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Title: Interlanguage theory and colloquial Singapore English : the role of translation for L1 English - L2 Chinese learners
Authors: Martin Reed
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: Many L1 English speakers face serious challenges in their efforts to acquire L2 Chinese. This is due to the huge differences between the languages, in both written and spoken aspects. Another factor is the teaching methodology. Many students face challenges when exposed to direct methods which avoids any use of L1, thus leading to a problem in the amount of comprehensible input. We adapt interlanguage (IL) theory to the unique bilingual nature of Singapore. Firstly, we show that Colloquial Singapore English (CSE) is itself an interlanguage fossilised by negative transfer from Chinese. By exploring features and grammar of CSE, we show how it can play a positive role in the development of L2 Mandarin learner IL and how acts of direct translation can be used to exploit this IL to bridge the gap between L1 and L2. Translation was abandoned as a relevant tool for teaching L2 many years ago, but recent research shows that this was an over-reaction to the classical grammar-translation method. When redefined in pedagogical terms and as a tool to convey meaning, translation can play a very important role in L2 acquisition. We explore and present coherent and efficient integration strategies of translation in the L2 Chinese learning classroom. Finally, we explore areas of further research in the use of translation in SLA, in particular learner feedback, the use of technology and translation metrics. Translation as a subject and as a technology is progressing rapidly and the field of SLA should leverage these developments. Such research could potentially prove once and for all that translation-based teaching methods and positive use of L1 can aid the L2 Chinese learner on their journey to fluency.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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