Bar Ilan Linguistics Colloquium - Dr. Katy Borodkin, Lehman College, CUNY

07/07/2015 - 14:30 - 16:00

Dr. Katy Borodkin, Lehman College, CUNY

Phonological and Naming Skills in Low-Proficiency Second-Language Learners

Abstract:

Second language (L2) learners differ considerably in their L2 proficiency. Some individuals achieve high L2 attainment, while others might invest great efforts and yet find communicating in a L2 very difficult. It has been previously suggested that L1 and L2 learning depend on basic language learning components that are shared across languages and that difficulties with L1 processing might lead to low L2 performance. In particular, research shows that persons with dyslexia, who often exhibit a deficit in phonological processing in L1, perform below controls on a variety of L2 tasks. In this talk, a hypothesis will be explored that low-proficiency L2 learners with no history of reading difficulties have the same weakness in L1 phonological processing as individuals with classified dyslexia, but in a more limited set of phonological skills. It will be shown that one such skill is naming in both L1 and L2, as indexed by the tip-of-the-tongue experimental paradigm. Results of a preliminary study exploring the mechanisms underlying this naming difficulty in low-proficiency L2 learners will be discussed. 

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