Public talk: First language influences on the real-time processing of tense-aspe | TCSOL Certificate The Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages | Arts and HumanitiesSkip to content Skip to main navigation
Public talk: First language influences on the real-time processing of tense-aspect in the second language
Leah Roberts, Centre for Research in Language Learning and Use, University of York
Researchers in the field of second language (L2) acquisition have always been concerned with learners' knowledge of the L2, but recently, there has been growing interest in how learners apply their knowledge to the L2 input in real time. Investigating L2 learners' moment-by-moment linguistic analysis during their listening or reading of sentence as it unfolds is important, because language learning involves both the acquisition of knowledge and the ability to use it in real time. Just like in traditional L2 acquisition research, researchers in the field of L2 real-time comprehension ask 1) how learners process the target language in comparison to native speakers; 2) what the role of the learners' first language (L1) is in the processing of the second; and 3) what the effect is of factors such as proficiency, language dominance and age of exposure. In this talk I will present the results of a series of studies (using eye-tracking, self-paced reading and ERP recordings) which has investigated L2 learners' knowledge and real-time processing of tense-aspect phenomena in the context of questions 1) and 2). Specifically, the studies I report focus on how L2 learners' first language (German, Dutch, Greek, Spanish, Chinese, French) affects their knowledge and real-time comprehension of tense-aspect distinctions in the target language (English), in order to attempt to provide a more rounded answer to the question of what it means to know such grammatical distinctions in the L2.