rate of Foreign Language Learning (pp. 41–64). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
García Lecumberri, M., & Gallardo, F.
(2003) English FL sounds in school learners of different ages. In M. García Mayo, & M. García Lecumberri (Eds.), Age and the Acquisition of English as a Foreign Language (pp. 115–135). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Jähi, K., Taimi, L., Peltola, K. U., Alku, P., & Peltola, M. S.
(2016) The effect of non-native production training in different age groups. Poster presented at New Sounds 2016, 10–12 June 2016, Aarhus University.
(2014) On multilingual awareness or why the multilingual learner is a specific language learner. In L. Aronin, & M. Pawlak (Eds.), Essential Topics in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism. Studies in Honor of David Singleton (pp. 175–184). Heidelberg: Springer.
(2011) Learning vowel sounds in a migrant setting: The case of Polish children and adults in Ireland. In M. Wrembel, M. Kul, & K. Dziubalska-Kołaczyk (Eds.), Achievements and Perspectives in SLA of Speech: New Sounds 2010. Volume II1 (pp. 137–148). Oxford: Peter Lang.
(2012) Differences in L2 segmental perception: The effects of age and L2 learning experience. In C. Muñoz (Ed.), Intensive Exposure Experiences in Second Language Learning (pp. 234–255). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
(2018) Exploring metalinguistic awareness in L3 phonological acquisition: the case of young instructed learners of Spanish in Germany. Language Awareness, 27(1–2), 153–166.
(2008) Weighing the benefits of studying a foreign language at a younger starting age in a minimal input situation. Second Language Research, 24(1), 35–63.
(2001) Hearing the Polish sibilants [s š ś]: phonetic and auditory judgements. In N. Grønnum, & J. Rischel (Eds.), Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Copenhague XXXI. To Honour Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (pp. 226–238). Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel.
(2011) Early L2 phonology: A dynamic approach. In M. Wrembel, M. Kul, & K. Dziubalska-Kolaczyk (Eds.), Achievements and Perspectives in SLA of Speech: New Sounds 2010, Volume 21 (pp. 159–170). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Morales Reyes, A., Arechabaleta-Regulez, B., & Montrul, S.
(2007) English listeners perception of Polish alveopalatal and retroflex voiceless sibilants: A pilot study. UC Berkeley Phonological Lab Annual Report, pp. 391–415.
(Ed) (2006) Age and the Rate of Foreign Language Learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
(2014a) Contrasting effects of starting age and input on the oral performance of foreign language learners. Applied Linguistics, 351, 463–482.
(2014b) The association between aptitude components and language skills in young learners. In M. Pawlak, & L. Aronin (Eds.), Essential Topics in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism (pp. 51–68). Heidelberg: Springer.
Myles, F., & Mitchell, R.
(2012) Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11: An investigation into starting ages, rates and routes of learning amongst early foreign language learner. ESRC End of Award Report RES-062-23-1545. Swindon: ESRC.
(1992) Age-related differences in perceptual effects of formant transitions within syllables and across syllable boundaries. Journal of Phonetics, 201, 1–32.
(2002) Learning to perceive speech: How fricative perception changes, and how it stays the same. The Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 112(2), 711–719.
(2006) The role of vowel transitions and frication noise in the perception of Polish sibilants. Journal of Phonetics, 34(2), 139–152.
Pfenninger, S., & Singleton, D.
(2016) Affect trumps age: A person-in-context relational view of age and motivation in SLA. Second Language Research, 32(3), 311–345.
Pfenninger, S., & Singleton, D.
(2017) Beyond Age Effects in Instructional L2 Learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
(2017) Examining the LLAMA aptitude tests. Journal of the European Second Language Association, 1(1), 49–60.
Sharwood Smith, M.
(1994) Second Language Learning: Theoretical Foundations. London: Longman.
(2016) The development of perceptual sensitivity to Polish sibilants at first exposure. In A. Albright, & M. A. Fullwood (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Meeting on Phonology. Washington, DC: Linguistic Society of America. Available from [URL].
Shoemaker, E., & Rast, R.
(2013) Extracting words from the L2 speech stream: a first exposure study. Second Language Research, 29(2), 35–53.
(2014) Apt to change: The problematic of language awareness and language aptitude in age-related research. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(3), 55–571.
Singleton, D., & Ryan, L.
(2004) Language Acquisition: The Age Factor. 2nd edition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
2020. The younger, the better? Speech perception development in adolescent vs. adult L3 learners. Yearbook of the Poznan Linguistic Meeting 6:1 ► pp. 27 ff.
Schertz, Jessamyn & Elizabeth K. Johnson
2022. Voice Onset Time Imitation in Teens Versus Adults. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 65:5 ► pp. 1839 ff.
Wrembel, Magdalena, Ulrike Gut, Romana Kopečková & Anna Balas
2022. The relationship between the perception and production of L2 and L3 rhotics in young multilinguals; an exploratory cross-linguistic study. International Journal of Multilingualism► pp. 1 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 29 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
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