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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: Long-term relationships among early first language skills, second language aptitude, second language affect, and later second language proficiency
Author: Richard L. Sparks
Institution: College of Mount St. Joseph
Author: Jon Patton
Institution: Miami University
Author: Leonore Ganschow
Institution: Miami University
Author: Nancy Humbach
Institution: Miami University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Fifty-four students were followed over 10 years beginning in first grade to determine best predictors of oral and written second language (L2) proficiency. Predictor variables included measures of first language (L1) skill administered in first through fifth grades, L1 academic aptitude, L2 aptitude (Modern Language Aptitude Test), and L2 affect (motivation, anxiety). All participants completed 2 years of L2 study in high school. Findings revealed strong correlations between early L1 skills and later L2 proficiency, but the Modern Language Aptitude Test was the best predictor of overall L2 proficiency and most L2 proficiency subtests. However, L1 word decoding was the best predictor of L2 word decoding skills. Early L1 skills, L2 motivation, or L2 anxiety added a small amount of variance to the prediction models. Findings suggested that language-related variables are the most robust predictors of L2 proficiency. Results are discussed in the context of long-term cross linguistic transfer of early L1 skills to later L2 aptitude and L2 proficiency.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 30, Issue 4.

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