December 10, 2014
Language Learner Performance at First Exposure and Implications for Teaching
LANGUAGE LEARNER PERFORMANCE AT FIRST EXPOSURE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING
by Rebekah Rast
Associate Professor of English and Linguistics, American University of Paris
December 16, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Russell Hall 306
Teachers College, Columbia University
A theory of second (or third) language acquisition needs to account for how learners acquire language at all proficiency levels, from first exposure to the language being acquired through mastery of the language. The focus of this talk is the very initial phases of this process, that is, how learners begin to break into a novel linguistic system and perform within the system, from segmenting the foreign speech stream to producing their first utterances. Following a brief theoretical introduction about the initial state of L2/L3 acquisition and early learner varieties, I will present results of data collected from first exposure participants and beginning learners of Polish, concentrating in particular on a cross-linguistic European study entitled “Varieties of Initial Learners in Language Acquisition: Controlled classroom input and elementary forms of linguistic organisation” (VILLA). The findings will be discussed in light of their contribution to furthering our understanding of the language learning-teaching interface.
Rebekah Rast is Associate Professor of English and Linguistics at the American University of Paris. She is the author of Foreign Language Input: Initial Processing (Multilingual Matters), as well as numerous book chapters and articles on the initial stages of second/foreign language acquisition. Her co-edited volume with ZhaoHong Han, First Exposure to a Second Language: Learners’ Initial Input Processing, was recently published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Rast holds an MA degree in Applied Linguistics/TESOL from Indiana University and a PhD in Linguistics/Second Language Acquisition from the Université Paris 8.