Guest lecture with Kristin Melum Eide (NTNU Trondheim)
Teaching L3 (third language) via L2 (second language)
Info about event
Most traditional theories on adult second language acquisition identify as the most challenging mechanism to overcome the massive transfer of features and constructions taking place from the learners first language (L1). More recently language acquisition theories have encompassed the observation that so-called transfer may take place not only from L1 to L2/3, but from an L2 to an L3, from an L3 to and L2, and even from an L2/3 to an L1. In correspondence with this more complex landscape, the term transfer (which, somewhat inaccurately, is being conceived of as a unidirectional influence from an L1) is gradually being replaced with the term cross-linguistic influence. Many acquisition theories try to identify and even predict which language will be the source language for transfer to the language being learned, e.g. from perceived typological distance, from treating non-L1 languages as similar no matter what, or, more recently, perceived phonotactic distance between languages. A very recent turn in this domain is to deliberately exploit the already existing L2 competence to learn an L3. This talk presents ongoing projects aiming to invoke the metalinguistic competence of the learner about their L2 to highlight and acquire the corresponding structures in an L3. One example is a project involving differences between English and Norwegian word order, another example is the (L3) Norwegian distinction between remote (the preterit) and immediate (present perfect) past, which is productive and present in modern Norwegian (and English) but is lost in the corresponding structures in (L2) German and French. An explicit comparison between L2 and L3 exploiting simple pedagogical devices permits a faster pace through the (mostly predetermined) acquisition path.