EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 1 (2001)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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This article compares the relative effect of study abroad as opposed to foreign language instruction on an aspect of the L2 learner’s grammatical development, namely the expression of past time in target language (TL) French. Based on a cross-sectional quantitative analysis of oral data elicited from Irish advanced learners, a number of differences and similarities emerge between the learners’ development in the TL community and in the foreign language classroom. On the one hand, the more beneficial effect of study abroad is evident insofar as the study abroad learners attain a higher level of accuracy in their use of past time morphology across a more expansive range of aspectual contexts. On the other hand, however, similarities are also evident between the learners in both domains of acquisition. Based on a variationist analysis which controls for the effect of a number of linguistic factors on the learners’ choice of past time marker (grammatical aspect, inherent lexical aspect, and discourse grounding), the learners’ contextual use of past time morphology appears to be relatively similar. The results are firstly dicussed in relation to existing research evidence concerning the L2 learner’s grammatical development during study abroad, and secondly, in relation to the question of the manifestation of grammatical development in the L2 learner.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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