Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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This paper argues that a) much of what is presented as Krashen's new theory on foreign (or second) language acquisition is not new but given a new name (e.g. "the affective filter" for motivational and attitudinal variables) and b) that what is new is not adequately substantiated by empirical evidence or maintained in spite of 'contrary evidence. The plausibility of the new part of the theory is questioned on various grounds, one of them being that it does not sufficiently take into account the possible implications (i.e. for the way a foreign language is mastered) of the differences between the various foreign language acquisition contexts such as age, goal and aptitude of the learner, the kind and/or degree of L2 exposure, formal vs. naturalistic acquisition etc. An example of the kind of research needed is reported viz. the data resulting from an investigation into the errors against adverbial placement rules made by EFL students with different mother tongues. The aim of the study was to collect data relevant to the question whether/ to what extent errors would be "universal" (i.e. the same for all learners irrespective of their L1) or language (one) specific.Finnish, Polish, German, French and Dutch E.F.L. learners took 4 tests operationalising knowledge of English adverbial placement in 4 different ways: acceptability judgements, "scrambled" sentences, placing the same adverb in syntactically different contexts and placing different adverbs in syntactically identical contexts. Since the investigation was mainly concerned with error patterns especially the test performance of the low scoring subjects was further analysed to determine the degree of language specificity of their errors. This analysis strongly suggested either direct or indirect mother tongue influence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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