The Role of Education and Text Exposure in the Oral Production of L2 Greek Functional Morphology by Adult L1 English and L1 Albanian Speakers: The Case of Agreement and Perfective Aspect

Janko, Eleni (2020) The Role of Education and Text Exposure in the Oral Production of L2 Greek Functional Morphology by Adult L1 English and L1 Albanian Speakers: The Case of Agreement and Perfective Aspect. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

A growing number of studies testing illiterate participants has shown that a lack of knowledge of the alphabetic representation of words has implications for language processing and attainment (e.g. Tarone et al. 2009; van de Craats and van Hout 2010; Young-Scholten and Strom 2006). With regard to processing, Tarone et al. (2009) found that less literate adult learners are much more likely to omit necessary verbal morphology than their literate peers. However, in general, there is very little empirical research testing the processing of morphosyntax by low-literacy adult learners. The present research aims to address this gap by testing the acquisition of morphosyntax by adult learners, who are low-educated in the L1.

In Experiment 1, learners of Greek were taught gender agreement through different modalities (text versus audio); the aim was to look at how these modalities affect the oral accuracy of inflectional morphology. The text group scored higher than the audio group in determiner agreement, while results for adjective agreement were mixed. Answers to an exit questionnaire revealed higher levels of metalinguistic awareness for the text group.

In Experiment 2, low-educated learners of Greek were tested on gender and number agreement, and past tense marking in order to see how the educational level influences the acquisition of these structures. Differences in gender agreement were not significant. However, learners produced simpler language in past tense formation, while increased length of residence was associated with increased fluency.

These results add empirical evidence to previous research with regard to the processing of morphosyntax by low-educated L2 learners. They also have theoretical implications for the comparison of noticing of L2 morphological forms by adult learners (e.g. Ellis 2017; Schmidt 2001). The current findings also have methodological implications, as they question the general belief that the existing research findings apply to all learners (Tarone et al. 2009). Thus, generating findings different to past studies indicates the need for further research with low-educated participants. Finally, the present findings have pedagogical implications for practitioners by informing them on how to implement teaching methodologies that cater to these learners’ diverse needs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: second language acquisition, literacy and underprivileged individuals
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
R900 Others in European Languages, Literature and related subjects
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 08:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 11:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46443

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