Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Simone E. Pfenninger (1) and David Singleton (2). Age of onset, socio-affect and cross-linguistic influence: a long-term classroom study: 127-148.


In this longitudinal study, undertaken in Switzerland between 2008 and 2015, we home in on the interaction of starting age for English with the role of knowledge of other languages (German and French) in an array of oral and written tasks. Using longitudinal data from the same student cohort (200 learners) over a period of ve years has made it possible to examine in real time and in a thorough and detailed manner (1) the impact of onset variables on the amount of cross-linguistic in uence over the course of secondary school as well as on the type of transfer material, (2) transfer effects in areas of language knowledge and acquisition where transfer has previously been claimed not to occur, or to be relatively rare (e.g. in ectional morpheme transfer from the native and the additional foreign language), and (3) the sources of cross- linguistic in uences, such as socio-affective factors. The results highlight the effects of target language pro ciency, metalinguistic awareness and contextual factors (e.g. class effects, teaching practices and class size).

Keywords: Age factor, crosslinguistic influence, lexical transfer, metalinguistic awareness, context variables

(1) University of Zurich, Switzerland. (2) University of Pannonia, Hungary.

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