Studies on the impact of learning context in second language (L2) acquisition seldom look at ab-initio learners and their learning journey from the very beginning. Consequently, it is difficult to know for certain whether the findings of study-abroad vs. at-home research are applicable to this group of learners. The present study examines six ab-initio learners' L2 developmental processes of three Chinese word order structures in two settings: China and Australia. The analysis of two longitudinal corpora showed no impact of the learning setting on the acquisition sequence. The impact, however, was found in learning efficiency. Measured by the number of hours of formal instruction, the three learners in Australia progressed faster than the three learners in China although the latter had received much more classroom instruction and were in an immersive environment. The findings suggest that learning an L2 at home is not inferior for early L2 grammatical development.
|Journal||Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|