Third and fourth language acquisition of inter-Germanic and Germanic-Romance morphosyntax and semantics and its implications for language teaching

About the project

Investigators: Daniil M. Ozernyi, Olha A. Sierostanova

Duration: Spring 2020 - Spring 2021Sponsoring institution: Kamianske High School - Collegium #16, Tarasa Shevchenka Ave., 8, Kamianske, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine - 51931Scale: within the institution, inter-institutional (depending on the stage)

Approval committee:
Buy V.V., Head of School (chair);
Korneva Sv. Ol., dean for second language teaching;
Nosul' Yu. Ol., school committee on second language teaching (chair) and school union of modern language teachers (chair).
Approved on Feb 10 2021.

Student population: groups 10A-1, 10A-2, 10B-1, 10B-2, 11A-1, 11A-2, 11B-1, 11B-2, (124 students cumulatively); all students are L1 Russian L2 Ukrainian, studying English for 11 years having the same/vastly similar exposure, and studying L4 German or L4 French since the 5th grade. The levels for all experiments were determined by a consensus of a) self-reported levels, b) standardized assessment (e.g. Listening from the B2 First test, Writing from B2 First test), c) continuous assessment of spoken ability. Continuous assessment also enabled us to look not only at the level but at the acquisition ability (the dynamic of acquisition) of the students and correlate it with the results of the experiments conducted.

Studies conducted within the project

  • L1 vs. L2 vs. L3 transfer: evidence contra wholesale transfer models and privileged languages from grammatical gender and definiteness acquisition in sequential quardilinguals (May 2020, published in Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America)

  • Third language acquisition and [-inflection] principle: evidence against the initial state paradigm from parameter-setting for interaction of disjunction and negation (Fall 2020, in preparation -- submitted to BUCLD)

  • Germanic-Germanic vs Germanic-Romance L3-L4: correlations, interdependencies, and imprecisions in semantic parameter-setting (Fall 2020, in preparation -- to be submitted)

  • Third and fourth language acquisition of aspect: revisiting Slabakova, 2002 (Winter 2021, in preparation, but will not be submitted until late 2022)

  • a corollary study: while investigating parameter-setting for interaction of disjunction and negation, it turned out that Ukrainian (the second language of the participants) did not conform to the known boundaries of cross-linguistic variation, so an additional acceptability judgment task was designed to investigate the behavior of ~[A v B] constructions. The results are in, but will not be submitted until late 2022 either.

Additional notes:

  • in addition to the psycholinguistic investigations, the following studies were conducted:

    • ZNO vs FCE writing scales: reliability and validity of Ukrainian state exam

    • Teaching writing in CLIL: American and British literature as a venue for ESL academic writing