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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Influence of L1 Syllable Structure on L2 of Two-Year-Old|
|Question:||Hi, I am a Japanese mother of a two-year-old daughter. We live in Japan and she goes to a local nursery school, 8:30am to 6pm, five days a week. She does not learn English there, but I hope my daughter gets familier with English so I started to play English videos made for little children, about 1hour, about 5 days a week, since she was half a year. Now she started to repeat words heard from the videos, but I started to notice that her word pronunciation is always CVCV structured. For example, ''clock'' is like ''kurokku'' and ''fish'' is like ''fishu''. When I watch the videos with her, I always pronounce the words as they are pronounced in the video (I am near-native). And no one but me speaks to her in English, so there is no chance that she hears wrongly pronounced English words. Japanese is a CVCV structured so I understand that would occur to those who has acquired Japanese, but I wonder if two-year-olds' pronunciation has already shaped to their native languages, and will not accept second language-peculiar pronunciation (CVC). I would appreciate any comments or references I can turn to. Thank you, Mikiko Tsumura|
|Reply:||I hope one of our language acquisition experts is able to provide an answer, but here is my take. Based on what your situation is, it makes sense your daughter may show an L1 bias. One complication is that the videos can't speak back to her, so she loses some input based on interaction. Dr Stahlke's comments are also valid. BUT... if your daughter is enjoying the videos, please keep playing them and feel free to speak more English with her. I have full confidence that she is learning something about English pronunciation/grammar and English language culture that will benefit her in the long run.|
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|