A processability approach to profiling staged development of English as a second language acquisition
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This article aimed to determine the stages of development in syntax and morphology reached by a learner of English as a second language (ESL) at one specific point in time, according to predictions of Processability Theory (Pienemann, 1998, 2005). Spontaneous production data were elicited from a Chinese ESL leaner who completed a picture task and an interview. The conversation was transcribed and analysed according to stages in the processing hierarchy of ESL structures predicted by Processability Theory. The learner was found to reach the final stages for both syntax and morphology; all predicted stages emerged except Stage 4 for syntax and Stage 2 for morphology, which was generally consistent with the predictions proposed by Processability Theory. However, an absence of the structures for Stage 4 for syntax and an oversuppliance for Stage 2 for morphology were also found which are ambiguities that require further research.
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