Different methods to acquire a language can contribute differently to learning success. In the present study we tested the success of L2 stress contrasts acquisition, when ab initio learners were taught or not about the theoretic nature of L2 stress contrasts. In two 4-hour perceptual training methods, French-speaking listeners received either (a) explicit instructions about Spanish stress patterns and perception activities commonly used in L2 pronunciation courses or (b) no explicit instructions and a unique perception activity, a shape/word matching task. Results showed that French-speaking listeners improved their ability to identify and discriminate stress contrasts in Spanish after training. However, there was no significant difference between explicit and non-explicit training nor was there an effect on stress processing under different phonetic variability conditions. This suggests that in L2 stress acquisition, non-explicit training may benefit ab initio learners as much as explicit instruction and activities used in L2 pronunciation courses.

When learners of a new language draw on their native language (or on any other that they may know), this earlier acquired linguistic knowledge may influence their success. Such cross-linguistic influence, also known as language transfer, has long raised questions about what linguists can predict about success in the new language and about what processes are involved in using prior knowledge. This book lucidly brings together many insights on transfer: e.g. on the relation between translation and transfer, the relation between comprehension and production, and the problem of how complete any predictions of difficulty may ever be. The discussions also explore implications for future research and for classroom practice. The book will thus serve as a reliable guide for teachers, researchers, translators, interpreters, and students curious about language contact.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Part 1: Predictions and Constraints

Chapter 2. Was There Really Ever a Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis?

Chapter 3. Could a Contrastive Analysis Ever be Complete?

Chapter 4. Word-order Transfer, Metalinguistic Awareness and Constraints on Foreign Language Learning

Part 2: Language-specific Processing and Transfer

Chapter 5. Language Transfer and the Link between Comprehension and Production

Chapter 6. Focus Constructions and Language Transfer

Chapter 7. Translation and Language Transfer

Chapter 8. Conclusion


This book traces and summarizes the author's theoretical insights and empirical findings in the field of foreign language education. The volume explores themes such as individual differences in L1 ability and their connection to L2 aptitude and L2 achievement, L2 anxiety as an affective or cognitive variable, and the relationship between L1 and L2 reading. The book includes the author's previously published works, presented together with newly written commentaries on those topics, as well as commentaries on new empirical work. It will be of interest to students and researchers in SLA, educational practitioners and language policymakers.


Richard L. Sparks: Introduction and Overview

Part 1: Theoretical Insights into L1-L2 Relationships: IDs in L1 Attainment and the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis (LCDH)

1. Richard L. Sparks and Leonore Ganschow: Searching for the Cognitive Locus of Foreign Language Learning Difficulties: Linking First and Second Language Learning

2. Richard L. Sparks and Leonore Ganschow: The Impact of Native Language Learning Problems on Foreign Language Learning: Case Study Illustrations of the Linguistic Coding Deficit Hypothesis

3. Richard L. Sparks: Examining the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis to Explain Individual Differences in Foreign Language Learning

Part 2: Empirical Support for L1–L2 Relationships and Cross-linguistic Transfer

4. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton, Leonore Ganschow, Nancy Humbach and James Javorsky: Long-term Cross-linguistic Transfer of Skills from L1 to L2

5. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton and Julie Luebbers: Individual Differences in L2 Achievement Mirror Individual Differences in L1 Skills and L2 Aptitude: Cross-linguistic Transfer of L1 Skills to L2

6. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton, Leonore Ganschow and Nancy Humbach: Do L1 Reading Achievement and L1 Print Exposure Contribute to the Prediction of L2 Proficiency?

Part 3: Relationships Among IDs in L1 Attainment, L2 Aptitude, and L2 Proficiency

7. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton and Leonore Ganschow: Profiles of More and Less Successful L2 Learners: A Cluster Analysis Study

8. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton, Leonore Ganschow and Nancy Humbach: Long-term Relationships among Early First Language Skills, Second Language Aptitude, Second Language Affect and Later Second Language Proficiency

9. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton, Leonore Ganschow and Nancy Humbach: Subcomponents of Second Language Aptitude and Second Language Proficiency

Part 4: L2 Anxiety: Affective Variable or Cognitive Variable?

10. Richard L. Sparks and Leonore Ganschow: Foreign Language Learning Difficulties: Affective or Native Language Aptitude Differences? 

11. Richard L. Sparks and Leonore Ganschow: Is the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) Measuring Anxiety or Language Skills?

