The learning styles develop and transfer between them, constituting themselves as well as processes once they are subject to the development phases, caused mainly by the age advance. Sociological, motivational elements, sense of responsibility and other matters of internal and external nature are in the sphere of the learning style development. After a brief theoretical review, with the aim to address conceptually the styles of learning, will be presented some results, arising from the implementation of a questionnaire prepared for this purpose, which show the differences in preferences revealed by native and immigrant students. Will be discussed the evolution of sensory preferences in the context of SecondLanguage learning, suggesting the hypothesis of a critical period for the type of sensory preference in the language learning. In other hand, will be also discussed the relation of the learning style with the academic success of students, and the consequence of that relationship as basic knowledge for an educative intervention that should guide and support measures for inclusion in a school that is increasingly a global institution concerning the type of students who hosts.
Abstract: The language assessment in secondlanguage context is still a gap in Portuguese schools and at research settings. Comprehensive diagnostic procedures are expected to be explanatory and to provide classification about proficiency levels. Proficiency, development and application are three components involved in educational assessment, specifically in secondlanguage context. Diagnostic and placement should be responsive to ensure the academic success mainly in the first years of schooling. The current international approaches focused on in-depth and broader assessments with strong theoretical basis. Specifically, our research project is developed maintaining the principles of several benchmarks provided by ALBERTA, TESOL, TOEFL and other testing guides. Despite of Portuguese SecondLanguage context, our sources are mainly American instruments regarding the great scientific evidence available. This study will examine the validity and prevalence of 4 specific tasks to differentiate 108 secondlanguage learners, considering the socioeconomic factor determined by current job situation of students’ families. Immigration routes are mostly work- related and the professional situation of families is extremely diverse and might have influence in school outcomes of young students experiencing constrained economic environments. All the tasks were developed for the first levels of proficiency (A2-B1, according to European benchmarks), including subtests as main criteria of organization and different types of responses (multiple format), applied to a large sample (oversampling is recommended) of diverse students (with the migratory experience as a condition). Across a small scale exploratory study we will have useful information about the adequacy of the test for school staff members, for students and for specific research in secondlanguage. Data will be presented regarding the following items: verbal analogies, semantic associations, picture naming, and morphological extraction. The main focus will be on the evaluation of the cognitive academic language proficiency depending on socioeconomic backgrounds identified through the professional situation of two-parent families and attending to their job skills (graduate and non-graduate). The results confirmed the hypothesis that students from low income immigrant families experienced worst performance in general tasks. Implications will be discussed considering that limited socioeconomic families have more failure to provide their children cognitive stimulating activities inside home routines comparing to more stable immigrant contexts.
The factors that distinguish individuals in the secondlanguage (L2) acquisition process are age, gender, the neuronal and cognitive maturation, previous linguistic knowledge and the psychological and affective aspects. The environment influence must not be understood as another isolated factor, but as the determinant background that implies all the factors considered. The aim of our general research project, on the basis of two empirical studies, is to present the process of L2 acquisition in a holistic style, considering the cognitive and affective perspectives. The research that has been developed in the language acquisition area disclosed some results, which allow perceiving that several psychological, biological, and neuropsychological factors are involved actively in the predisposition of the individual with migratory experience for his/her psychosocial and academic growth. Method: Regarding the lack subsisting in the secondlanguage acquisition research, it was developed a assessment instrument to observe the different verbal behaviour of 130 students (7-30 years old), with monolingual and secondlanguage learning profiles, at several cognitive and linguistic levels, considering age, gender and also all the migratory experience profiles. Results and Conclusions: Findings in what concerns the decoding competence will be discussed, regarding phonological awareness, memory, auditory and visual discrimination. The results of the dichotic hearing test (in the secondlanguage learners sample) will be here discussed, applying to the critical period of discriminating behaviour. We suggest a hypothesis of a mental linguistic system of connectivity (of functions) that could be stabilized/fossilized in the younger learners, that, in addition to the abilities of abstractness yet not full developed, result in a linguistic achievement decrease.
