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Developmental Dynamics in Acquiring Existential there in L2 English


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Mihaljević Djigunović, Jelena and Letica Krevelj, Stela. (2012). Developmental Dynamics in Acquiring Existential there in L2 English. Studia Romanica et Anglica Zagrabiensia, 57. pp. 107-122. ISSN 0039-3339

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Prompted by the lack of research into acquisition of existential there by young learners of L2 English, in the study described below we looked into how Croatian learners acquire this grammatical construction, which is very relevant both from the theoretical perspective and for pragmatic reasons. We addressed the issue from a longitudinal perspective and took into consideration some individual and contextual factors that we found relevant for understanding acquisition of existential there. The study was carried out as part of the Croatian national research project entitled Acquisition of English as a foreign language from an early age: Analysis of learner language. Our findings suggest that there are patterns that young learners display during mastering this important construction. It seems that these acquisitional patterns may develop in dynamic ways and are influenced by a number of factors (such as L1, amount of exposure to English). We conclude that it is not only very important to expose learners as early as possible to the pragmatic use of there construction that does not involve only the immediate context, but also to the function of bringing existence of something to mind, as both pragmatic functions share the same conceptual representation. The insights we obtained can be useful to curriculum and material designers, as well as practicing teachers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: existential there, acquisition patterns, young learners of L2 English, longitudinal perspective
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2014 09:59
Last Modified: 10 May 2014 08:21

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