The Age Factor in Second Language Acquisition
Edited by: David Singleton, Zsolt Lengyel
This book takes a hard look at some of the assumptions that are customarily made concerning the role of age in second language acquisition. The evidence and arguments the contributors present run counter to the notion that an early start in second language learning is of itself either absolutely sufficient or necessary for the attainment of native-like mastery of a second language. Another theme of the book is a doubt that there is a particular stage of maturity beyond which language learning is no longer fully possible. In short, the book presents a challenge to those who take it as given that second language learning is inevitably different in its essential nature from language acquisition in the childhood years and that second language knowledge acquired beyond the critical period is in all circumstances and in all respects doomed to fossilize at a non-native-like level.
David Singleton holds his primary degree from Trinity College Dublin and his doctorate from the University of Cambridge. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Trinity College Dublin. He has been active in both the European Second Language Association and the International Association of Applied Linguistics. His principal research interests are language transfer, the L2 mental lexicon and the age factor in language acquisition and he has produced numerous publications on all these topics. He is the author of Language Acquisition: The Age Factor (Multilingual Matters, 1989). Zsolt Lengyel is a graduate of Debrecen University, Hungary, where he studied Hungarian, Russian Studies and General Linguistics. At present he leads the Department of Applied Linguistics at Vesprem University. His main research area is psycholinguistics - specifically in relation to first and second language acquisition. He is the author of several books on Hungarian child language and on the psycholinguistic problems of Hungarian children engaged in second language learning, including a pioneer study of the genesis of written language, with particular reference to psycholinguistic aspects of the acquisition of literacy skills by Finnish and Hungarian children.
Postgraduate, Research / Professional