Sensitive periods, language aptitude, and ultimate L2 attainment
Research on second language acquisition (SLA) has identified language aptitude and age of onset (AO), i.e., the age at which learners are first meaningfully exposed to the L2, as robust predictors of rate of classroom language learning and level of ultimate L2 attainment in naturalistic settings, respectively. It is not surprising, therefore, that recent years have witnessed a surge of interest in the combination of age and aptitude as a powerful explanatory factor in SLA, and central to a viable SLA theory. The chapters in this volume provide new studies and reviews of research findings on age effects, bilingualism effects, maturational constraints and sensitive periods in SLA, the sub-components of language aptitude and the development of new aptitude measures, the influence of AO and aptitude in combination on SLA, aptitude-treatment interactions, and the implications of the research findings for language education policy and tailored language instruction.
[Language Learning & Language Teaching, 35] 2013. xv, 295 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
List of contributors | pp. vii–viii
Introduction and overviewGisela Granena and Mike Long | pp. ix–xvi
Part I. Age differences and maturational constraints
Maturational constraints on child and adult SLAMike Long | pp. 3–42
Maturational constraints on lexical acquisition in a second languageKatherine Spadaro | pp. 43–68
Age of acquisition effects or effects of bilingualism in second language ultimate attainment?Emanuel Bylund, Kenneth Hyltenstam and Niclas Abrahamsson | pp. 69–102
Part II. Aptitude constructs and measures
Cognitive aptitudes for second language learning and the LLAMA Language Aptitude TestGisela Granena | pp. 105–130
New conceptualizations of language aptitude in second language attainmentJudit Kormos | pp. 131–152
Optimizing post-critical-period language learningCatherine J. Doughty | pp. 153–176
Part III. Age, aptitude and ultimate attainment
Reexamining the robustness of aptitude in second language acquisitionGisela Granena | pp. 179–204
Memory-based aptitude for nativelike selection: The role of phonological short-term memoryCylcia Bolibaugh and Pauline Foster | pp. 205–230
High-level proficiency in late L2 acquisition: Relationships between collocational production, language aptitude and personalityFanny Forsberg Lundell and Maria Sandgren | pp. 231–256
Part IV. Implications for educational policy and language teaching
Some implications of research findings on sensitive periods in language learning for educational policy and practiceMike Long | pp. 259–272
Aptitude-treatment interaction studies in second language acquisition: Findings and methodologyKaren Vatz, Medha Tare, Scott R. Jackson and Catherine J. Doughty | pp. 273–292
Subject index | pp. 293–296
“In this foundational and timely collection of new empirical studies and state-of -the-art critical reviews, Granena and Long move us several steps forward toward a clearer understanding of the relationship between language aptitude, age effects, and L2 ultimate attainment, and their broader implications for educational policy and language teaching. This invaluable volume is a must-read for language teachers, researchers of second language acquisition and educators.”
Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“This important book includes chapters describing up-to-date, and insightful overviews of research on age effects on second language acquisition (SLA), current conceptions of aptitude, and the methodology for constructing aptitude-treatment-interaction (ATI) research, along with carefully reported empirical research into the effects of aptitude on second language learning. It is essential reading for SLA researchers, and for those concerned with the design of effective second language instruction across the lifespan. Ground-breaking, and highly recommended!”
Peter Robinson, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo
“A cornucopia of cutting-edge research on age of learning, aptitudes, and their interaction; a must-read for all those interested in how individual differences in cognitive functioning shape a variety of phenomena in second language learning. Stimulating contributions from both established researchers and recent graduates point to new perspectives for theories of second language acquisition and provide valuable pointers for future empirical research.”
Robert DeKeyser, University of Maryland
“This is a most interesting and timely volume that brings together sensitive periods, ultimate L2 attainment, and language aptitude, while at the same time examining a range of individual and social factors. The result is a rich collection of articles that take the debate of maturational constraints a long way forward and offer significant implications for language teaching. A must read.”
Carmen Munoz, Universitat de Barcelona
“Eleven state-of-the-art chapters explore age-related variables and language aptitude as explanatory factors in second language (L2) development in this carefully edited volume. It presents a refreshing combination of rigorous review chapters and research reports that question current assumptions about maturational constraints and aptitude, break new ground, and propose productive directions for future inquiry. [...]Researchers and educators will welcome this informative and highly focused book as a substantial contribution to our understanding of the dynamic combination of age and aptitude in promoting L2 learning.”
John Hedgcock, Monterey Institute of International Studies, in Studies in Second Language Acquisition 36: 597-600 , 2014
“This volume makes a clear contribution to the field and will be very useful to practitioners, regardless of their level of experience in the field. The breadth and depth of its contents is impressive for an edited volume.”
Jessica G. Cox, Georgetown University, on Linguist List 25.244, 2014
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[no author supplied]
[no author supplied]
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Main BIC Subject
CFDC: Language acquisition
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General