Roumyana Slabakova @ LEL Research Seminar

Posted on April 26, 2018 by

On Tuesday 1st May, LEL welcomes Professor Roumyana Slabakova, of the University of Southampton. Roumyana is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Center for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) and describes her research interests as follows:

“My research is grounded in generative linguistic theory and explores the second language (L2) acquisition process. My theoretical focus is the acquisition of grammatical structure and its interaction with meaning. I use online and offline psycholinguistic methodologies to investigate […] theoretical issues”.

Seminar details and abstract follow below.

Room Booked: Samuel Alexander, A101
Date: Tues 01 May 2018
Time: 16.15 – 17.30

As always, the seminar will be followed by a drinks reception and a dinner. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Theoretical Linguistics insights for the SLA Language classroom
Roumyana Slabakova
(University of Southampton)
In the last decade or so, there has been increased interest in examining and explaining the differential difficulty of acquisition of various language properties and constructions (Lardiere 2005, 2009;Slabakova 2006, 2008; White, 2003). At issue is whether there are linguistic properties, constructions, and even parts of the grammar that are “easier” and “harder” to acquire in an additional language. Principled distinctions, well understood in linguistic theory, as well as solid bodies of data, should be used to answer these research questions. I will argue that applying the insights achieved by formal SLA research and theory in the last thirty years inform language teaching. There is an efficiency gain if these insights are utilized. It makes practical sense that if teachers know what is hard to acquire and thus target instruction by practicing it more in the classroom, learners will achieve better fluency and higher accuracy in the second language. I will present findings from two recent studies (Shimanskaya & Slabakova, in press; Leal & Slabakova, in press) to support this research agenda.