Acquisition of English syntax by L3 learners: a generative perspective


Prof. María del Pilar García Mayo has conducted a short seminar on the acquisition of English syntax by L3 learners.

Cv details

Prof María del Pilar García Mayo is Full Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (Spain). She holds a B.A. in English Philology from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Iowa (U.S.A). Her research interests include second language acquisition both from a generative and an interactionist perspective. Specifically, she has done research on the acquisition of English syntax by second and third language learners in instructional settings and on the relationship between input, interaction, negotiation and L2 learning, focus-on-form and task-based learning. Her work has been published in numerous scholarly journals including both at an international and a national level. Her work has also appeared in different edited collections published by Georgetown University Press, John Benjamins, Mouton de Gruyter and Multilingual Matters. She has co-edited two books (Age and the Acquisition of English as a Foreign Language, Multilingual Matters 2003; EUROSLA Yearbook 5, John Benjamins) and has been a guest co-editor of a special issue of the International Journal of Educational Research on the role of interaction in instructed language settings. She has also edited the book Investigating Tasks in Formal Language Settings (Multilingual Matters, 2007) and is the author of English for Specific Purposes: Discourse Analysis and Course Design (2000).

Abstract of the seminar

Prof García Mayo introduced the main theoretical assumptions of Universal Grammar within the field of the acquisition of first (L1), second (L2) and third (L3) languages. Once some methodological considerations were presented to the audience, María del Pilar focused on some syntactic aspects evinced by spoken and written productions included in the database which is being developed by her research unit at UPV/EHU, namely negation, long-distance relativisation, pronominal reduplications, verbal declension, etc. The database comprises material produced by Basque-speaking learners of Spanish (L2) and English (L3).

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