Learning to Think in a Second Language: Effects of Proficiency and Length of Exposure in English Learners of German

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/581887
Title:
Learning to Think in a Second Language: Effects of Proficiency and Length of Exposure in English Learners of German
Authors:
Athanasopoulos, Panos; Damjanovic, Ljubica; Burnand, Julie; Bylund, Emanuel
Abstract:
The aim of the current study is to investigate motion event cognition in second language learners in a higher education context. Based on recent findings that speakers of grammatical aspect languages like English attend less to the endpoint (goal) of events than do speakers of non-aspect languages like Swedish in a nonverbal categorization task involving working memory (Athanasopoulos & Bylund, 2013; Bylund & Athanasopoulos, 2015), the current study asks whether native speakers of an aspect language start paying more attention to event endpoints when learning a non-aspect language. Native English and German (a non-aspect language) speakers, and English learners of L2 German, who were pursuing studies in German language and literature at an English university, were asked to match a target scene with intermediate degree of endpoint orientation with two alternate scenes with low and high degree of endpoint orientation, respectively. Results showed that, compared to the native English speakers, the learners of German were more prone to base their similarity judgements on endpoint saliency, rather than ongoingness, primarily as a function of increasing L2 proficiency and year of university study. Further analyses revealed a non-linear relationship between length of L2 exposure and categorization patterns, subserved by a progressive strengthening of the relationship between L2 proficiency and categorization as length of exposure increased. These findings present evidence that cognitive restructuring may occur through increasing experience with an L2, but also suggest that this relationship may be complex and unfold over a long period of time.
Affiliation:
University of Chester
Citation:
Athanasopoulos, P., Damjanovic, L., Burnand, J., & Bylund, E. (2015). Learning to think in a second language: Effects of proficiency and length of exposure in English learners of German. The Modern Language Journal, 99(S1), 138-153. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2015.12183.x
Publisher:
Wiley
Journal:
The Modern Language Journal
Publication Date:
29-Jan-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/581887
Type:
Article
Description:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Athanasopoulos, P., Damjanovic, L., Burnand, J., & Bylund, E. (2015). Learning to think in a second language: Effects of proficiency and length of exposure in English learners of German. The Modern Language Journal, 99(S1), 138-153 , which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2015.12183.x . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
EISSN:
1540-4781
Appears in Collections:
Psychology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorAthanasopoulos, Panosen
dc.contributor.authorDamjanovic, Ljubicaen
dc.contributor.authorBurnand, Julieen
dc.contributor.authorBylund, Emanuelen
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-06T15:05:04Zen
dc.date.available2015-11-06T15:05:04Zen
dc.date.issued2015-01-29en
dc.identifier.citationAthanasopoulos, P., Damjanovic, L., Burnand, J., & Bylund, E. (2015). Learning to think in a second language: Effects of proficiency and length of exposure in English learners of German. The Modern Language Journal, 99(S1), 138-153. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2015.12183.xen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/581887en
dc.descriptionThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Athanasopoulos, P., Damjanovic, L., Burnand, J., & Bylund, E. (2015). Learning to think in a second language: Effects of proficiency and length of exposure in English learners of German. The Modern Language Journal, 99(S1), 138-153 , which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2015.12183.x . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archivingen
dc.description.abstractThe aim of the current study is to investigate motion event cognition in second language learners in a higher education context. Based on recent findings that speakers of grammatical aspect languages like English attend less to the endpoint (goal) of events than do speakers of non-aspect languages like Swedish in a nonverbal categorization task involving working memory (Athanasopoulos & Bylund, 2013; Bylund & Athanasopoulos, 2015), the current study asks whether native speakers of an aspect language start paying more attention to event endpoints when learning a non-aspect language. Native English and German (a non-aspect language) speakers, and English learners of L2 German, who were pursuing studies in German language and literature at an English university, were asked to match a target scene with intermediate degree of endpoint orientation with two alternate scenes with low and high degree of endpoint orientation, respectively. Results showed that, compared to the native English speakers, the learners of German were more prone to base their similarity judgements on endpoint saliency, rather than ongoingness, primarily as a function of increasing L2 proficiency and year of university study. Further analyses revealed a non-linear relationship between length of L2 exposure and categorization patterns, subserved by a progressive strengthening of the relationship between L2 proficiency and categorization as length of exposure increased. These findings present evidence that cognitive restructuring may occur through increasing experience with an L2, but also suggest that this relationship may be complex and unfold over a long period of time.en
dc.publisherWileyen
dc.rightsAn error occurred on the license name.*
dc.rights.uriAn error occurred getting the license - uri.*
dc.subjectGerman as a foreign languageen
dc.subjectlinguistic relativityen
dc.subjectinstructed SLAen
dc.subjectmotion eventsen
dc.subjectgrammatical aspecten
dc.subjectboundednessen
dc.titleLearning to Think in a Second Language: Effects of Proficiency and Length of Exposure in English Learners of Germanen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.eissn1540-4781en
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chesteren
dc.identifier.journalThe Modern Language Journalen
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons
All Items in ChesterRep are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.