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Title: The same destination but different journeys : a comparative study between young gifted linguists and bilinguals which explores the learning, storage and retrieval of lexis
Author: Stacey, Marie-Noelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 7893
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2014
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Studies in Foreign Language (FL) lexical acquisition have become more specialized since the development of Applied Linguistics. This study is multi-facetted and aims to investigate and analyse French vocabulary acquisition by two groups of successful young learners: gifted Language Two (L2) learners and young English/French ‘choice’ bilinguals in comparison with a group of L2 learners. The term choice bilingual is used to refer to a specific type of bilingual which is an under-researched group. The research identifies the similarities and differences between the groups in the storage of and access to L2 lexis and in their working memory. It determines what strategies for learning they employ and compares learners’ attitudes and beliefs about language learning with their parents’ perceived attitudes towards their children’s learning of French. The study investigates patterns for successful learning of lexis which may help to improve pedagogical practices for assisting vocabulary acquisition. The research data involve aptitude, vocabulary and working memory tests, and a questionnaire. The reason for the adoption of this multi-set data examination method is to present a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the issue being studied. The thesis contributes to the field of second and foreign language lexical acquisition and presents relevant empirical data. The results of the study add positive evidence to research related to the importance of strategy training and the development of working memory for L2 learners. There is also evidence to suggest the possibility of using specifically designed vocabulary network tests to assist in judging vocabulary and linguistic development. This study is set in the context of an attempt by the government to make a second language a compulsory subject at primary level in UK state schools originally in 2010 and now in 2014. It looks at French as the L2 for British school children in the independent sector and English/French choice bilinguals all aged 10-13.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Culture, Communication and Media