Another Tongue

Many of us in the subcontinent grow up bi- or tri-lingual, and often don't acquire new languages later in life. Exceptions are found aplenty at JNU, a place where people do come from all over the country to learn new languages- given the preeminence of our School of Language, Literature, and Culture Studies.

A new reprint from Viva by Zhad Hong Han, Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition addresses a deep problem in the learning of languages late in life, the "fossilization", where the language level remains at a relatively low state, unable to evolve or progress... This book addresses a fundamental question in second language acquisition research, which is: why are learners, adults in particular, unable to develop the level of competence they aspire to in spite of continuous and sustained exposure to the target language, adequate motivation to learn, and sufficient opportunity for practice?

A long and widely held explanation is that fossilization (Selinker, 1972) has occurred somewhere in the course of learning. But what exactly is fossilization? How does it related to the above question? By means of a macroscopic and microscopic analysis, the author deconstructs the theoretical construct and evaluates its empirical basis, and in so doing, provides a window into the nature and the etiology of the lack of success observed across the second language learning community as well as within individual learners. The key issues discussed herein include: conceptual diversities and complexities surrounding fossilization, Critical Period effects, the preprogramming function of native language, methodological approaches to researching fossilization, empirical evidence, the modular nature of fossilization, linguistic structures prone to fossilization, and the relationship between second language teaching and fossilization.

The book delves deep into the ground of fossilization addressing all fundamental conceptual issues and covering a wide range of empirical studies. Crystallizing the complicated research and speculation of fossilization of over 30 years it will provide a source for constructing the database on which future understanding of fossilization will depend.

In our Linguistics section, in paperback, Rs 395. ISBN: 9788130905167