68 comments for “Comments to articles presented in class

  1. vyee
    December 15, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Comment on Catie’s paper: Since the two languages are similar, I’m not too surprised to see that both groups showed similar gains in pronunciation, regardless of learning abroad or domestically. Some of the analysis was surprising to me, just because in many of my formal language classes, we are actually taught to use filler words, which helps maintain conversation. This is an interesting contrast to what these scientists believe is fluent, and it clearly shows the difference in teaching and criteria from many standpoints.

  2. vyee
    December 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Comment on Johanna’s paper: I liked the focus of this paper and the idea of studying early acquisition of L2, but because there were a small number of participants and results focused on each individual, it’s hard to say whether the results are conclusive. I agree that these subjects are too young, and that they might still be acquiring their L1, so it’s hard to say whether their errors are actually consistent patterns. I think that older subjects, or testing again at a “Time 3” would help this study.

  3. vyee
    December 16, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Comment on Kirk’s paper: Though slightly intimidating, I was very interested in this study and the idea of perception of L2. In the study, there was one L2 subject that learned the language primarily through immersion, different than the other L2 subjects, and I wonder if that affects the way they perceive language and how quickly they reacted during the AX discrimination. I wonder if a production task would contribute to findings, since perception and production go hand in hand. I do believe that some of this study is limited from the methodology, and potentially testing other languages or proficiency levels would help.

  4. achobany
    December 17, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Comment on Johanna’s paper: I enjoyed the introduction of the paper, and learned quite a bit of introductory information on Spanish phonology. Though the concept of how the L1 Spanish sound system could affect the L2 English sound system of sequential bilingual children is very interesting, I feel like the study didn’t do the best job of examining it. What stood out to me the most was the extremely small sample size. Perhaps the conclusions would be stronger with a larger number of children, because the data analysis seemed quite thorough. As you said, changing some aspects of the sample size would strengthen the conclusions of this study.

  5. achobany
    December 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    The story reading task of this study stood out to me, because compared to many other experiments involving language production it was one of the only ones looking at spontaneous speech. Basque in theory is an interesting language to study against other language due to it’s uniqueness, however, as the paper stated, “Spanish is the majority language at the community level.” That considered, it seems unreliable to separate the learners into three distinct groups, when the Spanish exposure was so significant. Then again, it’s very difficult to gather a considerable sample size with such specific criteria.

  6. achobany
    December 17, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    ^Comment on Brandyn’s paper
    Comment on Catie’s paper: You did a spectacular job presenting your information in a clear and organized way. The tests used in the study seemed to cover multiple aspects of language fluency, though I found it interesting that one definition of fluency seemed to involve the time spent talking without fillers. As we learned in Julie’s case study, if the fillers are native-like (which this wasn’t specified) then they can even enhance how fluent one comes across. Also, taking into account the different factors of study abroad is something that my own paper didn’t discuss, but it should have been because it’s a very important variable.

  7. achobany
    December 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Comment on Kirk’s paper: This was a super impressive endeavor, considering your minimal experience with Russian and the modest 45 page (!!) article. The concept of phonolexical ambiguity is something that I’ve briefly studied with the /r/ and /l/ allophones, but never looked at in my L2 Russian. I realized I don’t have the same ear as a native speaker in regards to these distinctions, because if a minimal pair was used instead of the correct form it wouldn’t really catch my attention. An additional test or two could have strengthened the conclusion of this study, such as with more spoken language and production.

  8. vyee
    December 17, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Comment on Anastasia’s paper: I was very interested in this study and I am quite fascinated by the findings about L2 immersion and inhibition, particularly because it says a lot about the future of L2A. There seems to be a very thin line between distinguishing what is caused by inhibition and what is caused by reduction of use that is still in question, which I would like to learn more about. Like the paper mentions, I am also interested in immigration and permanent immersion and how these results can lead into such study. If inhibition of L1 leads to fluency in L2, how would someone with no knowledge of L2 respond when thrown into a L2 environment, and how readily can they develop L2?

  9. vyee
    December 17, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Comment on Alena’s paper: I am very interested in the revised model and the idea of conceptual processing and the lexicon. I am curious to know if the representation of the language makes any difference. Speakers of languages with similar alphabets (such as English and Spanish) might have a harder time distinguishing word from meaning. Whereas, characters and symbols from other languages may potentially have different effects. The idea that classroom instruction may demonstrate influence also seems to be important for future studies.

  10. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Comment on Alena: I really liked this presentation because it explored a really abstract concept in the whole field of language acquisition. Not only that, but it also made us think about how our minds associate concepts to lexical items in our native language as well as any secondary ones. The process of attaching concepts to multiple lexical links is definitely a key part of language acquisition and should be explored more. The testing methods were a little complicated which was expected but poorly represented in the tables which made the data hard to figure out.

  11. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Comment on Amy: Amy’s presentation had to do a lot with my topic and so I was really interested in her paper and experiment. The point of view of her paper also added a new variable in the research done in my own. Whether it be due to the “Foreign Language Effect” or preference due to typology, studying third language acquisition is definitely a complex and interesting topic.

  12. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Comment on Stacy: Stacy’s topic really interested me personally even though I wasn’t there to see the presentation, reading the paper gave me a good idea of what was brought up in discussion. As a heritage speaker I can definitely agree that it is very easy to lose your language when you spend your time in an area dominated by another. I’m really interested in seeing the re-acquisition process, where adults go back and learn their native languages formally or through immersion. That might provide a good glimpse at language acquisition from a totally different angle.

  13. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Comment on Catie: The study explored by Catie seemed very straightforward to begin with, but I was surprised by the results. I assumed the students that studied abroad would’ve done much better than the formally taught students simply because they were not only immersed in the environment where the most input could be obtained but they were also receiving more weekly hours of instruction. The results really did open up new discussion topics like the concept of having to reach a certain plateau before real gains in proficiency and acquisition begin.

  14. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Comment on Johanna: Having studied a lot of phonology, both English and Spanish, I found this paper really cool and enlightening. Disappointed that I missed this discussion. The area that really makes me curious is the change in vowels that has to occur because Spanish’s inventory is much more limited. It can be difficult for L1 speakers of both languages to adjust their vowels to native-like parameters of the other language consistently.

  15. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Comment on Kirk: The topic of allophonic relationship differences is something that I’ve only seen a few times between Spanish and English, so it was cool to look at it with respect to other languages. It’s funny to see that the same problematic allophonic sets occur across many languages. Along with phonological perception, semantics also plays a role in this study because sometimes the line between to phonemes that may not considered allophones is very fine.

  16. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Comment on Bobby: I really enjoyed this presentation. There was a great discussion at the end and the topic was something I’ve wrestled with a lot while learning Spanish because the telicity rules are not the same as Cape Verdean Creole so I’m always tweaking the rules in my head. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one that has a tough time with telicity.

  17. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Comment on Vivian: After figuring out the puzzle of a graph, this topic piqued my interest. I don’t think the researchers chose the best method to get their data, and more data was definitely necessary to come to any definite conclusions. I would like to see the same types of studies done on other aspects of cross-linguistic phonological changes.

  18. bevorarosa
    December 18, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Comment on Myles: Really great topic choice. It really explores the aspects of perception that go along with phonology and is a big part of language acquisition. Although speakers might have a good grasp of the lexical and structural aspects of a target language, bad perception of the sounds could hinder their ability to communicate. In the study the concept of similarity between phonemes needed to be better defined but overall I think the study was well done.

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