Dr Anna Mikhaylova 


VanPatten’s (1990) influential claim that attending to surface forms is in direct tension with overall comprehension in lower proficiency foreign language learners (FLLs) has recently been revisited by Leow et al. (2008), Morgan-Short et al. (2012) and Mardsen et al. (forthcoming) in both modalities with mixed results. I will report results of a conceptual replication and extension study which tests whether learners with different language learning experience, i.e. 129 FLLs and 136 heritage language learners (HLLs) of Spanish, are able to pay attention to form and meaning simultaneously in listening and reading comprehension. The participants listened to or read a text and were instructed to either only pay attention to content or also make a check mark every time they hear/read a target morpheme (sol, la or verbal -n). Afterwards they answered comprehension questions and completed a grammatical proficiency test. As expected, HLLs outperformed FLLs on the comprehension and proficiency scores, and they self-rated their Spanish skills and particularly listening skills higher than FLLs. There was no difference in comprehension scores within either learner group between those participants (controls) who only listened for comprehension and those participants who attended to lexical or grammatical form, even when proficiency was taken into account. However, in the reading modality, not only was there an effect of condition, the two types of learners diverged in the way that manifested in their performance on the task. I will address implications this has for research and teaching.

Speaker Bio 

Dr Anna Mikhaylova's work focuses in cognitive, social and pedagogical implications of bilingualism in its broad sense and specifically in the similarities and differences between language development in foreign/second language learners and heritage speakers. She is the Russian Discipline Coordinator at the School of Languages and Cultures (The University of Queensland) and Associate Editor of the Heritage Language Journal.


About Applied Linguistics Seminar Series

Applied Linguistics Seminars are an opportunity to hear from guest speakers working in the Applied Linguistics field and also current Applied Linguistics students. 

Seminars are open to students and staff from other Schools and universities, as well as members of the general public.


Sir Llew Edwards Building (#14),
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