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A language-specific form of attention that underlies second language proficiency

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A language-specific form of attention that underlies second language proficiency

Chung, Wai Men Noel (2003) A language-specific form of attention that underlies second language proficiency. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This research investigated the role of a specific form of attention that may be implicated in the acquisition of second language (L2) proficiency, based on cognitive linguistic considerations. It was hypothesized that L2 proficiency would be positively correlated with efficiency of attention control for L2 grammaticized elements (pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and verb forms), after controlling for effects attributable to attention control bilingual undergraduates (L1 = English; L2 = French) performed a proficiency task (operationalized as efficiency of accessing word meaning in a lexical living or nonliving categorization task) and an attention task (operationalized as efficiency of attention shift judgments in a nonmatching-to-sample task For both the proficiency and attention tasks, coefficient of variation (CV) of reaction time was the measure of processing efficiency. L2-specific measures were obtained by partialling out L1 from L2 CVs. The baseline for attention performance (i.e., no attention shift) was measured using a matching-to-sample task. Attention control indices were computed by partialling out match CVs from non-match CVs. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses (Step 1 = CONC & ABST; Step 2 = GRAM) revealed that efficiency of attention control for L2 grammaticized elements accounted for a significant amount of unique variance of L2 proficiency whereas attention control for nongrammaticized elements did not. Because all L2 measures had been residualized against L1, the results could be interpreted as reflecting a language specific form of attention and not general processing abilities.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Chung, Wai Men Noel
Pagination:ix, 107 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Psychology
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Segalowitz, Norman
ID Code:2257
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:26
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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