Acquisition of L2 English morphology: a family case study

Yanyin Zhang, Ima Widyastuti

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This study investigates the status of morphology in the L2 English of three members of a family from Indonesia (parents and their 5–year–old daughter) who have lived, studied or worked in Australia for a year. The investigation is contextualized against various learning settings in which the informants have learned English: formal instruction in the foreign language environment, naturalistic learning in the target language setting, and a mixture of formal and naturalistic learning in the target language environment. Following the developmental hierarchy for English morphology (Pienemann, 2005; Bettoni and Di Biase, forthcoming) and analytical procedures in Processability Theory (Pienemann, 1998, 2005), we found the informants were at different stages of L2 proficiency, with the father being the most advanced and the daughter the least. We also found a systematic developmental profile of each informant in line with the developmental hierarchy for English morphology. Both findings are discussed with reference to the developmental sequences and the role of learning settings in SLA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Review of Applied Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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