The main goal currently, for secondlanguage research, is the assessment of performance of heterogeneous groups of speakers and languages to infer about processing strategies. New insights and frameworks positioned research authors struggling with testing procedures mainly in European contexts since there is no knowledge of specific diagnostic testing (only benchmarks for guidance) for European countries concerning the school population with migratory experience. Certain countries and their educational systems seems to be more prepared to support secondlanguage learners (English language learners) with reliable benchmarks and tested models such as found in Alberta Education, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment (DELNA), Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey Revised (WMLSR), among other sources. Based on their specific standards and landmarks we adapted some traits of testing to our study (developing and validating a diagnostic test). In portuguese scenario we do not find validated measures, in the extent of diagnostic comprehensive approach, to apply and to ensure results that lead us to identify reliable results and discriminant profiles. The main interest to design experimental or descriptive studies in language assessment, in SL specific scenario, is to emphasize the need of evaluation of linguistic predisposition and of the amount of language knowledge of students to educational professionals and researchers can preview coding processes and behaviors of their pupils. In this line of thought, learning could be controlled in more successful way, trough validated new measures, and several constraints of inclusion could be diminished and motivation for language learning would be maximized. Teachers should be encouraged to complete assessments in order to measure language proficiency (in Portugal according to European Framework, 2001, but not only restricted to those benchmarks) and identify student’s profiles. In the other hand, students will be safely considered in school environment through accurate evaluation instrument and they could feel more self-controlled in specific cognitive transferences that they should be informed to be aware to use those strategies from their heritage language.
The present study assesses phonological awareness of L2 learners in relation to the age factor. We assess two aspects of phonological knowledge (awareness and con- sciousness) at the syllabic, intra-syllabic and phonemic (or alphabetic) levels. All the tests were developed attending to these parameters. Our goal was to test the critical period hypothesis regarding individuals’ language competence and performance and thus get a better understanding of the phonological routes they employ. There are very few studies that assess phonological awareness in a ‘total’ and ‘real’ perspec- tive (Doughty & Long, 2005). The particular insight of those studies, often with sep- arated goals and tests as instruments, could be an argument to explain the controver- sy between their conclusions. The performance that could be revealed in one of these tests could not be a predictor of the same performance in other tests. For ex- ample, the selection of dichotic hearing test in this battery is due to the importance of this type of measure and its role on language lateralization which relates to L2 acquisition. Importantly, we sought to explain and predict language competence in Portuguese as a secondlanguage (L2). The battery of tests here presented could serve as an instrument that offers indicators of students’ proficiency levels in Portu- guese as a L2.
It has been two decades since the publication of Alan Firth and Johannes Wagner’s article entitled On Discourse, Communication, and (Some) Concepts in SLA Research in The Modern Language Journal (FIRTH; WAGNER, 1997). This paper has been considered by many (e.g., BLOCK, 2003; CANAGARAJAH, 2007; ZUENGLER; MILLER, 2006) as a landmark in the field of secondlanguage acquisition (SLA), due to the challenges that it brought to the ontological, epistemological, and methodological aspects of the area up to that point. In particular, Firth and Wagner (1997) called for a reconceptualization of SLA, one that would address the “imbalance between cognitive and mentalistic orientations, and social and contextual orientations to language, the former orientation being unquestionably in the ascendancy” (p. 295). To the authors, such an imbalance was “accompanied by an analytic mindset that conceives of the FL speaker as a deficient communicator struggling to overcome an underdeveloped L2 competence, striving to reach the ‘target’ competence of an idealized [native speaker]” (p. 295-296). In concluding their critique of the field, they made the case that SLA studies ignored the fact that people generally communicate successfully in an additional language, and thus the study of effective communication between L2 speakers in real-life settings (rather than in controlled ones) should be added to its agenda.
