Crosslinguistic Influence in L3 Acquisition : Bilingual Heritage Speakers in Germany book cover
1st Edition

Crosslinguistic Influence in L3 Acquisition
Bilingual Heritage Speakers in Germany

ISBN 9780367681210
Published November 29, 2022 by Routledge
272 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores crosslinguistic influence in third language acquisition, drawing insights from a study of young bilingual secondary school students in Germany to unpack the importance of different variables in the acquisition and use of English as an additional language.

Lorenz draws on data from a learner corpus of written and spoken picture descriptions toward analyzing sources of crosslinguistic influence in L3 acquisition in bilingual heritage speakers with unbalanced proficiency in heritage versus majority languages as compared with their monolingual German peers. This unique approach allows for a clearer understanding of the extent of influence of access to heritage languages, the impact of being a "balanced" vs "unbalanced" bilingual speaker, and the importance of extra-linguistic variables, such as age, gender, socio-economic status, and type of school. The final two chapters highlight practical considerations for the English language classroom and the implications of the study for future directions for research on third language acquisition.

With its detailed overview of L2 and L3 acquisition and contribution toward ongoing debates on the advantages of being bilingual and multilingual, this book will be of interest to students and scholars in applied linguistics, foreign language acquisition, foreign language teaching, and learner corpus research.

Table of Contents




List of figures

List of tables

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background and motivation

1.2 Setting the scene: second and third language acquisition

1.2.1 Language acquisition

1.2.2 Second versus third language acquisition

1.2.3 Third language learners

1.2.4 Transfer versus crosslinguistic influence

1.2.5 Advantages

1.3 Research questions

1.4 Structure of the book

Chapter 2: Acquisition of English in Germany

2.1 The role of English in Germany

2.2 Heterogeneous and diverse foreign language classrooms

2.3 Monolingual versus multilingual teaching reality in Germany and beyond

2.4 Summary

Chapter 3: Previous and current research on language acquisition

3.1 Terminology

3.2 Third versus second language acquisition

3.2.1 Emergence of the field

3.2.2 Crosslinguistic influence in third language acquisition

3.2.3 Evaluation

3.3 Bilingualism and heritage speakers

3.4 Third language acquisition of heritage bilinguals

3.5 Metalinguistic awareness

3.6 Bilingual advantages or effects

3.7 Summary

Chapter 4: Tense and aspect

4.1 General properties of tense, aspect, aktionsart

4.1.1 Tense

4.1.2 Aspect

4.1.3 Aktionsart

4.2 Tense and aspect marking in English

4.3 Tense and aspect marking in German

4.4 Tense and aspect marking in Russian

4.5 Tense and aspect marking in Turkish

4.6 Tense and aspect marking in Vietnamese

4.7 Similarities and differences in tense and aspect marking

Chapter 5: Acquisition of tense and aspect

5.1 Acquisition of tense and aspect by native speakers of English

5.2 Acquisition of tense and aspect by non-native speakers of English

5.2.1 General comments

5.2.2 The English progressive aspect

5.3 Specific foreign language learners of English

5.3.1 German learners of English

5.3.2 Russian learners of English

5.3.3 Turkish learners of English

5.3.4 Vietnamese learners of English

5.4 Summary

Chapter 6: English learner corpus based on written and spoken stories

6.1 Research design and data collection

6.1.1 Written task

6.1.2 Oral task

6.1.3 Questionnaire

6.2 Corpus data coding scheme

6.3 Profile of participants

6.3.1 General

6.3.2 Background variables

6.4 Research objectives and predictions

Chapter 7: Use of tense and aspect of monolinguals versus bilinguals

7.1 Frequency overview (written component of the learner corpus)

7.1.1 Text composition (sentences, words, verb)

7.1.2 Subject-verb-agreement

7.1.3 Copula verb be

7.1.4 Formal correctness and target-like meaning of verbs

7.2 Progressive aspect (written component of the learner corpus)

7.3 Present versus past time reference (written component of the learner corpus)

7.4 Written versus spoken production

7.4.1 Frequency overview: written texts versus oral recordings

7.4.2 Subject-verb-agreement

7.4.3 Copula verb be

7.4.4 Formal correctness and target-like meaning of verbs

7.4.5 Use of tenses and the progressive aspect

7.5 Summary

Chapter 8: Use of tense and aspect versus social variables

8.1 Formal correctness and target-like meaning of verbs

8.1.1 Formal correctness

8.1.2 Target-like meaning

8.1.3 Subject-verb-agreement

8.2 Progressive aspect

8.2.1 Formal correctness

8.2.2 Target-like meaning

8.3 Present versus past time reference

8.4 Written versus spoken production

8.4.1 Formal correctness

8.4.2 Target-like meaning

8.4.3 Subject-verb-agreement

8.5 Limitations

8.6 Summary

Chapter 9: Crosslinguistic influence in heritage speakers’ L3 production

9.1 Crosslinguistic influence in third language acquisition

9.2 Language dominance

9.3 Influence of (social) background variables

9.3.1 Type of school

9.3.2 Socio-economic status

9.3.3 Number of books per household

9.3.4 Age

9.3.5 Language task assessment: written versus spoken

9.3.6 Age of onset of acquiring German

9.3.7 Attitudes towards learning English

9.4 Shortcomings and limitations

Chapter 10: Bi-/Multilingual advantages of heritage speakers

10.1 Advantages in foreign language acquisition?

10.2 Metalinguistic awareness

10.3 Learning environment in the English classroom in Germany

10.4 Implications for foreign language education

Chapter 11: Conclusion and outlook

11.1 Summary of findings

11.2 Future directions of further research


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Eliane Lorenz is a senior researcher and lecturer (Akademische Rätin a. Z.) in the English Linguistics section of the Department of English, at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. Prior to this, she held a post-doctoral fellowship in English linguistics and multilingualism at the Department of Teacher Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), as part of the project ‘The Acquisition of English in the Multilingual Classroom’ (AcEngMulCla). In 2019, she completed her PhD in English Linguistics at the University of Hamburg.


"This volume is an outstanding contribution to the study of cross-linguistic influence in L3 acquisition. The in-depth analysis of tense is a very significant addition to the study of the differences between second and third language learners. The volume will be of enormous interest to anyone interested in the study of second/third language acquisition and multilingualism."

Jasone Cenoz, University of the Basque Country

"This book offers an impressively comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of theoretical and empirical issues in L3 acquisition research. It is an excellent contribution to the field."

Marit Westergaard, UiT The Arctic University of Norway / NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

"An excellent volume on crosslinguistic influence in the L2 and L3 acquisition of English by several groups of monolingual learners (some from under-researched L1s) and a unique group of unbalanced bilingual heritage speakers. It draws the reader’s attention to both linguistic and extra-linguistic variables to explain the findings. A must-read."

María del Pilar García Mayo, Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)

"This book offers a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the dynamically developing field of L3 acquisition. With a focus on bilingual heritage speakers, the original empirical investigation presented therein contributes to the ongoing debate on bilingual advantage and provides relevant implications for foreign language classrooms.”

Magdalena Wrembel, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań