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Influence of Biographical Factors on Individual Success in Second Language Acquisition

Hauft, Miriam

11. Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium (NLK2010 Hamburg)
Hamburg, 5. - 6. März 2010

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This paper is concerned with the question whether or not biographical factors such as sex, age, contact with the target language, stays in a target-language-speaking environment or native speaker teachers actually have a measurable influence on individual success in second language acquisition (SLA). These factors are often assumed to have an influence, and serve as a basis for many prejudices against L2 speakers that are held by potential employers but also by the public. One example for these prejudices would be the assumption that an individual who has stayed in a target-language-speaking environment for a few months, will be fully proficient or "perfect" in the target language. Based on this assumption, we can observe a rising popularity of foreign-exchange programs in high school and university and a positive discrimination of applicants who claim such a stay in their CV by employers. Within this work, we have tested most of these "common-sense" assumption in a study, using English as an L2 as an example.

Keywords: Second language acquisition , External factors , Native speaker
Institution: Faculty of Linguistics und Literature
DDC classification: Language, linguistics

Suggested Citation:
Influence of Biographical Factors on Individual Success in Second Language Acquisition. NLK-Proceedings : 11. Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium (NLK2010 Hamburg)

URL: http://biecoll.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/volltexte/2010/5057

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 Latest update: 15 Feb 2011
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