Advertisement

Getting Closer to Native Speaker Competence: How Psycholinguistic Experiments Can Enrich Language Learning and Teaching

  • Mirja Gruhn
  • Nina Reshöft
Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

In the foreign language classroom, various exercises are carried out to bring students closer to native speaker competence. In order to avoid interference mistakes, traditional language teaching strongly focuses on lexical and grammatical phenomena. By contrast, conceptual transfer (Jarvis 1998) has received little attention in foreign language teaching, although experimental research has shown that learners have a strong tendency to transfer the habitual conceptualization patterns of their native language to their L2 (Jarvis 1998; Stutterheim and Nüse 2003; Jarvis and Pavlenko 2008). In order to sensitize L2 learners to different conceptualization patterns and to promote their language awareness, we argue for an integration of psycholinguistic experiments into the foreign language classroom. In this paper we will present the results from a school project in Germany in order to show how psycholinguistic experiments can be methodologically integrated into foreign language teaching. By reducing experiments to the core and adapting them to classroom use, students learn new ways of thinking about language. The procedure raises metalinguistic awareness and improves students’ skills through learning about specific contrasts between languages. Knowledge about language-specific conceptualization patterns leads to the awareness that competent speakers of a foreign language, on the one hand, are able to produce grammatically correct utterances, which, on the other hand, often differ from native speakers’ utterances with regard to preferences reflected by the conceptualization patterns.

Keywords

Foreign Language Native Speaker Target Language Mother Tongue Language Acquisition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to express our thanks to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für das hochbegabte Kind (DGhK) for the cooperation during the JuniorAkademie 2010 in St. Peter-Ording. Our special thanks go to the participants of our course Psycholinguistik for their outstanding commitment: Felician Danquah, Annika Demuth, Kaja Falkenhain, Knut Göring, Andreas Hargens, Caren Jacobi, Sophie Koudmani, Merten Kröncke, Sharlaine Piel, Fabian Schmidt, Ronja Soppa, and Colin Thomas.

