Pre-modified Noun Phrases in a Comprehension-Based Approach to EFL at University Level

Pampillo, Soledad
Lauría, Sandra
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
This study examines the difficulty shown by Spanish-speaking university students in decoding pre-modified noun phrases (NPs) in English. NPs carry a heavy lexical and conceptual load and foreign language (L2) readers may be challenged by first language (L1) crosslinguistic influence triggered by cognate NPs. Therefore, this study also attempts to determine whether the presence of cognates activates L1 syntactic patterns. A cross-sectional design was implemented using a sample of 160 undergraduates. Data was collected from intact groups at four levels of instruction. Results suggest that cognate words may hinder comprehension of longer pre-modified NPs because of L1 language transfer. They also indicate that these NPs are amenable to the instruction delivered through a comprehension-based approach. Learners with limited English proficiency benefit especially from such instruction.
pre-modified noun phrases, crosslinguistic influence, Spanish-speaking undergraduate readers, limited English proficiency, cognates
Pampillo, S., & Lauría, S. (2022). Pre-modified noun phrases in a comprehension-based approach to EFL at university Level. Reading in a Foreign Language, 34(1), 116-141.
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