12. Richard L. Sparks and Jon Patton: Relationship of L1 Skills and L2 Aptitude to L2 Anxiety on the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale

Part 5: Relationships between L1 and L2 Reading Ability

13. Richard L. Sparks: Language Deficits in Poor L2 Comprehenders: The Simple View

14. Richard L. Sparks, Jon Patton and Julie Luebbers: L2 Reading Comprehension is Hard Because L2 Listening Comprehension is Hard, Too

15. Richard L. Sparks: Identification and Characteristics of Strong, Average and Weak Foreign Language Readers: The Simple View of Reading Model

Part 6: Individual Differences in L1 Achievement, L2 Aptitude and L2 Achievement

16. Richard L. Sparks: Explaining Individual Differences in L1 Ability and their Relationship to IDs in L2 Aptitude and L2 Achievement

Part 7: Epilogue and Future Directions

17. Richard L. Sparks: Conclusion: Toward a Model of Language Aptitude



Repeated viewing of the same video is a common strategy among autonomous language learners as well as a much used pedagogical strategy among foreign language (FL) teachers. Learners may watch the same video more than once, to increase global comprehension of the target language or to focus their attention on linguistic aspects, such as new vocabulary or pronunciation. This study sought to examine to what extent repetition is more efficient for vocabulary learning if the second viewing follows the first immediately, or a week later. Participants were upper intermediate-level college learners who were distributed into three groups, one watched a TV series episode twice in the same session, one also watched the same episode twice but one week apart, and the last (control) group did not watch the video. Tests of word meaning recognition and word meaning recall were administered before and after viewing (pretest-immediate posttest-delayed posttest). The pretest and posttests contained 23 target items and 17 distracters (single words and multi-word expressions). In addition, the study explored the influence of two learner factors, each related to one of two verbal input channels: sound recognition for the audio and reading efficacy (reading speed and comprehension) for the onscreen text. The results indicated significant vocabulary learning from viewing and slightly higher benefits for the spaced repetition group at immediate posttest. The results also showed a significant influence of previous target vocabulary knowledge and of aptitude, as measured by the LLAMA D test, but not of reading efficacy.

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Cada tipo de interacción oral requiere una gestión diferenciada de los turnos de habla y también el uso de unidades distintas de la lengua. Esta variedad discursiva y lingüística se practica en la clase de español como lengua extranjera (LE/L2) para su aprendizaje, pero no se sabe de forma fehaciente con qué resultados. Esta investigación es pionera al comparar tres tipos de actividades de interacción oral en el aula de español LE/L2 (relatos, discusiones y negociaciones) con el objetivo de conocer cómo inician los estudiantes su turno de habla cuando participan en ellas. Se analizan cualitativa y cuantitativamente 24 interacciones. Los resultados muestran que los exponentes pragmático-discursivos de inicio de turno constituyen un repertorio básico usado con funciones variadas según el tipo de interacción oral practicada en el aula. Se concluye que es necesario ampliar el repertorio de estos recursos para adecuarlos al nivel de competencia lingüística de los estudiantes.


Each type of spoken interaction requires different turn-taking strategies and the use of different language resources. Although there is a variety in the spoken discourses practised for learning purposes in the Spanish as a second language (LE/L2) classroom, it is not known the differences in the interactions produced by the students. This research is innovative in comparing three types of spoken interaction activities in the Spanish as LE/L2 classroom (describing experience, informal discussions and goal-oriented cooperations) to observe how students initiate their turn when they participate in them. Twenty-four interactions are analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The results show that the pragmatic-discursive turn initiation exponents are constituted by a basic repertoire, used with varied functions according to the type of spoken interaction practised in the classroom. The findings indicate the necessity to expand the repertoire of exponents to adapt them to the students’ level of linguistic competence.

What is eye tracking? Why is it important for linguistics? How can I use it in my own research project?

Answering these questions and more, this book guides you through one of the most exciting and innovative research methods in the field of linguistics. Divided into three parts, the chapters first offer an historical introduction and a foundational overview to the neurology and physiology of the eye and the common measurements and tools used in eye tracking. They then provide a guide to the applications of eye tracking most pertinent to linguists (reading, the visual-world paradigm, social eye tracking, and classroom applications), followed by a step-by-step process to plan, execute, analyze and report your research project in eye tracking. The book covers topics such as reading, lexical and syntactic processing, mind wandering, second language acquisition, and AAC devices, and includes statistical tools and how to write up results. Each chapter also includes self-study questions and a range of applied case studies.

Supported by a glossary of key terms, suggestions for further reading, and material to aid self-study, Eye Tracking in Linguistics is the only book you need to provide a solid foundation for your own research project.

