Cross-Linguistic Influence In The Acquisition Of Spatial Prepositions By The Albanian Learners Of English As Sl

Author: Daniela-Carmen Stoica (Fan S. Noli’ University of Korce, Albania)
Speaker: Daniela-Carmen Stoica
Topic: Language and Spatiotemporal Frames
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL COMELA 2021 General Session


The present article aims at investigating the use of English spatial prepositions by L2 learners of English from Albania. The present study will investigate the extent to which Albanian learners’ construal of spatial configurations in English is likely to be influenced by the patterns of spatial construal that are prevalent in their L1s. We predict that the results of our research will have important pedagogical implications in the teaching not only of English as a FL, but also in the teaching of Albanian, respectively, as a foreign language. This study is motivated by a cognitive linguistics perspective that assumes cross-linguistic differences in the ways that speakers of different languages construe spatial relations. Our methodological model relies on the one proposed by Jarvis (2000), but using 3 corpora for the analysis. We shall work in turn with one learners’ group (Albanians, having English as SL), one L1 control group (Albanian) and one native English control group. The learner group will contain learners of English, having B2 or C1 proficiency levels. Previous research has shown that lower levels of proficiency may be the cause of the mistakes in L2 usage rather than cross-linguistic influence. In terms of materials and procedures, 3 written tasks will be delivered: two picture descriptions tasks in which learners will be asked to describe pictures depicting simply and commonly encountered spatial configurations and a sentence-completion task in which they will need to fill in sentences with the missing preposition. The sentences will include prototypical and non-prototypical (idiomatic) use of spatial prepositions in English. The same type of tasks will be delivered to the L1 control groups (who do not study English as a Second Language) in Albanian, and to the native English control group, so that we can obtain comparable linguistic data.

Keywords: space, prepositions, first language, second language, cross-linguistic influence