First Language Bidialectism and Associative Learning in Second Language Acquisition

Weifeng Han


The faculty of grammar has long been known to be critical to language acquisition, but recent studies have called into question whether innate capacities included only knowledge of grammatical structure. This paper reports research on language-learning impaired children’s language acquisition and first language (L1) bidialectal children learning a second language. It proposes that learners will benefit from their L1 bidialectal knowledge in second language (L2) learning, since L1 bidialectals exhibit better syntactic awareness of L2 specific structures. It further argues that mechanism of association, rather than rule computation, plays a more important role in L2 acquisition.

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