Understanding the influence of L1 and lexical aspect in temporal acquisition: Quantitative and qualitative studies.

| March 21, 2011
Title
Understanding the influence of L1 and lexical aspect in temporal acquisition: Quantitative and qualitative studies.

Keywords: temporal morphology; verbal semantics; L1 influence

Authors
Sun Xiao-zhao & Du Juan
School of Foreign Languages, Dalian University of Technology

Bio Data
Sun Xiao-zhao is an assistant professor in the School of Foreign Languages at Dalian University of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. in English education from Hiroshima University. His current research interests include temporal acquisition, vocabulary acquisition and qualitative analysis of language learning process of EFL learners.

Du Juan is a lecturer in the School of English Studies at Dalian University of Foreign Languages. She has been teaching since 1996. Her research interests include translation studies, syllabus design and content-based instruction in classroom teaching.

This research was supported by a Scientific Research Start-up Fund for Returned Scholars, by the Ministry of Education in China.

Abstract
The two presented studies aim to make a comparative investigation on L1 influence and lexical aspect effect in temporal acquisition by Chinese and Japanese EFL learners. By using a mixed methods approach, two studies were conducted in order to present a more comprehensive and in-depth analysis of learners performance in temporal marking. While Study One was a cross-sectional using a written error recognition and correction task to look at factors at work in EFL learners temporal performance, Study Two attempted to examine the metacognitive process of their tense-aspect interpretation by means of qualitative data obtained from retrospective interviews. As revealed in the results, L1 influence was found to be an active factor in Japanese learners progressive marking performance. However, L1 influence was not found in Chinese learners.

With regard to the lexical aspect effect, a strong progressive-activities association predicted by the Aspect Hypothesis was not found in the results. Through learners’ verbal reports, Study Two provides qualitative evidence for the existence of L1 influence and learners awareness of lexical aspect in tense-aspect performance. Detailed discussion is made on these findings as well as their pedagogical implications.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 13 Issue 1