The acquisition of French by Chinese native speakers : influence from L1 or L2?
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The primary purpose of the study is to investigate whether learners' L1 or L2 plays a more influential role in their L3 acquisition. This study also seeks to discover the factors attributed to the influence, such as language typological distance and learning strategies. A total of 33 subjects are Taiwanese college students who have Chinese L1 and English L2 learn French as their L3. The survey asks the participants to finish a French test, which has 30 questions. Half of the questions have sentences with parallel structures in English and French, whereas the other half of questions have sentences with nonparallel structures. Quantitative results indicate that learners have significantly higher performance over the sentences where English and French do not have parallel structures. It draws a conclusion that English, as learners' L2, affects learners' L3 acquisition more because English and French are typologically closer. The learners also tend to apply the learning strategies that they use to acquire the second language to learn their third language.