Genetic studies tell us, moreover, that there were several population bottlenecks in our past when our numbers dropped precipitously. The most dramatic of these occurred around 75,000 BCE and is sometimes attributed to the eruption of a massive volcano in Sumatra that spewed about four thousand times as much ash into the atmosphere as did the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in Washington State in 1981 (Ambrose 1998; Klein and Edgar, 2002, p. 269; Rampino and Ambrose 2000). This catastrophic drop in population left just a few thousand humans alive, from which every one of us today is a descendant. Such small numbers, coupled with a nomadic lifestyle and the unmanageability of large groups, would have all but assured a lack of sustained inter-cultural contacts among the paleolithic humans. A child requires three to four years of exposure to language to achieve fluency, and the opportunity for that is universally available in human cultures. But it is difficult to imagine circumstances in which all adult members of all cultures of nomadic hominids would have access to three to four years of steady exposure to a secondlanguage in adulthood. We can only guess at the life expectancy of our prehistoric forebears, but until very recently it has not been much more than 35 years. Archaic humans had little opportunity to learn anything in adulthood, simply because adulthood did not last much longer than childhood and adolescence. Long after the population bottleneck of ca. 75,000 BCE, when we began our transition from a nomadic to an agricultural lifestyle, we still numbered only about 5 million; roughly the population of Toronto, Canada, dispersed across six continents (Hawks et al., 2000). For vast stretches of our history – significantly, those during which our linguistic abilities evolved - inter-cultural contacts would have been occasional and brief at most. In an environment like that, the ability to acquire a secondlanguage in adulthood with the same degree of rapidity and effortlessness characteristic of first language acquisition in childhood would not haven been useful. Indeed it would be surprising if ever a skill that required years of acquisition but then served no purpose for the overwhelming majority of people would have evolved universally among hunter- gatherers.
intermediate learners. Further research should test this principle in larger samples because one limitation of our study is related to the small number of learners who were effectively assessed by school to identify a proficiency level. Additionally, effects of instruction should be revisited in order to understand the weaknesses for the L2 learners . The SES variable showed to have influence for comprehensibility in these L2 learners, as shown in the children with unemployed parents, which were in the lowest position. Sociolinguistics studies [31-33] developed evidence to support that social environment and status influence the L2 listening abilities. According to those studies, the status and environment determined that monolingual speakers from middle to high classes (in terms of SES) are expected to have different outcomes for language. Language deficit in secondlanguage learners associated to low-income families correlated higher with deficit for oral comprehension skills. Additionally lower-SES appears to predict problems for receptive and production skills considering the low vocabulary received at home. On the other hand SES as a factor for the language differences among children could be highly mediated by the phonological sensitivity in the preschool children considering its importance for word and comprehension development . Considering that comprehensibility is different from listening comprehension, we found no knowledge of studies on the correlation between SES and the comprehensibility in the L2 context.
showing how it can neatly illustrate lexical, morphological, phonological and intonational questions. At these levels, the cornerstone and highly productive CL concept of “radial categories” is shown to have particular explanatory value. As the author states (referring to Read, 1993): “[k]nowledge of the different senses that a word can have is an important measure of vocabulary depth” (page 41) and the concept of “radial categories” with its structuring of polysemy from a central to more peripheral meanings is an effective way to focus this thorny issue for SLL. The author points out how the non-native speaker is rather remiss about using figurative extensions in a secondlanguage (L2), suggesting “learned attention” as a beneficial counter strategy. Moreover, the essential CL concept of “radial category”, which holds that categories have central or better examples and peripheral or more elusive ones, is according to the author applicable across the language board, being equally rewarding when applied to grammar, phonology and intonation and she then goes into the ensuing benefits for SLT and SLL.
