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Academic Paper

Title: A Look at Children’s L2 Phonology Acquisition in the Context Where Several Varieties are Present
Author: Alex Ho-Cheong Leung
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Northumbria University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Phonology
Abstract: The field of applied linguistics has seen an increase in research pertaining to children's concurrent acquisition of multiple languages (e.g. Philp et al. 2008). However, what happens when various varieties of a (second) language are involved remains largely under-researched (see Siegel 2010). This paper looks at the acquisition of L2 English phonology by Hong Kong (HK) Chinese children when multiple varieties are present. /L/ /L/In HK, children whose families employ foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) receive FDH-accented English input from an early age alongside the institutional input they get encompassing the HK, British and American variety. Despite sometimes being treated as auxiliary English teachers (McArthur 2002), FDHs' influence on children's L2 English acquisition has not been widely studied (Crebo 2003). The current study focusing on the influence of Filipino-FDHs is an effort to fill this gap. /L//L/30 kindergarten 3rd graders aged 4:6 to 6, and 30 1st year secondary students aged 12-14 who had received Filipino-accented English or were still receiving ongoing input of such English at the time of data collection participated in this study alongside 30 controls. They took part in perception (picture choosing; AX sound-discrimination) and production tasks (picture naming; pair-matching) that target plosives /p,t,k/ and fricatives /f,v/ which are realised differently in Filipino and HK English. They also participated in an attitude verbal-guise task where they listened to Filipino-, HK-, UK-, US- accented English speech and rated speakers according to personality and status traits./L//L/Results show that participants are better at identifying the Filipino English sounds than the control. However, most participants have not produced Filipino-accented speech in the study. Moreover, attitude data shows ambivalent attitude towards Filipino-accented English. These results highlight the need to further investigate social factors in SLA. This resonates with a number of contributions in Seedhouse et al. (2010) which principally emerged from BAAL2008.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: BAAL 2011, University of West England, Bristol, U.K.
Publication Info: Paper at The 44th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics

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