English has been taught at the elementary school level across Taiwan. But this foreign language (FL) education policy has been interpreted in different lenses (positive and negative) and implemented at different onset grade levels (1st grade vs. 3rd grade). Although some classroom-based research has been set out to investigate the effects of an early start, existing empirical studies are mostly cross-sectional in nature and have not produced unequivocal evidence on the relative effects of onset age of learning the FL and amount of exposure due to methodological issues (e.g., confounding length and amount of exposure), let alone the long-term effects of the aforementioned two time variables. Drawing on methodological insights from Psycholinguistic research protocols (i.e., Word monitoring task and Elicited Oral Imitation task), the present study will be set out to diachronically assess the explicit and implicit grammatical knowledge of two cohorts of English language learners (early vs. late learners) in Year 7 and one year later in Year 8. The two cohorts will be further subdivided into three (weekly) exposure subgroups: 1) two hours; 2) four hours; and 3) six hours or more. Throughout cross-sectional and longitudinal within-group and cross-group comparisons, the present study aims to shed light on the relative effects of onset of foreign language education and amount of language exposure. The insights of this study will illuminate the necessity of implementing early foreign language education and provide empirical evidence for the need to adjust current instruction hours in school.
|Effective start/end date||2019/08/01 → 2021/07/31|
- Critical Period Hypothesis; Onset age of learning the L2; Second language acquisition
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