Conversation is one of the most fundamental activities in verbal communication. When people engage in conversational exchanges, they transmit information, perform actions, establish and maintain social relationships, among other acts. Conversation is often unplanned, takes place in real time and involves reciprocity. This thesis presents the foundations of Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics and Conversation Analysis and details discourse, pragmatic and interactional phenomena which seem to be intertwined during face- to-face conversations. It then focuses on the secondlanguage learner by addressing Interlanguage Pragmatics and by critically revisiting communicative competence frameworks and definitions of conversational competence. It justifies and proposes a conversational competence model in L2 within a pragmatic domain, comprising three facets: the management of discourse, the negotiation of illocutionary meaning and the deployment of conversational practices. It includes corpus-based investigations of pragmatic markers which are prototypical of the proposed facets of conversational competence. A small specialised corpus of Brazilian learners´ oral production at CEFR B1 had been previously built for the purposes of this thesis. Spoken sub-corpora derived from “The BNC Sampler” and “The Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English” were selected as British English benchmark corpora. The empirical chapters of this thesis examined the most common discourse marking adverbs used to mediate segments of discourse in conversations, the most common explicit and implicit adverbial hedges used to mitigate representative speech acts and the most common minimal response tokens used to express good listenership. The pragmatic markers chosen for investigation were “well”, “really”, “actually”, “maybe”, “probably”, “just’’, “yeah” and “uhuh”. It was concluded that the subjects of this study would benefit from pedagogical assistance for the acquisition of discourse markers in general, for the pragmatic functions of the adjuster “just” and for more varied forms to express good listenership. The m arkers “really” and “yeah” were employed, in their discourse and pragmatic functions, with adequate relative frequencies by the Brazilian learners. The adverb “maybe” was overused, signalling a tendency to use adverbial forms to express epistemic stance instead of modal verbs.
It is part of the secondlanguage teacher’s role to stimulate the students’ interest in culture and incite the construction of the idea that class time is not only a moment to teach language, but also an opportunity for different kinds of learning through the participants’ interaction (KRAMSCH, 1993). Nevertheless, learners must first become aware of the idea of being part of a culture. Exploring their own culture, they are ready to reflect on the values, traditions and expectations from different peoples. Also, practicing culture in a foreign language classroom may motivate students in the learning process as it helps the learner to observe similarities and differences among different cultural groups and reduces the chances of improper judgments about their culture in relation to others (GENC; BADA, 2005). Therefore, looking at the other’s culture is to have the possibility of considering your own culture through new eyes. According to Cecilia & Ojeda (2007), some objectives to “teach” culture in a foreign language class are: to see other cultures as knowledge sources; to develop cultural consciousness in the students; to expose the students to relevant topics in the different cultures; to make learners think about cultural differences; to give the opportunity for students to think critically. According to Leffa (2002), the biggest problem foreign language speakers face is not knowing enough about a language and culture to really understand what they hear or to say what they really mean. Thus, it is necessary for foreign language speakers to be culturally sensitive.
Regarding hypothesis 1 there is the assumption that, when placed in a context of secondlanguage instruction (Portuguese, in this case), speakers of very distinct language systems (phonologic, semantic, syntactic levels) would struggle and face more disadvantages in the new language acquisition , , . Accordingly, speakers of Indo-Aryan languages are expected to have more cognitive and proficiency limitations in Romance language decoding, such as the Portuguese language. To explore the effect of the first language and the type of mother tongues spoken by the students (alphabet, language family, grammar principles, phonetics, cognates) on writing performance, the results obtained (mainly the Percentile Analyses) partially reject our hypothesis. Considering the argument of linguistic distance , Indo-Aryan speakers denoted more limited proficiency during the writing task, as expected. The results are consistent with those obtained as in , , . However, Afro-asiatic and Chinese students presented higher results, similar to Romance languages’ speakers. Linguistic distance could not be solely the reason (Hulstijn, Young, Ortega et al., 2014). The type of home language would be the predictor, not the distance between phonological and writing systems .
