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Grammar Growth in Child Second Language German

Investigating DP Development in an Immersion Setting


Christiane Schöneberger

This empirical study investigates the acquisition and development of nominal morphology in L1-English-speaking children acquiring German as a second language in an immersion school context. The focus is on accuracy development in the emerging German article system. Embracing theoretical and applied aspects of second language acquisition research, the study brings together educational, cognitive and psycholinguistic dimensions of second language learning and teaching. Results have implications for curriculum design and quality development in language immersion and content and language integrated learning.
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Language Learning is a field which bridges the gap between the research conducted within Psycholinguistics and the applied research within Foreign Language Didactics. For a long time, these two fields were regarded as separate disciplines, and the emphasis lay on their differences. However, just as there has been a gradual convergence between the concepts of language acquisition and language learning, over the past few years Psycholinguistics and Foreign Language Didactics have also been moving closer together. While Psycholinguistics is taking a growing interest in the classroom context in which language learning takes place, Foreign Language Didactics have fully embraced empirical research which sheds light on the linguistic phenomena found in the interactions within the classroom.

The series Inquiries in Language Learning (Forschungen zu Psycholinguistik und Fremdsprachendidaktik) aims to reflect this development. Since the areas of intersection between these two research fields have a high level of interdisciplinarity, the contributions to this series are relevant in many different ways for educators and researchers who are concerned with language learning. On the one hand, good foreign language or second language teaching requires teachers whose methodological and pedagogical decisions are based on a sound knowledge of language acquisition theory. Furthermore, foreign language textbooks should have a solid empirical foundation. On the other hand, the interpretation of linguistic data requires familiarity with the types of classroom activities and rituals that shape the various learning processes. After all, psycholinguistic research design must attend to the technicalities of classroom teaching and learning...

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