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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition
Author: Irit Kupferberg
Institution: Levinsky College, Tel Aviv, Israel
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: Researchers often use metaphors to define abstract or complex phenomena in terms of more familiar concepts (Honeck & Temple, 1992). Fossilization (Selinker, 1972) is a trope coined to conceptualize a widely known but poorly understood characteristic of the majority of adult second language (L2) learners: failure to achieve targetlike competence despite continuous exposure to the target language, adequate motivation to learn, and sufficient opportunity for practice. Challenged by researchers who question the utility of the concept (see the overview in Long, 2003), Han's comprehensive and coherent eight-chapter book provides theoretical and empirical justification for the use of fossilization as an organizing trope (Kupferberg & Green, 1998) that encapsulates the meaning of adult SLA processes.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 27, Issue 4.

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