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Acquisition of «be» by Cantonese ESL Learners in Hong Kong- and its Pedagogical Implications

Mable Chan

The present study examines grammaticality judgment data, production data and acceptability judgment data from 243 Cantonese second language learners and a control group of 12 native English speakers. Research areas concern (a) the role of the first language in the acquisition of be by Cantonese second language learners; (b) the question if properties associated with be remain persistently problematic for Cantonese speakers; (c) developmental stages of the acquisition of be; (d) the relationship between morphology and syntax; and (e) pedagogical implications.
No published L2 research has attempted an in-depth theoretical and empirical treatment of both acquisition and teaching subject matters in one single work. This work helps bridge the gap between acquisition theory and language pedagogy research, benefitting not just language learners but language teachers around the world, and all those who would like to witness a collaboration between second language acquisition theory and second language teaching practice in general.
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Chapter 6 Discussion and Conclusion

Extract



6.1Introduction

This study is about the acquisition of be by Cantonese ESL learners in Hong Kong and its pedagogical implications. An English test consisting of 3 tasks was administered to an experimental group of 243 Cantonese ESL learners and a control group of 12 native English speakers: a Grammaticality Judgment Task, a Production Task and an Acceptability Judgment Task. This chapter will consider how the results presented in Chapter 5 provide evidence bearing on each of the research questions outlined in Chapter 3 regarding SLA core issues: the role of the L1 in the acquisition of constructions involving be; whether any properties associated with be remain persistently problematic for Cantonese speakers; what the developmental stages are in the acquisition of be; what the relationship between morphology and syntax is; finally, the study also contributes to the debate in the literature about the effectiveness of instruction by considering the pedagogical implications of the results and suggesting how teachers can make use of the findings in selecting appropriate teaching approaches, equipping themselves, and being aware of what is ‘teachable’. A conclusion will be presented at the end summarizing the findings and suggesting topics for further investigation.

6.2The role of the L1 in the acquisition of be

6.2.1The role of the L1 in different initial state hypotheses

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