"The text gives a very detailed and comprehensive treatment to a significant aspect of adult SLA and is sure to be of great value for specialists, researchers and scholars. The review of literature, both current and past, is especially helpful."
Dr Deepti Gupta, Professor, Department of
English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh in Journal
of English Language Teaching
"This book delves deep into the grounds of fossilization, addressing all fundamental conceptual issues and covering a wide range of empirical studies. Obligatory reading for everyone seriously interested in fossilization."
Jan Hulstijn, University of Amsterdam
"This book, impressive for its systematic investigation of this all-important topic and for its clarity, will be widely cited for some time to come."
Diane Larsen-Freeman, University of Michigan
"In this clearly written crystallization of over 30 years of complicated research and speculation on fossilization’, ZhaoHong Han shows that she knows more about the issues than any other scholar on what may be the central problem for all language acquisition: Why is it that adult second language learners often get stuck’for from TL norms? Conversely, why is it that in child first language acquisition, learners keep on adding to their grammar after communicative needs are met? She also shows that there is a serious data deficit for our understanding of these issues and makes a strong case that only longitudinal studies can provide proper data. This book now provides the only source from which such databases could be constructed upon which future understanding of fossilization depends."
Larry Selinker, New York University
Description: This book addresses a fundamental question in second language acquisition research, which is: why are learners, adults in particular, unable to develop the level of competence they aspire to in spite of continuous and sustained exposure to the target language, adequate motivation to learn, and sufficient opportunity for practice? A long and widely held explanation is that fossilization (Selinker, 1972) has occurred somewhere in the course of learning. But what exactly is fossilization? How does it related to the above question? By means of a macroscopic and microscopic analysis, the author deconstructs the theoretical construct and evaluates its empirical basis, and in so doing, provides a window into the nature and the etiology of the lack of success observed across the second language learning community as well as within individual learners. The key issues discussed herein include: conceptual diversities and complexities surrounding fossilization, Critical Period effects, the preprogramming function of native language, methodological approaches to researching fossilization, empirical evidence, the modular nature of fossilization, linguistic structures prone to fossilization, and the relationship between second language teaching and fossilization. The book is intended for researchers, practitioners, and students in the fields of second language acquisition, bilingualism, and second language teaching.Contents: Introduction: Fossilization and ultimate attainment • A conceptual framework • An outline of the book • What is fossilization?: Selinker’s definitions • Others’ view • Dictionary definitions • An alternative definition • Key issues • Summary • Behavioral reflexes and causal variables: An overview • Sample explanations • Two primary determinants of lack of ability • Summary • A macroscopic analysis: Critical period effects: The critical period hypothesis CPH in FLA and SLA • The modular nature of CP • Critical period effects on language learning • Summary • A macroscopic analysis: Native language transfer: Transfer-inspired delay in L2 learning • ‘Transfer to somewhere’ and ‘transfer to nowhere’ • Transfer of ‘thinking for speaking’ • Preprogramming • Summary • A microscopic analysis: Some empirical evidence: Some empirical studies • Critique of the methodologies • The modular nature of fossilization • Linguistic features prone to fossilization • The multiple effects principle • Summary • Second language instruction and fossilization: To what extent does instruction aid acquisition? • To what extent does instruction promote fossilization? • Summary • Summary and conclusion: A synopsis • Implications for research and practice • General directions for future research • References • Index
About the Author: ZhaoHong Han is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are in second language learnability, teachability, and fossilization. In 2003, she received the Heinle and Heinle Distinguished Research Award from TESOL, an international association for teachers of English to speakers of other languages.Target Audience: Researchers, practitioners and students in the fields of second language acquisition, bilingualism and second language teaching.