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Linguistic relativity in SLA: towards a new research programme

Bylund, E. and Athanasopoulos, P. (2014) Linguistic relativity in SLA: towards a new research programme. Language Learning, 64 (4). pp. 952-985. ISSN 1467-9922

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/lang.12080

Abstract/Summary

The purpose of the current article is to support the investigation of linguistic relativity in second language acquisition and sketch methodological and theoretical prerequisites toward developing the domain into a full research program. We identify and discuss three theoretical-methodological components that we believe are needed to succeed in this enterprise. First, we highlight the importance of using nonverbal methods to study linguistic relativity effects in second language (L2) speakers. The use of nonverbal tasks is necessary in order to avoid the circularity that arises when inferences about nonverbal behavior are made on the basis of verbal evidence alone. Second, we identify and delineate the likely cognitive mechanisms underpinning cognitive restructuring in L2 speakers by introducing the theoretical framework of associative learning. By doing so, we demonstrate that the extent and nature of cognitive restructuring in L2 speakers is essentially a function of variation in individual learners’ trajectories. Third, we offer an in-depth discussion of the factors (e.g., L2 proficiency and L2 use) that characterize those trajectories, anchoring them to the framework of associative learning, and reinterpreting their relative strength in predicting L2 speaker cognition

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:36667
Publisher:Wiley

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