mw. M. (Maja) Curcic MA


  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Nederlandse Taalkunde
  • Bezoekadres
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Amsterdam
  • Postadres:
    Spuistraat  134
    1012 VB  Amsterdam
  • M.Curcic@uva.nl

PhD project: The Interplay between Learner, Language, and Input Characteristics in Second Language Acquisition

 

Starting date: 1 September 2013

 

Learning a new language at an adult age is a difficult task, and adults are known to differ a lot in the speed and success with which they master a new language. One of the commonly mentioned sources of individual differences between adult language learners is aptitude. But what exactly constitutes aptitude? This question is important to answer for two reasons: 1) it can help us understand which mechanisms underlie second language acquisition, and 2) it can help language teachers to predict their learners’ language performance and consequently adjust instruction to students’ needs.

The majority of the studies that tried to identify aptitude components relevant to second language acquisition focused on relating explicit, language-related aptitudes (e.g. grammar learning ability) to learners’ language knowledge (measured by tests of explicit knowledge, mostly grammaticality judgment tasks). However, such research is quite circular since knowing that language learning processes predict language learning does not tell us much about the general mechanisms on which second language acquisition relies.

Therefore, in the first study of my PhD project, I investigate if a domain-general cognitive ability (i.e. statistical learning ability) can predict adults’ immediate language learning outcomes upon a brief instruction in a new language. The learning outcomes are measured by both tests of online processing (eye-tracking) and explicit knowledge. The experimental design of the study enables controlling for the kind and amount of exposure learners get to the new language. These  factors are known to influence heavily the success of language learning but are impossible to control in research that focuses on naturalistic, final language attainment. Additionally, the study seeks to find out if the involvement of statistical learning ability in language acquisition is modulated by the kind of input learners receive. If so, it would suggest a more complex picture of the role of aptitude components in language learning, where one and the same aptitude component is not always equally involved in all learning situations or in learning of all structures.

 

Supervisors:

Research interests:

  • second language acquisition (individual differences and maturational constraints)
  • language processing
  • bilingualism
  • research on patchwriting and plagiarism in academic writing and writing from sources

Links:

2015

Andringa, S., & Ćurčić, M. (2015, May 23). How explicit knowledge affects online L2 processing: Evidence from differential object marking acquisition. Egmond aan Zee, Anéla 2015 Applied Linguistics Conference.

Ćurčić, M., Andringa, S., & Kuiken, F. (2015, May 22). Individual differences in adults' acquisition of determiner-noun agreement in a new language . Egmond aan Zee, Anéla 2015 Applied Linguistics Conference.

2014

Ćurčić, M., & Andringa, S. (2014, September 3). The Role of Metalinguistic Information in the Second Language Acquisition Process: Evidence from Differential Object Marking (DOM) Acquisition. York, Eurosla 14 (Language Learning Roundtable).

Ćurčić, M. (2014, September 3). The Interplay between Learner, Language, and Input Characteristics in Second Language Acquisition. York, Eurosla 14 (PhD workshop).

Ćurčić, M., Boychev, G., De Glopper, K., & Van Kruiningen, J. (2014, August 27). Patchwriting in Professional Academic Writing by American and Chinese Authors. Amsterdam, The International Conference on Writing Research.

Ćurčić, M., & Andringa, S. (2014, April 24). The Role of Metalinguistic Information in the Second Language Acquisition Process: Evidence from Differential Object Marking (DOM) Acquisition. Brussels, L2 Instruction, Cognitive Processes, and L2 Difficulty Symposium.

Ćurčić, M., & Andringa, S. (2014, February 1). The Role of Metalinguistic Information in the Second Language Acquisition Process: Evidence from Differential Object Marking (DOM) Acquisition. Utrecht, Anela TTiN-conference.

Ćurčić, M., Boychev, G., De Glopper, K., & Van Kruiningen, J. (2014, January 24). 'Patchwriting': knippen en plakken als overgangsstadium op weg naar professioneel academisch schrijven? Nijmegen, NACV Expertmeeting 2014.

2013

Ćurčić, M., & Ivaz, L. (2013, June 14). The Role of Orthography in Cognate Recognition (Evidence from an English Lexical Decision Task with Serbian Prime Words). Groningen, 34 th TABU Dag.

 

Andringa, S., & Curcic, M. (2015). How explicit knowledge affects online L2 processing: Evidence from differential object marking acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37, 237-268.

Ćurčić, M., Boychev, G., De Glopper, K., & Van Kruiningen, J. (2014). Patchwriting: Niet alleen de beginnende schrijver knipt and plakt. Tekstblad 20(3), 20-23.  

2015

  • Andringa, S., & Curcic, M. (2015). How explicit knowledge affects online L2 processing: Evidence from differential object marking acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37(2), 237-268. DOI: 10.1017/S0272263115000017 [details] [PDF]

Spreker

  • Curcic, M. (speaker), Andringa, S.J. (speaker) & Kuiken, Folkert (speaker) (27-8-2016): Individual differences in L2 learners’ ability to process determiners online., Eurosla 26..
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