In our presentation we would like to compare and contrast two linguistic situations where the subjects with L1 Czech acquired L2 Arabic. Both subjects learned their L2 in a naturalistic context and spent in the target language environment the same time. We would like to compare and contrast L2 acquisition in both subjects and see whether and how various factors may influence L2 acquisition as well as its attrition and what it is that makes the acquisition or learning of a language successful, keeping it strong and available for a long time, as opposed to incomplete acquisition or language attrition (Schmid, 2019). Furthermore, attention will be paid to consciousness or awareness during the learning process and the language usage together with the significance of affective processing (Pavlenko, 2012).
Our discussion and situational analysis will be supported by fMRI data that might enable us to look beyond what we see in the language reception and production data and capture the issue from a unique perspective while at the same time knowing about and dealing with very strong limitations of neuroimaging studies concerning multilinguals (Blackburn, 2019; Rastelli, 2018). In our case study we used fMRI to evaluate the neural activity related to auditory perception, phonological and cognitive processing with possible semantic processing. Our paradigm consists of passive listening to spoken sentences in Arabic. We compared activation in frontotemporal language-related regions, task positive domain-general frontoparietal network (multidomain system, MDS), and task negative default mode network (DMN). Our aim was to compare the activation related to processing of L2 Arabic between the two subjects. Subject 1 exhibited lower level of activation in task-positive regions (language network and MDS) and lower level of deactivation in DMN. These results may suggest less effortful processing in the brain of a skilled listener.
We would like to see what implications our findings might have for second or foreign language teaching and how the „decontextualised" classroom context differs from L2 acquisition mainly through dissociation between declarative and emotional memory in learning, representation and speaking a language (Pavlenko, 2005). It seems that it might be on the contrary the embodiment of language through living and emotions that can keep it in our minds and prevent it from attrition. By understanding how this process works can get us closer to understanding the multilingual minds and identities of our students and ourselves more deeply and thus make our teaching more effective and long-lasting.
V naší prezentaci bychom rádi srovnali dvě lingvistické situace, v nichž si zkoumané subjekty s češtinou jako mateřským jazykem (L1) osvojovali arabštinu jako jazyk druhý (L2). Pozornost bude věnována různým faktorům, jež ovlivňují nejen osvojení a udržení si jazyka, ale i proces opačný, tedy jeho ztrátu. Zaměříme se především na vědomost procesu učení se jazyku a na roli afektivního zpracování jazyka, tedy emocí. Rádi bychom naši analýzu těchto dvou konkrétních situací doplnili daty získanými pomocí fMRI. I přes jistá omezení nám totiž tento nástroj umožňuje dívat se na vícejazyčnost z jiné perspektivy. Rádi bychom poukázali na vliv výukového kontextu na učení se, paměť a udržení jazyka. Zdá se, že to mohou být právě prožitky a „ztělesnění" jazyka skrze zkušenosti a emoce, které nám jej pomáhají nezapomenout. Tyto poznatky mohou být užitečné pro naši výukovou praxi.
- Blackburn, A. M. (2019): Factors affecting cortical representation. In: Schwieter, J. W. (ed.): The Handbook of the Neuroscience of Multilingualism. Wiley, Blackwell. 252−276.
- Nergis, A. (2011): To what extent does neurolinguistics embody EFL teaching methods? Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 143−147.
- Pavlenko, A. (2012): Affective processing in bilingual speakers: Disembodied cognition? International Journal of Psychology, 47(6), 405−428.
- Rastelli, S. (2018): Neurolinguistics and second language teaching: A view from the crossroads. Second Language Research, 34(1), 103−123.
- Schmid, M. S. (2019): Frequency and recency – the impact of amount of use and length of residence on L1 attrition. In: Schmid, M. S., Köpke, B. (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Language Attrition. Oxford, OUP. (in print)
Linda Doleží is a language teacher and teacher trainer. She works as an Assistant Professor at Masaryk University Language Centre and at the Department of Czech Language of Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University. Linda Doleží is a former methodologist of the State Integration Programme and she specializes in language support for children-foreigners, in particular refugees. She focuses on teaching methodology, language acquisition and psycho- and neurolinguistics in multilingual contexts. Her current interests include language attrition phenomena and the role of emotions and trauma in language acquisition and attrition.
Marek Bartoň is a neuroscientist working as a postdoc at CEITEC Masaryk University. He focused on fMRI methodology (noise management, connectivity analyses) during his Ph.D. studies, and he is currently involved in research on writing/reading neurophysiology assessed with fMRI.
Michal Mikl is a researcher and technical specialist in the field of neuroimaging at Masaryk University. He obtained MSc. in the field of Cybernetics, automation and measurement and subseuently Ph.D. in the field of Biomedical engineering, both at Brno Univerity of Technology. He is focused on functional MRI optimization and data analysis. He is responsible for Multimodal and Functional Imaging Laboratory within CEITEC MU as the head of this core-facility.