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Betsy Echagarrua

Professor Taylor

ENC 1102

26 March 2018

Understanding of First Language Discourse Community and Lexis Through

Secondary Language Acquisition

Athanasopoulos, P. “Linguistic Relativity and Second Language Acquisition”. The Encyclopedia

of Applied Linguistics, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0722

Linguistic Relativity and Second Language Acquisition is an academic journal (by

Panos Athanasopoulos, from The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistic. This Source was

relevant to the topic, especially regarding the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, as this theory will

be applied towards the discussion of the topic. The information that was most important,

contributing to the selection of this source, was the explanation of what the Sapir-Whorf

hypothesis is and how it is applied in the field of linguistics. In addition, it provided

information on the origins of the hypothesis and examples that apply to this theory. Since

there was already basic knowledge on the theory, prior to this research project, it was

found that the abstract gave the necessary information to simply provide more specific

details on the theory. The information gained from this source will be utilized, within the

research assignment, in order to provide background information for readers who are not

familiar with the theory. This allows for a clear understanding of the theory itself, how it

is applied to the topic, and how it pertains to the field of linguistics.

Echagarrua, Betsy. “Effects of Secondary Language Acquisition on One's Understanding of their

First Language”. Questionnaire. 3 March 2018-23 April 2018.

This questionnaire was created in order to gather additional data, to support the

proposed research question, and to gain insight on the real-world application of this

research project. This questionnaire consists of questions pertaining to proficiency in

languages and understanding of a language’s grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. It’s

relevance to the topic is evident, in the sense that, due to the topic discussing secondary

language acquisition and the effects on the understanding of one’s primary language, this

questionnaire itself provides real-world evidence to whether the statement is true. For this

questionnaire, the most useful information are the raw results and the results processed

into graphs/charts. This information will be used to provide statistical support to the

discussion of the topic. In addition, due to a short-response question, there will be the

possibility of also providing, in a sense, personal testimonials, and utilizing it in the

discussion of how learning other languages affects understanding of a first language.

Gass, Susan M. Input, Interaction, and the Second Language Learner. Routledge, 2017.

Input, Interaction, and the Second Language Learner, by Susan M. Gass, is an

academic journal from Routledge. The content investigates secondary language

acquisition and the interactions that relate to it. This journal is extremely relevant to the

topic because it mainly relates to academic language acquisition and how interaction, in

an academic setting, is affected by varying factors, which in turn, could affect a person’s

acquisition. The most important information, to be used, was found in Chapter 5 “The

Role of Interaction.” This chapter provided information on the development of grammar

and how, although there is miscommunication, it is often negotiated miscommunication

that is affected by difference in age, sex, gender, etcetera. This information will be

utilized as a link, and for support, to discuss the discourse community of languages, with

regards to negotiated miscommunication, and lexis, with regards to the development of

grammar in a secondary language.

Guasti, Teresa M. Language Acquisition: The Growth of Grammar. The MIT Press, 2017.

Language Acquisition: The Growth of Grammar, by Teresa M. Guasti, is a book

about language acquisition and how, through the development of grammar, it can shape or

change a person’s own development, especially as a younger child. This is especially

relevant to the topic through, although not explicitly stated, heavy application of the Sapir-

Whorf hypothesis, one of the major ideas being utilized for the research. The most

important information in the book was in regards to how this idea is affected when a

secondary language is added to the equation, such as with language bias, language

discrimination, exposure to the language, and the utilization of the language with native

speakers. Therefore, Chapter 11 “Bilingualism and Early L2,” specifically from pages 511

to 518, will be the section that will be mainly utilized. This information will be used in

order to bring more support and background to the Sapir-Wharf hypothesis. In addition,

since the research will also discuss how secondary language acquisition affects an

individual’s understanding of their first language’s discourse community, understanding

how perspectives are affected because of language, as stated in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis,

it will provide more insight into how an individual perceives their primary language’s

discourse community.
Kharkhurin, A. “The Bilingual Mind: And What It Tells Us About Language and Thought”.

International Multilingual Research Journal, vol. 11, no. 4, 2017,


The Bilingual Mind: And What It Tells Us About Language and Thought, by A.

Kharkhurin, is a monograph that details how bilingualism affects the thought processes of

individuals and their perspectives. This source is extremely relevant to the topic, as it, yet

again, explicitly applies the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as a basis for its investigation, to

understand the cognition of an individual. The information to be used is that of Chapters

3 and 4. It provides important information in the sense that it investigates how in learning

a language, one develops lexical categories for the language from the basis of their

primary one, and thus, speakers have their focus and attention directed towards different

aspects relevant to everyday communication. Thus, as it provides information on the

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, it could prove useful in understanding how a speaker’s

perception and understanding of a language’s discourse community can improve. In a

sense, how a bilingual person’s understanding of important aspects of a language’s

discourse community, such as with culture, history, beliefs, values, etcetera, is developed.

Turnbull, Miles, and Katy Arnett. “11. Teachers’ Uses of the Target and First Languages in

Second and Foreign Language Classrooms”. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics;

Cambridge, vol. 22, 2002. Social Science Premium Collection,



Teachers’ Uses of the Target and First Languages in Second and Foreign

Language Classrooms, by Miles Turnbull and Katy Arnett, is an academic journal

detailing teaching methods in foreign language instruction, how teachers utilize first and

second languages in foreign language instruction, and the impact on students in the

acquisition of their second language. Even though this research will investigate an

individual’s personal understanding of first language lexis and discourse community,

after having already learned a second language, it is vital to know whether the process

behind this learning affected this understanding as well. Thus, this journal is relevant to

the topic, especially since the journal discusses the concept of “code-switching,” one of

the central ideas that will be applied to this research, and will also provide background to

how a person’s understanding of their first language’s lexis can be affected by the

methods that are utilized for foreign language instruction. The information pertaining to

“code-switching” is found on pages 207-208, thus, the information on these pages will be

utilized. This section exemplifies how code-switching, as a way in which a second

language is taught and acquired, through using a certain amount of a first language to

explain and reinforce, affects an individual’s capacity to understand the lexis of both.

Therefore, in applying the information of the article to the research, not only would it

provide insight into how foreign language education affects an individual’s understanding

of the lexis of both primary and secondary languages, but in turn, also explain how code-

switching affects an individual’s understanding and perception of the discourse

community of both languages.