Language Universals and Learning Strategies in L2 Relative Clause Acquisition

By Supakorn Phoocharoensil.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The present study aims at examining the roles of language universals and learning strategies in Thai EFL learners’ acquisition of English relative clauses (ERCs). Focusing on the spoken data, the research revealed that the learners’ use of ERC types conform to the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy, whereas the production of ERC embedding types accord with the Perceptual Difficulty Hypothesis. In addition to the two universals, the learners also apply some strategies in acquiring ERCs, evidently resulting in deviations in the target language. Regarding the strategies, they were found to transfer the knowledge of Thai RCs to ERC learning; moreover, marked types of ERCs were also avoided. The learners, additionally, overgeneralized the use of the relative pronoun that by employing it in non-restrictive ERCs.

Keywords: Relative Clauses, Language Universals, Learning Strategies, Second Language Acquisition

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp.95-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 786.240KB).

Dr. Supakorn Phoocharoensil

English Lecturer, Language Institute, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand

Supakorn Phoocharoensil received both his B.A. and M.A. in English from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He also holds a Ph.D. in English as an International Language from Chulalongkorn University. He is currently an English lecturer at the Language Institute, Thammasat University. His research interests include second language acquisition of English syntax, interlanguage study, and English vocabulary learning.

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