Languages, Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 38 articles
Cover Story (view full-size image): How is nonnative (L2) speech perception affected jointly by listeners’ native language (L1) background and individual differences (IDs) that are not L1-specific? We explore the hypothesis that the relative contributions of these factors change with L2 experience, such that IDs are more influential at earlier stages of learning, while L1 is more influential at later stages. A study of L2 learners of Korean from diverse L1 backgrounds showed, in pre-learning perception, high individual variability yet little evidence of L1 effects; by contrast, post-learning perception showed significant L1 effects. These findings support the view that L1 affects L2 perception dynamically, according to the amount of L2 knowledge available at a given time. That is, L1 and IDs both play a role in L2 perception, but to different degrees over the course of L2 development. View this paper.
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