Learners' perspectives of L1 roles in third language acquisition: a case study

Rachel Varshney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The use of the first language in the acquisition of second, third and subsequent languages has often been the subject of debate amongst researchers and pedagogues. This paper examines learner perspectives of the roles given to the L1 in the acquisition of third and subsequent languages, as highlighted by the students themselves. Eight plurilingual language learners at both beginning and intermediate levels were surveyed regarding their own strategic uses of their L1 and the language of reference of the institution in which they were studying (English). The results indicate that there are a number of roles allocated to the L1 of each individual learner but there were also roles allocated to the language of reference (English) for most students. In addition, results show that while students are using their L1/language of reference for certain aspects of language learning, the use of the target language is not ignored, and plays a significant part in learner strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-17
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian language and literacy matters
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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