Table of Contents
Part I: The Basics
1. Historical Development
2. Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye
3. The Visual System in the Brain
4. Eye Tracking Basics
Part II: Applications
5. Reading
6. The Visual World Paradigm
7. Social Eye Tracking
8. Classroom attention and Lx Teaching
9. Applications in Related Fields
Part III: Using Eye-Tracking
10. Planning an Eye Tracking Study
11. Principles of Statistical Analysis

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Fan practices involving translation open up opportunities to explore language learning practices within the fandom (Sauro, 2017). We examine how three fans capitalize on fan translation and language learning. We consider the cases of Selo (an English–Spanish translator of games), Nino (a Japanese–Catalan fansubber of anime, and Alro (an English–Spanish translator of fanfics). A corpus was built consisting of 297 minutes of interviews, 186 screenshots of language learning events from online sites, and 213 minutes of screencast videos of online activity. Drawing upon the conceptual framework of new literacy studies (Barton, 2007), we set four themes to present fans’ literacy practices and language learning: (a) fan translation, (b) understanding the original text, (c) writing and preparing the translation, and (d) tools, resources, and collaborative online practices. Results indicated that the three informants encountered an open space for agency, creativity, and identity building and reinforcement through fan translation. Their translations provided content and represented the generators of the semiotic fabric in their fandoms (Gee, 2005). As fan translators, they learned language in multiple ways, such as peer-to-peer feedback, autodidactism, and creative uses of Google Translate. Future research may attempt to transfer knowledge from digital wilds into formal education.

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La función y la utilidad del feedback sobre los trabajos de escritura en la clase de lenguas extranjeras es un tema ampliamente debatido en el campo y hoy sabemos que no cualquier tipo de feedback es efectivo. El propósito de este artículo es analizar y discutir los resultados obtenidos en un curso de escritura llevado a cabo en una universidad danesa con estudiantes de la carrera de máster de español, donde se ha experimentado con una cadena de distintos tipos de feedback para apoyar el aprendizaje y la motivación de las/os participantes. El curso, inspirado en un enfoque socioconstructivista del aprendizaje, se caracteriza por su énfasis en las necesidades y los deseos de los aprendices, quienes asumen diversos roles: como escritores, lectores críticos, editores y sujetos que reflexionan sobre su propio proceso de aprendizaje. A continuación, se discute el diseño del curso y los distintos tipos de feedback practicados, caracterizados todos por su naturaleza interactiva, intensiva e inmediata. Mediante el análisis del material recopilado, se discute, además, el desempeño de las/os participantes en cada uno de los eslabones de la cadena y su evaluación de la experiencia en cuanto a aprendizaje y motivación.


The role and usefulness of feedback on writing in the context of foreign language learning and teaching is a widely debated topic and today we know that not just any type of feedback is effective. The purpose of this article is to analyze and discuss the results obtained in a writing course carried out at a Danish university with master’s students of Spanish, where a chain of different types of feedback has been experimented with to support learning and motivation. The course, inspired by a socio-constructivist approach to learning, is intended to cater for the needs and desires of the students, who take up different roles: as writers, critical readers, editors, and subjects who reflect on their own learning process. I will discuss the course design and the different types of feedback used, all of them interactive, intensive and immediate. Through the analysis of the collected data, I will also discuss the participants’ performance in each of the links in the feedback chain and their own evaluation of the experience regarding learning and motivation.

En Perspectiva 39.1

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En los intercambios virtuales, el primer contacto entre los estudiantes es un momento clave, ya que determina la forma en la que los estudiantes se relacionarán entre sí durante todo el proceso de aprendizaje. La aplicación Flipgrid puede resultar una herramienta útil para desarrollar una primera toma de contacto tanto en proyectos de telecolaboración como en contextos educativos digitales. El objetivo de este artículo es explorar las estrategias técnicas, comunicativas y afectivas que los estudiantes que participaron en el proyecto de telecolaboración HI-UB durante el semestre de primavera de 2019 utilizaron en sus primeras interacciones para lograr la proximidad. Los datos se obtuvieron tanto de las grabaciones en video realizadas en Flipgrid por 22 estudiantes del programa de Máster de la Universidad de Barcelona y 11 estudiantes de español como lengua extranjera de la Universidad de Islandia, como de sus reflexiones. Los resultados muestran que este primer encuentro asincrónico en vídeo les resultó útil, ya que les ayudó a reducir la ansiedad, proporcionó una buena atmósfera emocional y fomentó su motivación hacia las tareas posteriores del proyecto de telecolaboración.

El objetivo de este libro es abordar el problema de la enseñanza de la pronunciación del español en los estudiantes extranjeros.

El término "pronunciación" se utiliza aquí en sentido amplio, referido tanto a los sonidos como a las cuestiones derivadas de las características acentuales y entonativas de la lengua española.
Cada apartado del libro acaba con una propuesta de ejercicios cuyo fin es enseñar al profesor de español como lengua extranjera a comprender mejor o a poner en práctica las indicaciones contenidas en las cuatro secciones estudiadas.

