Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In this paper the effect of monitoring in the acquisition of Dutch as a second language has been investigated in a descriptive design. Starting point was an experimental investigation, carried out by Hulstijn (1982). As his investigation was restricted to only two variables, a number of experimental conditions (unnatural situation) and to correct sentences only, it was decided to replicate this investigation with the following alterations: (1) only natural data from three different situations were used. These data ranked from formal to informal: dialogue (informal), monologue (formal) and written report (formal); (2) all kinds of linguistic variables that were relevant for the acquisition stage of the subjects were scored: syntactic, morphological, lexical variables, both correct and incorrect usage; (3) subjects were subdivided with respect to LI into English and less related languages (Slavic), and with respect to L2-achievement according to the teacher: good and not so good achievers. Some results1. English speaking subjects and good achievers had better scores generally on the variables under investigation. This means that these variables are valid to describe the language acquisition process of Dutch as L2.2. Those linguistic features that are well acquired are under the domain of monitoring in such a way that under formal circumstances (more reflection time) fewer errors occurred: word order, content words, and those morphological phenomena that are essential for the meaning of the message (tense, plural).3. Those linguistic features that are not internalized completely are under the domain of monitoring in such a way that under formal circumstances more errors occurred: morphological phenomena that are less relevant with respect to meaning (e.g. incorrect plurals), and function words.4. English subjects and good achievers demonstrated more correct monitoring.5. The results 1. to 4. fit quite well into the L1=L2 hypothesis. There seems to be a universal order for language acquisition that is influenced only in minor points by the LI of the language learner. These findings have some interesting consequences for L2-education.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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