A Comparative Study of the Acquisition of French Verb Tense and Aspect in Early, Middle and Late French Immersion
International Center for Research on Language Planning, Jan 1, 1995 - French language - 210 pages
Questioning the notion of a sensitive period for second language acquisition, this research examined students' interlanguage development in selected classes at two grades in early, middle, and late French immersion. These classes were administered the same verb tense tests: an oral elicited imitation test and written rational cloze test. Analysis of results indicated that, in general, the aspectual distinction between the "passe compose" and "imparfait" was difficult for all groups of students. Moreover, while students in earlier starting programs significantly outperformed those in later starting programs on the oral task, two groups of students in later starting programs outperformed students in earlier starting programs on the written task. These results suggest that factors related to starting age, including instructional approaches, may have had an effect on students' performance. Interlanguage analysis resulted in a proposed general sequence of development for students' written use of the "passe compose" and "imparfait." (Contains 155 references.) (Author)
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accurate analytic auxiliary verb avons classroom compose and imparfait context critical period degree of mastery developmental sequence difficulty easier items EFI and MFI EFI students Elicited Imitation test experiential exposure to French factors focus form-focused French verb system grade 8 MFI grade 8 students grade levels grammatical harder items Harley homophonous Hypothesis Imitation and Rational implicational scaling Incorrect interlanguage analysis involved Krashen language form language learning later starting programs linguistic mean scores message-focused MFI classes MFI group older learners oral task order of accuracy outperform partially correct responses passe compose past participle past tense pattern person and number present study present tense rate of acquisition Rational Cloze test regarding requiring etre responses at grade second language acquisition sensitive period sentences similar situations specific starting age starting learners stative verbs students at grade Swain Test by Grade three programs verb tense written task younger learners