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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

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Academic Paper


Title: Variables in Second Language Attrition
Author: Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Author: David Stringer
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.indiana.edu/~dsls/faculty/stringer.shtml
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: This article provides a comprehensive synthesis of research on language attrition to date, with a view to establishing a theoretically sound basis for future research in the domain of second language (L2) attrition. We identify the variables that must be tracked in populations who experience language loss, and we develop a general model for the assessment of the processes involved. This critical review suggests that future research in this domain should establish baselines for attainment against which to measure attrition, and that learners must be compared to themselves in longitudinal designs that involve periodic assessment of both linguistic and extralinguistic factors. In the proposed model, populations are defined as sets of variables, which are subject to change following shifts in discrete time periods in the general process of acquisition and attrition. A working model is elaborated for the assessment of L2 attrition and retention, which, we hope, might encourage additional work in this area.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 32, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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