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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'Gaming as extramural English L2 learning and L2 proficiency among young learners'
Author: Liss KerstinSylvén
Email: click here to access email
Institution: 'Göteborg University'
Author: PiaSundqvist
Email: click here to access email
Institution: 'Karlstad University'
Linguistic Field: 'Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition'
Subject Language: 'English'
' Swedish'
Abstract: Today, playing digital games is an important part of many young people's everyday lives. Claims have been made that certain games, in particular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) provide L2 English learners with a linguistically rich and cognitively challenging virtual environment that may be conducive to L2 learning, as learners get ample opportunities for L2 input and scaffolded interaction in the L2. In this paper, we present empirical evidence that L2 English proficiency correlates with the frequency of gaming and types of games played. We base our observation on a study among young L2 English learners (N = 86, aged 11–12, Sweden). Data were collected through a questionnaire, a language diary, and three proficiency tests. The questionnaire provided demographic background information but was also targeted at measuring extramural English habits, i.e., learners’ out-of-school contact with English (cf. Sundqvist, ). The diary measured how much time the learners spent on seven predetermined extramural English activities during one week, while the tests measured their achieved L2 proficiency regarding reading and listening comprehension, and vocabulary. Previous research among learners aged 15–16 (Sundqvist, ) showed positive correlations between playing digital games and L2 proficiency, in particular with regard to vocabulary, and also identified gender-related differences regarding vocabulary (boys outperformed girls) as well as the frequency of gaming and types of games played. These results were corroborated in the present study. A clear pattern emerged from our data: frequent gamers (≥ 5 hours/week) outperformed moderate gamers who, in turn, outperformed non-gamers. Background variables could not explain the between-group differences. Even though the boys might have been more proficient or apt than the girls a priori and, therefore, chose to engage more in L2 gaming, the findings suggest that playing digital games at an early age can be important for L2 acquisition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in ReCALL Vol. 24, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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