General programme, activity sheet

Wednesday 7 September, 2016 12:00 to 12:30 Oral presentation
Anti-Transfer in L3A of Portuguese
Speaker: Yang Xiao, The University of Hong Kong

Authors: Xiao Yang; Stephen Matthews; Peter Crosthwaite


A growing body of research in third language acquisition has demonstrated the possibility of backward cross-linguistic transfer, specifically L3→L2 transfer (Hui, 2010; Cheung, Matthews & Tsang, 2011; Tsang, 2014). Among these studies, Matthews et al. (2014) suggest that L3→L2 transfer could actually counterbalance previous transfer from L1 to L2, which they referred to as “anti-transfer effect”. In their study, L3 German learners (L1-Chinese and L2-English), compared to L2 English learners (L1-Chinese), used significantly fewer uninflected verb forms to describe past events in their L2 English, a type of error attributed to negative transfer from their L1 Chinese which lacks tense markers. In light of this “anti-transfer effect”, this project sets out to investigate the influence of L3 on previous L1→L2 transfer in the domain of English third person singular agreement by looking at L3 learners of Portuguese (L1-Chinese and L2-English) at two Universities in Macau: The University of Macau and Macau University of Science and Technology. Adopting longitudinal and cross-sectional methods, it is hypothesized that after one year of Portuguese learning, learners’ use of uninflected verb for third person singular in English will be reduced and this effect will increase in proportion to learners’ L3 proficiency. In a pilot study comparing a L3 group with 2 years of Portuguese learning experience and a L2 group with no learning experience in Portuguese (both groups showed comparable English proficiency level after an English placement test), it is found that numerically, the L3 group showed an advantage of the use in English third person singular over the L2 group, in both the writing task and the grammaticality judgment task. The result from the pilot suggests L3 influence in accordance with our hypothesis. A DST approach (Jessner, 2008) will be discussed, focusing on the role of metalinguistic awareness in the development of multilingualism.
Development in bilingual and multilingual contexts
Place: Room A-15

Other activities in Development in bilingual and multilingual contexts
13:00 h. to 13:30 h.Oral presentation

Corpus-based Study of Collocation Acquisition for L3 Spanish Learners

Speaker: Hui-Chuan LU, National Cheng Kung University, TAIWAN
11:30 h. to 12:00 h.Oral presentation

Study on lexis, morphosyntax and reading in the EMI classroom

Speaker: Helena Roquet Pugès, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
12:30 h. to 13:00 h.Oral presentation

Age of acquisition of the second language modulates structural and functional dynamics of bilingual reading

Speaker: Myriam Oliver, Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language