Research In Second Language And Third Language Acquisition

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General introduction and structure 0.1 Introduction Research in third language acquisition is relatively new in the field of linguistics and has only begun within the last ten years. The study of the acquisition of a third language by bilingual speakers is even younger. The growing body of research on this issue shows relevant differences between second and third language acquisition and reveals specific characteristics of the process of third language acquisition. The use of English as a lingua franca has contributed to the spread of trilingualism i.e. Third Language Acquisition in many parts of the world. The spread of English in Europe is growing rapidly due to political, economic, social and cultural changes. Different linguists have provided a variety of labels to categorize the use of English in different countries. Mac Arthur (1998:43) introduced a distinction between ESL (English as a Second Language) countries, where the language has an official status, EFL (English as a Foreign Language) countries where this is not the case, and ENL (English as a native language) countries. The sociolinguistic profile has been represented by Kachru (1992b) in terms of three circles: the ‘inner circle’ includes the native speakers of English (UK, USA Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). The ‘outer circle’ includes speakers who use English as their second language in everyday communication, for instance administrators in former British colonies (India, Nigeria, etc). The ‘expanding circle’ refers to speakers who use English as a third language for specific purposes and learn it as a foreign language. This is the case in most less developed South Eastern European countries where English has been furthered deliberately. One of thes... ... middle of paper ... ... and higher education and for the right to be named as a co-nation of Macedonia, together with the Macedonians and not as an ethnic minority. The strong international backing brought an end to the armed conflict and opened all party talks on inter-ethnic issues and the negotiations finally reached an agreement on key reform issues. The agreement was signed on August 13, 2001 between the Albanian representatives and the government of Macedonia, which was called ‘Ohrid Frame Agreement’ (OFA). According to Lamont (2010), the agreement constituted a re-founding of the Macedonian state and included significant alternations to the Macedonian Constitution in order to redefine Macedonia as a civic state. This agreement names Macedonian as the official language of the country, but says that any language spoken by 20% of the population is also an official language.

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