Learning a secondlanguage (L2) with a script different from the learner’s first language (L1) presents unique challenges for both stu- dent and teacher. This paper looks at current theory and research examining issues of secondlanguage writing system (L2WS) acquisi- tion, particularly issues pertaining to decoding and word recognition 1 by adult learners. I argue that the importance of word recognition and decoding in fluent L1 and L2 reading has been overshadowed for several decades by a focus on research looking at top-down reading processes. Although top-down reading processes and strategies are clearly components of successful L2 reading, I argue that more atten- tion needs to be given to bottom-up processing skills, particularly for beginning learners of an L2 that uses a script that is different from their L1. I use the example of learning Lao as a secondlanguage writing system where possible and suggest preliminary pedagogical implications.
The method of text editing during the writing process improves writing development in the L2 but writing skills benefit when that method—the form-focused context—is less explicit (less coded), as maintained by Ferris and Roberts (2001). Also, these authors worked substantially with older students and their writing skills assessment with regard to the age variable. More recent research in L2 writing analysed the transfer process related to linguistic distance and to the phonological aspect. The students benefit from their awareness of errors during the writing process, and also if they are aware of the distance between their L1 and the L2. Linguistic distance refers to the degree of distinctiveness between languages spoken worldwide. Less proximity between the students’ home language and their secondlanguage will have implications on learning and teaching strategies and methods (Chiswick and Miller 2005; Zhang 2013) and will reflect on the competitive models involved in L2 learning (MacWhinney and Bates 1989; MacWhinney 2005). Still, it should be noted that these studies focused on adult immigrants as L2 writers. This study examines the home language instruction of immigrants as an influence on their proficiency in the L2 and on their cognitive performance, mainly referring to the age variable to explain the level of difficulty during writing coding and decoding in the L2 context.
Comment expliquer pareils choix ? Sur la délicate question des rapports entre réflexion métalinguistique et pratique communicative, au moins deux grands courants de pensée sont possibles. D'un côté, nombre de chercheurs et de praticiens estiment que le développement de la réflexion métalinguistique a une incidence sur le processus d'acquisition d'une L2. Tel est le cas, par exemple, des travaux de la communauté de chercheurs européens dont ont rendu compte divers numéros de la revue Aile (Acquisition et Interaction en Langue Étrangère – notamment Aile 8, 1996 et Aile 16, 2002 [Aile]), publiée par l'association Encrages (université Paris VIII) et des travaux de chercheurs américains, britanniques et canadiens dont ont rendu compte divers numéro de revues comme Applied Linguistics, Canadian Modern Language Review, Language Learning, Studies in SecondLanguage Acquisition et TESOL Quarterly. Selon ces chercheurs, il n'y aurait pas de stricte séparation entre la mémoire déclarative et la mémoire procédurale, de sorte qu'il paraît possible de " procéduraliser " un savoir sur la langue.
In this first part, it was found that there are well documented studies mainly in the North American context, confirmed by our recent data, attesting the importance of the schools’ structure and resources in the performance of immigrant students and for moderating the effect of other factors involved but that have not more priority, as the case of L1. However, other studies (Miles & Darling-Hammond, 1998; Thomas & Collier, 1997) have, from an early stage, analyzed in parallel the variable related most closely to the question of schools’ structure: the knowledge and practices of teachers of these schools and their impact on the performance of minorities and changes in the long term regarding their school achievement. The above authors believe that more important than analyzing the structure of state schools, it is paramount to examine the teaching methods of teachers with minorities in their classes, and how teaching practices vary throughout the year, to understand their impact on performance. Other authors (Gándara, 2015; Gay, 2010; Ruiz de Velasco & Fix, 2000) after the nineties have combined both analyzes in their studies - school structure and role of teachers in the school performance of language minorities – in a more complementary approach than the one we adopted here. However, the studies conducted in this area continue to be most representative of the American reality and not of European countries, which have become the protagonists of school immigration. Thus, regarding teachers, we mentioned aspects such as scientific field, teaching experience, experience with secondlanguage classes and secondlanguage resources to understand whether they influence and differentiate teachers' perception of the relevance of testing and competency areas (reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking) to assess the proficiency of non-native students.