Estructura del libro
Consta de cuatro partes que tratan los aspectos fonéticos más relevantes del español asó como los relacionados con la corrección fonética de dicha lengua:

  • El funcionamiento de los sistemas fonológicos.
  • La norma de pronunciación y las variantes.
  • Los errores de pronunciación.
  • La corrección fonética.

Unidad temática

La finalidad fundamental de esta obra es dotar al profesor de español como lengua extranjera de los necesarios conocimientos teóricos acerca de la fonética del castellano y de los recursos metodológicos disponibles para afrontar la tarea de enseñar su pronunciación. Pero, además, este es un libro dedicado a indagar, desde dicha perspectiva teórica y aplicada, en los aspectos básicos que conforman, y en gran medida caracterizan, el perfil sonoro del castellano.

La obra está articulada en siete capítulos que abarcan tanto el nivel del análisis fónico suprasegmental como el segmental. Cada capítulo concluye con una serie de ejercicios –cuyas soluciones se ofrecen al final del volumen- y con un conjunto de propuestas de actividades y de temas de reflexión destinados a profundizar en el tema en cuestión. Al final de la obra se incluye, asimismo, un glosario general.

El público ‘natural’ al que va destinado este trabajo es el constituido por profesores de español como lengua extranjera, futuros o en ejercicio, y por estudiantes de los cursos intermedios de filología hispánica. De cualquier modo, pensando también en los posibles lectores profanos en fonética que se acercan por primera vez a la materia, los conceptos fónicos fundamentales se aclaran en nota y en el glosario final.

Higher education has seen an increase in enrollment in online (OL) language courses. This study (n = 176) examined why students chose to enroll in OL Spanish courses and if foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) in OL classes affects overall oral proficiency. Sex differences and FLCA in online Spanish classes were also examined. Quantitative methods included an online survey and a third-party proficiency exam, Versant for Spanish Test. Findings suggest that students do not register for OL Spanish courses to avoid speaking; however, a majority of OL Spanish students appear to suffer from FLCA. These students reported being anxious about a variety of scenarios in their OL language courses including the tests, large class size, lack of understanding or remembering the course material, and making speaking mistakes. Analyses of oral proficiency coupled with the responses to the survey showed that OL FLCA negatively correlated with oral proficiency. Notably, there was no significant difference between male and female students in self-reported FLCA.

Formación de palabras y enseñanza del español LE/L2 offers a unique combination of theory and practice that guides the reader through the main processes of word formation in Spanish. It provides a detailed analysis of the role of lexical creation in the acquisition of L2 Spanish vocabulary, as well as over a hundred practical self-reflection activities.

Listado de tablas

Listado de actividades


Capítulo 1. Operatividad didáctica de la formación de palabras en la enseñanza de español LE/L2

Capítulo 2. La formación de palabras: consideraciones metodológicas

Capítulo 3. El vocabulario y las familias de palabras

Capítulo 4. La productividad en la formación de palabras

Capítulo 5. La reflexión morfológica en el aula de ELE: propuestas y pautas

Capítulo 6. La prefijación en el aula de ELE/EL2

Capítulo 7. La sufijación no apreciativa en el aula de ELE/EL2

Capítulo 8. La sufijación apreciativa en el aula de ELE/EL2

Capítulo 9. La composición en el aula de ELE/EL2

En MarcoELE 36

El presente estudio de investigación recoge los datos y opiniones de profesionales dentro del campo del español como lengua de herencia en Alemania y de dos expertos sobre la existencia o falta de formación específica en la intersección existente entre la competencia comunicativa intercultural y la enseñanza del español como lengua de herencia. Primeramente, es necesario una contextualización del ELH en Alemania y unos conocimientos sobre diferentes modelos de competencia comunicativa intercultural. Seguidamente una primera fase de la investigación constituida por cuestionarios a profesionales del ELH en Alemania, una segunda fase de la investigación por entrevistas a profesionales del ELH en Alemania y se amplia la información con la entrevista a dos expertos: la Dra. Carmen Ramos Méndez-Sahlender y el Dr. Yeray González Plasencia, finalmente su triangulación.

En MarcoELE 36

Este artículo examina el potencial de ChatGPT para el aprendizaje de español como segunda lengua en los niveles A1-B1 en cuanto a su capacidad tanto de descifrar el input del alumnado de estos niveles como de generar respuestas que puedan comprender los aprendientes. Para ello, y tras un breve repaso de las potencialidades y desafíos de la integración de las herramientas de generación de textos basadas en la inteligencia artificial, se describe el análisis realizado con dos corpus de interacciones con ChatGPT -compilados a partir de prompts del alumnado y de ejercicios propios de los cursos en estos niveles- y se presenta una serie de conclusiones preliminares a la implementación de ChatGPT en clase, resultante del análisis de dichos corpus, y encaminadas a fomentar el autoaprendizaje mediante ChatGPT como agente conversacional.