Sharareh Rahbari

(University of Hamburg)

CLI in Iranian-German and Turkish-German Bilinguals’ English text production

Studies such as conducted by the German Institute for International Pedagogical Research (DeutschesInstitutfürInternationalePädagogischeForschung (DIPF)) in 2003 and 2004 suggest that multilingual children from migrant families have advantages when acquiring English as an additional language. To further substantiate these findings, the present study explores interviews and questionnaires of 12- and 16-year-old Iranian-German and Turkish- German bilingual children in Germany as well as a control group of German monolingual speakers, containing oral and written narrative productions complemented by language background data such as age of onset, language use within certain domains, as well as the attitudes held towards the languages involved (i.e. Iranian or Turkish, German, and English). The present study focuses on word order and the use of definite and indefinite articles.

The current study is part of the longitudinal research project “Multilingual Development:  A Longitudinal Perspective (MEZ)” at the University of Hamburg (2016-2019). It explores questions such as, which language the multilingual language learners use as a source of transfer in their production of English and which language they use as a source of narrative elements. Whether it is their second language, as suggested by Bardel and Falk (2007), or rather their first and heritage language? Whether they refer to the typological proximity of the languages in relation to language transfer (Rothman 2011)? And whether their previously acquired languages have a positive influence on their English performance or remain neutral (see Bardel and Falk 2007) or whether they can also have a negative influence as stated by Falk and Bardel (2011) or by Rothman (2011). The overarching aim is to examine which of the currently discussed hypotheses on syntactic transfer is the most plausible for the phenomena at hand.

Bardel, Camilla and Ylva Falk. 2007. The role of the second language in third language acquisition: The case of Germanic syntax. Second Language Research 23:4, 459-484.

De Angelis, Gessica. 2007. Third or Additional Language Acquisition [Second Language Acquisition 24]. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Falk, Ylva and Camilla Bardel. 2011. Object pronouns in German L3 syntax: Evidence of the L2 status factor. Second Language Research 27:1, 59-82.

Rothman, Jason. 2011. L3 syntactic transfer selectivity and typological determinancy: The typological primacy model. Second Language Research 27:1, 107-127.