Developing Cognitive Strategies Through Pluralistic Approaches

Abstract : French-speaking children (N=88), typically monolingual in their family environment, participated in a one-year longitudinal study of the development of metalinguistic competences through the implementation of Pluralistic Approaches based upon Unknown Languages (PAUL). These 12-year-old students, having reached an A1 level (CEFR) in English, were confronted successively to three unknown languages: Dutch (chosen because of its typological proximity with English), Italian (typologically close to French) and Finnish (an agglutinative language that does not present any immediate similarity). This paper examines what strategies are implemented when confronted to unknown languages and if those strategies are transferable from one language to another. Results support the hypothesis that perceived language distance between the source language and the target language will first trigger strategies of comparison and translation. However, a typological proximity with the L1 can have a negative influence on the transfer of strategies such as inferencing and deduction. The latter seem to benefit, though, from training through PAUL sessions.
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Rebecca Dahm. Developing Cognitive Strategies Through Pluralistic Approaches. Crosslinguistic Influence and Crosslinguistic interaction in Multilingual Language Learning, ⟨Bloomsbury⟩, 2015, 978-1-4742-3585-3. ⟨hal-01427109⟩

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