Learning A Second Language Case Study

2125 Words 9 Pages
Learning a second language (L2), after a first has already been acquired, may be a different process from learning a first language (L1); it involves acquisition of a new set of arbitrary forms to re-represent an already established set of forms from L1 (Midgley, Holcomb, & Grainger, 2009). Semantic and translation priming studies utilizing vocabulary from two languages offer an informative perspective into these processing systems of second language in the mind of a bilingual or a second language learner. The findings in this type of research provide important insights to help implement teaching methods and facilitate learning as more students are expected to learn a second language as part of their required curriculum, and as more children …show more content…
Languages are assumed to each have their own lexicon in this cascaded activation model and access to the L2 lexicon relies on initial access to the L1 lexicon. This model can account for some of the findings that indicate an asymmetry in translation priming between L1 and L2. Generally, a stronger priming effect is found when the target is in the L2, and primes in the L1 (Altarriba, 1992; Kroll & Stewart, 1994; Gollan, Forster, & Frost, 1997). According to the RHM, this asymmetry occurs because processing of L2 starts by first accessing L1, which becomes difficult and requires additional processing time when primes are in the L2 and targets in the L1. However, processing would be faster when the prime is in the L1 and the target in the L2 because the direct link has been provided and additional processing to retrieve the link is not necessary. According to this model, semantic-level processing should follow form-level processing rapidly and should therefore elicit early semantic activation (McClelland, 1979; McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981), once form representations are activated by a presented stimulus, activation immediately …show more content…
The LDT paradigm involves presenting the participants with a string of letters instructing them to indicate, as quickly as possible whether or not that string of letters is a real word or a nonword. In this paradigm, accuracy and response times (RTs) are measured as dependent variables for each target item. This task allows researchers to manipulate automatic or conscious processing of presented stimuli in order to test lexical access, and the processing of a target. Primes are a second string of letters, which precede the target item used for the lexical decision task. The purpose of a prime is to elicit an automatic or strategic lexical process that will affect the response to the target item. Generally, responses to LDTs preceded by an experimental prime are compared to responses following a neutral or a control prime. For example, in monolingual semantic priming experiments a response to the word doctor may be faster when primed by a semantically related word such as nurse than an unrelated word such as bread (Meyer & Schvaneveldt,

Related Documents