Cross-Linguistic Influence in the Acquisition of English as a Third Language. The State of the Art
Sammanfattning: This is a review of the literature from the past ten years about cross-linguistic influence (CLI), focusing on grammar, in the acquisition of English as a third language of secondary school learners. Currently, EFL classrooms around the world are experiencing increased linguistic diversity. Understanding CLI, a central part of interlanguage, in multilingual learners of English has therefore become more imperative than ever before. This review demonstrates that the relationship between the background languages and the target language extensively affects the quality and quantity of CLI in the acquisition of English as a third language, and identifies typology and proficiency as key factors shaping interlanguage outcomes. As pedagogical implications, the review concludes on the importance of explicit multi-contrastive teaching of grammar to develop learners’ meta-linguistic and cross-linguistic awareness in order to enhance their competence in English. Now, research testing the correlations among teacher approaches, learner perceptions, and transfer effects is necessary, as are more studies accounting and controlling for more relevant factors involved in CLI when learning English as a third language.
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