Benefits of Study Abroad and Working Memory on L2 Morphosyntactic Processing

Authored by: Sagarra Nuria , LaBrozzi Ryan

The Routledge Handbook of Study Abroad Research and Practice

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138192393
eBook ISBN: 9781315639970
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315639970-10

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Abstract

Inflected languages mark semantic information with lexical cues (e.g., explicit subjects) and morphological cues (e.g., suffixes) (Evans, 2003), but adult second language (L2) learners have difficulty processing the latter. This difficulty is exacerbated in sentences containing both cues encoding the same meaning (Ellis, 2006), in learners with low proficiency levels (Hopp, 2010) or low working memory (WM) span (Sagarra & Herschensohn, 2010), and in native speakers of a morphologically poor or null language (Sagarra & Ellis, 2013). To address this problem, we investigate whether study abroad SA and high WM span can facilitate the processing of inflectional morphemes in low-proficiency adult learners whose first language (L1) is morphologically poor.

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