CLER Conversation: Multilingual Competence as a Resource for Language Learning
- Monday 2 November 2020, 11:00
Join us for this CLER Conversation, led by Dr. Richard Badger, which considers the value of multilingual competence in additional language development. With discussants Dr. Dung Cao, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University and Dr. Dogus Oksuz, University of Leeds
Cross-linguistic influence on the use of L2 collocations: the case of Vietnamese learners
Using collocation is a key part of second language ability (Granger 2018; Nattinger & DeCarrico, 1992; Nesselhauf, 2004; Pawley & Syder, 1983). Researchers often hypothesize that the influence of the first language is an important factor in the production and understanding of unconventional collocations (Huang, 2001; B. Laufer & Waldman, 2011; Phoocharoensil, 2013) but we are only now starting to understand this. The present study provides a robust investigation of cross-linguistic influences by exploring how Vietnamese influenced Vietnamese learners’ use of English language verb-noun and adjective noun collocations in 104 350-word argumentative essays using a framework derived from Jarvis (2012) drawing on homogeneity among speakers of Vietnamese; heterogeneity between users of Vietnamese and other language; and formal and conceptual congruity between collocations learners produce in English and equivalent terms in Vietnamese.
The study found that less than 10% of the collocations learners produced were unconventional and of these, 40% of collocations were influenced by the first language (L1); errors associated with incorrect use of prepositions in verb-noun collocations (e.g. the addition, omission or misuse of prepositions) are strongly L1-motivated. Learners make errors with not only incongruent collocations (collocations with no direct L1 equivalents) but also with congruent collocations (collocations with direct L1 translation).