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Numerous studies have shown that individuals who acquire a second language earlier in life tend to achieve higher proficiency in that language compared to those who acquire it later in life (Pakulak & Neville, 2011). Additional studies have shown that there are certain aspects of language that are more difficult or more negatively affected by a later age of acquisition (Pakulak & Neville, 2011; Weber-Fox & Neville, 1996). Although numerous studies have investigated areas of bilingualism and second language acquisition, there is a lack of research investigating gender agreement amongst second language learners (Pakulak & Neville, 2011). The proposed study will look at individuals whose first language (L1) does not have a grammatical gender system but their second language (L2) does. Through the event-related potential (ERP) study we will aim to determine whether processing of gender grammaticality is affected by one’s proficiency.
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The present study is an attempt to gain insights into working memory as an important component of L2 aptitude and to provide empirical evidence for the investigation of the relation between working memory and L2 vocabulary learning rate. Introduction Research has suggested that working memory (WM) plays a vital role in second language acquisition. (Mackey, Philp, Fujii, & Tatsumi 2002, Williams 1999). Many SLA researchers have proposed that WM is a central part of L2 aptitude or to some extent, WM even is an L2 aptitude (Robinson 2002, Skehan 2002). WM involves ‘the temporary storage and manipulation of information’ necessary for the operation of complex cognitive tasks (Hummel & Holyoak 2003); WM therefore is an indicator of our capacity for thinking and for language processing.
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63(6), 929-944 Johnson, B. D., Altmaier, E. M.; & Richman, L.C. (1999). Attention Deficits and Reading Disabilities: Are Immedeate Memory Defects Additive? Developmental Neuropsychology, Vol 15(2), 213-227 Kido, M. (2000). Bio-psychological effects of color.