Cultural Migrants and Optimal Language Acquisition Edited by: Fanny Forsberg Lundell, Inge Bartning

Hardback - 240 pages
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04 Aug 2015
Second Language Acquisition
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This volume investigates cultural migrants: people who, from their own free will, move to another country because of their interest in the target language and culture. Chapters include studies on cultural migrants acquiring French, Italian, Spanish and English and consider linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic aspects of language acquisition. Cultural migrants have social and psychological advantages when acquiring a second language as adults, and the study of their linguistic knowledge and production increases our understanding of the possibilities and limits of L2 ultimate attainment. The work thus fills a gap in our understanding of high-level proficiency and will be of interest to researchers working in the field of SLA, as well as to social scientists studying the relationship between language, culture and integration.


This volume introduces us to a new concept - the ‘cultural migrant’ - in order to investigate linguistic variation and long-term attainment among L2 users with a genuine desire to integrate into a new culture. The editors and contributors succeed in enlivening and complicating the age debate through a holistic view of the individual, and a renewed emphasis on acculturation, both needed to decisively move critical period research forward.

- Alene Moyer, University of Maryland, USA

This book makes a valuable contribution to the contemporary debate around native-likeness and ultimate attainment in adult second language learning, focusing on the growing body of cultural migrants. Its strength and originality lie in connecting migration studies with language learning through the interesting consideration of linguistic, psychological, and societal factors.

- Carmen Muñoz, University of Barcelona, Spain

This fascinating collection of papers brings together multiple perspectives on a little-known influence on adult language acquisition: cultural migration. Exploring in detail the relationship between levels of acculturation and native-like attainment in a second language, the book offers a refreshing new look at Schumann's Acculturation model.

- Pauline Foster, St. Mary's University, UK

Readers interested in very advanced learners and the subtle differences between advanced, near-native and native speakers of a language will be interested in the findings presented and analyzed here; useful summaries of previous research are provided, and some useful techniques for data collection and analysis presented, especially concerning the analysis of lexical and multi-word features in spoken discourse.

- Language, Interaction and Acquisition 7:2 - Heather E. Hilton, University of Lyon 2, France

Author Biography:

Fanny Forsberg Lundell is Associate Professor of French Linguistics at Stockholm University. Besides publishing extensively on formulaic language in French and Spanish as second languages, with a particular focus on high-level proficiency, she also works on pragmatics, conversation analysis and spoken language in general. Recently, her work includes psychological perspectives on high-level L2 attainment.

Inge Bartning is Professor Emerita of French at Stockholm University. She has taught and published in the domain of French syntax, semantics and pragmatics. In the last two decades her main interest has been in French L2 acquisition, in particular the domain of developmental stages, advanced learners and ultimate attainment of morphosyntax, discourse and information structure.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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