Bibliografía - Journal of Second Language Studies

Different methods to acquire a language can contribute differently to learning success. In the present study we tested the success of L2 stress contrasts acquisition, when ab initio learners were taught or not about the theoretic nature of L2 stress contrasts. In two 4-hour perceptual training methods, French-speaking listeners received either (a) explicit instructions about Spanish stress patterns and perception activities commonly used in L2 pronunciation courses or (b) no explicit instructions and a unique perception activity, a shape/word matching task. Results showed that French-speaking listeners improved their ability to identify and discriminate stress contrasts in Spanish after training. However, there was no significant difference between explicit and non-explicit training nor was there an effect on stress processing under different phonetic variability conditions. This suggests that in L2 stress acquisition, non-explicit training may benefit ab initio learners as much as explicit instruction and activities used in L2 pronunciation courses.

Recent findings indicate that native speakers (L1) use grammatical gender marking on articles to facilitate the processing of upcoming nouns. Conversely, adult second language (L2) learners for whom grammatical gender is absent in their first language appear to need near-native proficiency to behave like native speakers. The question addressed here is whether sensitivity to grammatical gender in L2 learners of Spanish is modulated by the cognate status of nouns due to their heightened parallel orthographic, phonological, morpho-syntactic and semantic activation. Additionally, the role of transparent and non-transparent word-final gender marking cues was examined because past studies have shown that native speakers of Spanish are sensitive to differences in gender transparency. Participants were English learners of Spanish and Spanish monolingual speakers. Data were collected using the visual world paradigm. Participants saw 2-picture visual scenes in which objects either matched in gender (same-gender trials) or mismatched (different-gender trials). Targets were embedded in the preamble Encuentra el/la ___ ‘Find the ___’. The monolingual group displayed an anticipatory effect on different gender trials, replicating past studies that show that native speakers use grammatical gender information encoded in prenominal modifiers predictively. The learners were able to use gender information on the articles to facilitate processing, but only when the nouns had gender endings that were transparent. Cognate status did not confer an advantage during grammatical gender processing