The main organization criteria are the inclusion of subtests regarding different skills and levels, including several independent items and resulting in several observations. Concerning the score, rubrics will be determined to inform raters about specificities to be assessed according to each skill to be measured (for example, fluency and coherence in writing tasks). Then, some ‘calibration’ will be considered to meet the patterns of answers from secondlanguage learners. Conventional and particular errors gathered from overall performances will be evaluated and registered to determine profiles of Portuguese secondlanguage learners, in school context. Specific tasks of the diagnostic tool are related to cognates and pseudowords, testing the knowledge of learners about spelling conventions. Positive and negative transfers are also observed with those tasks, analyzing inappropriate transfers between languages. Recall after reading will be tested as also comprehensibility and general phonological awareness. Such verbal behaviours, resulting from the tests battery, could inform about specific homopheneity (Binnie, Montgomery & Jackson, 1974; Figueiredo & Silva, 2013) across languages, taking into account the type of languages spoken at home by individuals.
We conclude by presenting an overview of the results of a study on the pedagogical integration of Eduportfolio by teachers-in- training at the Université de Montréal, including those in FSL programs. The study was conducted in winter 2010 (December-March) using an online questionnaire (N = 403) and semi-directed interviews (N = 8) of students enrolled in an initial teacher training program. Below we present the quantitative results and draw a portrait of students’ perceptions towards the use of Eduportfolio in their teacher training program. We then present the qualitative results in the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of this portrait. We will limit ourselves to presenting the most relevant results on the pedagogical integration of Eduportfolio in second-language education.
of maturity (neurocognitive), but also by the exist- ence of affective filters that compromise input data to be processed (Figueiredo & Silva, 2006). The more the personality is consolidated, the more diffi- cult it is to learn L2. Filtering begins the process of ‘monitorization’ (Krashen 1989) which occurs when conscience dominates the learning process and the affective maturation, which is still being developed in the child. As a matter of fact the issue of compet- ence and performance in the L2 could be explained by the articulation of cognitive, social and psycholo- gical factors, which could be exercising a greater influence and be more explanatory than the biological influence, in the experience of learning related with the age factor (Moyer, 2004). Besides the cognitive differences between the age groups, explained in the light of neurobiology and neuropsychology (Len- neberg, 1967; Gullberg & Indefrey, 2006, Patkowsky, 1999; Pallier, 2002; Nagai, 1997; Levy, 2007; Bialystok, 1999; Doughty, 2005; Johnson 1991), from the emotional aspect, it is much more unusual for an adult to engage in the learning of L2 that a younger individual (Clyne n.d.). There is a biological clock for the cognitive aspect but also for the emotional which from becomes much more active from adolescence on, and therefore, can compromise the latency supporting learning (in the sense of ac- quisition and not learning, Krashen, 1989) natural of childhood. Identity, learning and migratory exper- ience are related, as “...secondlanguage learning in all of its aspects requires the individual, take on a new identity, to a certain extent” (Guiora, 1972, p.145, quoted by Clyne, p.2, n.d.). Regarding the is- sue of identity, that emerges in the middle of di-
Nowadays, the use of the phrase “English as a global language” has progressively become more common. So, the way it is taught and transmitted influences how society will work in the future. Though, in order to teach the language to younger generations, one must also focus on the type of education the masses are obtaining – both in private or public teaching. So, the role of the government becomes relevant in providing an adjusted set of structures that will create the required conditions for an effective learning experience. Curiously, English ranks fourth place in terms of speaker ranking and this proportion is decreasing, with Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Hindi all having more native speakers than English (Hempel, 2009: 1). Even so, there are 350 million native speakers, 350 million speakers of English as a secondlanguage and 100 million speakers of English as a foreign language. Nearly 1 billion people, which points toward one sixth of the world population, approximately, possess some kind of knowledge in regards to the English language (Graddol, 2000: 18).