References

  1. Asher, J. 1969. The total physical response approach to second language learning. Modern Language Journal 53: 3–17.Google Scholar
  2. Berman, R. A. and D. I. Slobin. 1994. Relating events in narrative: A crosslinguistic developmental study. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Blanche-Beveniste, C. M. A. Mota, R. Simone, E. Bonvino and I. Uzcanga-Viva, eds. 1997. Eurom4. Méthode d’enseignement simultané des langues romanes. Firenze: La Nuova Italia.Google Scholar
  4. Bley-Vroman, R. W. 1989. The logical problem of second language learning. In Linguistic perspectives on second language acquisition, eds. S. Gass and J. Schachter, 41–68. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Boroditsky, L. 2001. Does language shape thought? English and Mandarin speakers’ conceptions of time. Cognitive Psychology 43: 1–22.Google Scholar
  6. Brooks, N. 1960. Language and language learning. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, P. and S. C. Levinson. 1993. Linguistic and nonlinguistic coding of spatial arrays: Explorations in Mayan cognition. Working Paper No. 24. Nijmegen: Cognitive Anthropology Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.Google Scholar
  8. Byram, M., A. Nichols and D. Stevens, eds. 2001. Developing intercultural competence in practice. Clevendon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  9. Carroll, M. and M. Lambert. 2006. Reorganizing principles of information structure in advanced L2s: French and German learners of English. In Educating for advanced foreign language capacities, eds. H. Byrnes, H. Weger-Guntharp and K. Sprang, 54–73. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cazden, C. 1974. Play with language and metalinguistic awareness: One dimension of language experience. The Urban Review 7: 28–29.Google Scholar
  11. Cook, V. 1995. Multi-competence and the learning of many languages. In Multilingualism and language learning: Language, culture and curriculum, eds. M. Bensoussan, I. Kreindler and E. Aogáin, 93–98. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  12. Council of Europe. 2001. Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. De Angelis, G. and L. Selinker. 2001. Interlanguage transfer and competing linguistic systems in the multilingual mind. In Cross-linguistic influence in third language acquisition: Psycholinguistic perspectives, eds. J. Cenoz, B. Hufeisen and U. Jessner, 42–58. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  14. Diehl, E., H. Christen, S. Leuenberger, I. Pelvat and T. Studer. 2000. Grammatikunterricht: Alles für der Katz? Untersuchungen zum Zweitsprachenerwerb Deutsch. Tübingen: Niemeyer.Google Scholar
  15. Gattegno, C. 1972. Teaching foreign languages in schools: The Silent Way. (second edition). New York: Educational Solutions.Google Scholar
  16. Grzega, J. 2005. Towards Global English via Basic Global English (BGE): Socioeconomic and pedagogic ideas for a European and global language (with didactic examples for native speakers of German). Journal for EuroLinguistiX 2: 65–164.Google Scholar
  17. Halm, U. 2010. Die Entwicklung narrativer Kompetenz bei Kindern zwischen 7 und 14 Jahren. Marburg: Tectum.Google Scholar
  18. Hecht, K. and P. S. Green (1993. Fehleranalyse und Leistungsbewertung im Englischunterricht der Sekundarstufe I. Donauworth: Auer.Google Scholar
  19. Hufeisen, B. and L. Aronin, eds. 2009. The exploration of multilingualism. Development of research on l3, multilingualism and multiple language acquisition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  20. Ijaz, I. H. 1986. Linguistic and cognitive determinants of lexical acquisition in a second language, Language Learning 36: 401–451.Google Scholar
  21. Jarvis, S. 1998. Conceptual transfer in the interlingual lexicon. Bloomington: Indiana University Linguistics Club.Google Scholar
  22. Jarvis, S. 2007. Theoretical and methodological issues in the investigation of conceptual transfer. Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics (VIAL) 4: 43–71.Google Scholar
  23. Jarvis, S. 2011. Conceptual transfer: Crosslinguistic effects in categorization and construal. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 14: 1–8.Google Scholar
  24. Jarvis, S. and A. Pavlenko. 2008. Crosslinguistic influence in language and cognition. New York: Routledge. Google Scholar
  25. Juffs, A. 1996. Learnability and the lexicon: Theories and second language acquisition research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  26. Klampfer, S. 2003. Emergence of verb paradigms in one Austrian child. In Development of verb inflection in first language acquisition, eds. D. Bittner, W. U. Dressler and M. Kilani-Schoch, 297–323. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  27. Klein, H. G. 2004. L´EuroCompréhension (EuroCom), une méthode de compréhension des langues voisines. In Accès aux langues proches et aux langues voisines. Revue de didactologie des langues-cultures et de lexicoculturologie [éla] no. 136, ed. J.-M. Robert, 403–418. Paris: Klincksieck.Google Scholar
  28. Lakoff, G. 1987. Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  29. Levelt, W. 1989. Speaking: From intention to articulation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Littlewood, W. 1981. Communicative language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Meissner, F.-J. 2004. Modelling plurilingual processing and language growth between intercomprehensive languages. Towards the analysis of plurilingual language processing. In Translation in der globalen Welt und neue Wege in der Sprach- und Übersetzerausbildung, ed. L. N. Zybatow, 31–57. Frankfurt am Mein: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  32. Mora, J. K. 2009. Metalinguistic awareness as defined through research. (Retrieved November 25, 2012, from http://www.moramodules.com/Pages/MetalingHandout.
  33. Odlin, T. 1989. Language transfer: Cross-linguistic influence in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Parkes, G. 2001. The mistakes clinic for German-speaking learners of English: Error correction exercises and detailed error analysis for German-speaking students and teachers of English. Southampton: England Books.Google Scholar
  35. Pavlenko, A. 1999. New approaches to concepts in bilingual memory. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 2: 209–230.Google Scholar
  36. Pederson, E., E. Danziger, D. Wilkins, S. Levinson, S. Kita and G. Senft. 1998. Semantic typology and spatial conceptualization. Language 74: 557–589.Google Scholar
  37. Riemer, C. 1997. Individuelle Unterschiede im Fremdsprachenerwerb. Eine Longitudinalstudie über die Wechselwirksamkeit ausgewählter Einflussfaktoren. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.Google Scholar
  38. Rivers, W. 1964. The Psychologist and the foreign language teacher. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Selinker, L. 1972. Interlanguage. IRAL 10: 209–231. (reprinted in J. C. Richards (ed.) (1974): Error analysis: perspectives on second language acquisition. Essex: Longman Group Limited).Google Scholar
  40. Slobin, D. 1991. Learning to think for speaking: Native language, cognition, and rhetorical style. Pragmatics 1: 7–25.Google Scholar
  41. Slobin, D. 1996. From ‘thought and language’ to ‘thinking for speaking’. In Rethinking linguistic relativity, eds. J. J. Gumperz and S. C. Levinson, 70–96. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Stutterheim, C. von and M. Carroll. 2006. The impact of grammaticalised temporal categories on ultimate attainment in advanced L2-acquisition. In Educating for advanced foreign language capacities: Constructs, curriculum, instruction, assessment, ed. H. Byrnes, 40–53. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Stutterheim, C. von and W. Klein. 1987. Quaestio und referentielle Bewegung in Erzählungen. Linguistische Berichte 108: 163–183.Google Scholar
  44. Stutterheim, C. von and R. Nüse. 2003. Processes of conceptualisation in language production: Language specific perspectives and event construal. Linguistics 41: 851–881.Google Scholar
  45. Talmy, L. 1988. The relation of grammar to cognition. In Topics in cognitive linguistics, ed. B. Rudzka-Ostyn, 165–205. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  46. Tomasello, M. 1992. First verbs: A case study of early grammatical development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  47. White, L. 1989. Universal Grammar and second language acquisition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  48. Whorf, B. L. 1956a. Science and linguistics. In Language, thought, and reality. Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, ed. J. B. Carroll, 207–219. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  49. Whorf, B. L. 1956b. Language, mind, and reality. In Language, thought, and reality. Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, ed. J. B. Carroll, 246–270. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  50. Wolff, D. 1993, Sprachbewusstheit und die Begegnung mit Sprachen. Die Neueren Sprachen 92: 510–531.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saarland UniversitySaarbrueckenGermany
  2. 2.University of PaderbornPaderbornGermany

Personalised recommendations