Chinese learners of L2 English tend to show variable past tense -ed marking even at an advanced proficiency level. The source of this problem has been explored and debated extensively but no conclusion has been reached (see Beck 1997; Lardiere 1998a/b; Hawkins and Liszka 2003). In this study we continue the investigation by testing two hypotheses: (a) the variable past tense marking is a reflection of the training learners have received during their university study, and (b) rigorous training discourages the 'bad choices' being made. Through examining the L2 English speeches of 9 advanced end-state L1 Chinese speakers who had learned English in either top-notch or non-top-notch programmes in China, we found that rigorous training programmes did indeed lead to a high level of ultimate attainment in the past-marking albeit not at native-like level. It also inhibits 'bad choices', ensuring a uniform high rate of L2 English morphological marking.
|Title of host publication||Developing, Modelling and Assessing Second Languages|
|Editors||Jorg-U. Kefler, Anke Lenzing and Mathias Liebner|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Publisher||John Benjamins Publishing Company|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|