LINGUIST List 5.765

Thu 30 Jun 1994

Sum: Informal L2 acquisition

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  1. Dr M Sebba, Informal L2 acquisition: summary

Message 1: Informal L2 acquisition: summary

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 12:53:37 Informal L2 acquisition: summary
From: Dr M Sebba <>
Subject: Informal L2 acquisition: summary

Here is a summary of responses I received to my recent request for
references on "natural" second language acquisition:

The original query:

I would be grateful for any references on informal second language
acquisition, by which I mean learning of a second language in circumstances
where explicit language teaching is not involved; also, possibly, where
literacy in either language is not involved.

I will post a summary to the list if the response warrants it.

Mark Sebba
Department of Linguistics
Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, England


Many thanks to those who responded.

Perhaps the most well known studies of naturalistic L2A is that of
the ZISA project--overseen by Juergen Meisel--in which native
speakers of Italian, Portuguese and Spanish were acquiring German.
Most of the research was on adult L2ers, who were guestworkers; but
there is also some on child L2ers. Much research has resulted from
this project, including reanalyses of their data. Here are some of
the original references.

 Clahsen, H. 1980. Psycholinguistic aspects of L2 acquisition: Word
 order phenomena in foreign workers' Interlanguage. In S. Felix,
 ed., *Second Language Development: Trends and Issues*. Tuebingen:
 Gunter Narr. pp. 57-79.
 Clahsen, H., J.M. Meisel & M. Pienemann. 1983. *Deutsch als
 Zweitsprache. Der Spracherwerb auslaendischer Arbeiter*.
 Tuebingen: Gunter Narr.
 Meisel, J.M., H. Clahsen & M. Pienemann. 1981. On determining
 developmental stages in natural second language acquisition.
 *Studies in Second Language Acquisition* 3:109-35.
 Pienemann, M. 1980. The second language acquisition of immigrant
 children. In S. Felix, ed., *Second Language Development: Trends
 and Issues*. Tuebingen: Gunter Narr. pp. 41-56.
 Pienemann, M. 1981. *Der Zweitspracherwerb auslaendischer
 Arbeiterkinder*. Bonn: Bouvier.

There is a book titled _The Whole World Guide to Language Learning_ by
Terry Marshall which may suit your purposes. This book outlines a method
for learning a language with a mentor who is a native speaker and it
focuses on practical use rather than grammar or writing.
The method is mostly common sense, but the book is detailed and well
organized. The publisher is Intercultural Press, Inc. at P.O. Box 768,
Yarmouth, Maine, 04096 USA. I hope it helps. Good luck with your search.

Stephen Krashen's _The Power of Reading_ (1993, Libraries
Unlimited) includes a section on almost "incidental" second lang acq
through reading. It's a good book by this remarkable scholar. You
might be familiar with it already, but I thought it was worthwile
to risk being redundant.

Re. your posting on informal language acquisition, I thought I'd mention the
following works with which you might already be familiar:
1. KLEIN, W. & PERDUE, C. 1992 _Utterance structure_. Amsterdam: Benjamins
2. _Adult language acquisition: cross-linguistic perspectives_ PERDUE, C. (ed.)
Cambridge: CUP. Vol.I: Field methods; Vol. II: The results.
3. KLEIN, W. 1979. _Developing grammars: The acquisition of German syntax by
foreign workers_ Berlin: Springer.

There are a number of works to be found in connection with the ZISA project in
Germany under CLAHSEN, MEILSEL & PIENEMANN, e.g.:

1. CLAHSEN, MEISEL & PIENEMANN. 1983._Deutsch als Zweitsprache: der
Spracherwerb ausldndischer Arbeiter_ T|bingen: Gunter Narr.
2. CLAHSEN, H. 1984. The acquisition of German word order: A test case
for cognitive approaches to L2 development. IN: _Second language: A
cross-linguistic perspective_ ANDERSEN, R. A. (ed.) Rowley: Newbury

The French group of the European Science Fondation Project analyzed
informal SLA of quasi unliterate arabic learners of French. You'll find
more details in Veronique (D.) 1984 Apprentissage naturel et apprentissage
guide, Le francais dans le monde 185, pp. 45-52.

>From Srikant Sarangi, Centre for Language and Communication Research,
University of Wales, Cardiff:

Bourne, J (1988) 'Natural acquisition' and a 'masked pedagogy'. Applied
Linguistics 9, 1, 83-99.

Heidelberger Forschungsprojekt: Pidgin Deutsch (1975) Sprache und
Kommunikation Ausldndischer Arbeitcr. Kronberg: Scriptor.

Meisel, J (1980) Linguistic simplification: a study of migrant workers'
speech and foreigner talk; In S. Felix ed., Second Language
Development: Trends and Issues. T|bingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.

Perdue, C (1981) Second Languagc Acquisition by Adult Immigrants: A
Field Manual. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House.

Pfaff, C (1981) Sociolinguistic problems of immigrants: foreign workers
and their children in Germany. Language in Society 10. 155-188.
Schumann, J (1978) The Pidginization Process: A Model for Second
Language Acquisition. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House.
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