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LINGUIST List 20.2636

Wed Jul 29 2009

FYI: Announcing the Christopher Brumfit Award 2008

Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean <daniellelinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Daniel Davies, Announcing the Christopher Brumfit Award 2008

Message 1: Announcing the Christopher Brumfit Award 2008
Date: 29-Jul-2009
From: Daniel Davies <ddaviescambridge.org>
Subject: Announcing the Christopher Brumfit Award 2008
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Posted on behalf of Dr. Graeme Porte, Editor of "Language Teaching"

The Editor and Board of "Language Teaching" are pleased to announce that
the recipient of the 2008 Christopher Brumfit thesis award is Dr. Andrea
Borbély Hellman.

Dr. Hellman’s Ed.D thesis, entitled 'The role of intentional
decontextualised learning in second language vocabulary acquisition,' was
selected by an external panel of judges based on its significance to the
field of second or foreign language learning and teaching, originality and
creativity, and quality of presentation. The study investigates whether
adult-onset second language (L2) learners achieve native level vocabulary
after decades of immersion. A series of vocabulary tests were given to
three groups of participants: highly educated and successful adult-onset
learners of English, monolingual English speakers, and bilingual native
speakers of English. Overall, the native speakers outperformed the
non-native speakers; however, the rate of native-like achievement was
remarkably high among the successful adult-onset learners, which indicated
that native level L2 vocabulary was attainable even in adulthood.

The external referees remarked that the study makes an 'original and
valuable contribution to an area of research of considerable theoretical
and practical interest, namely the role played by age in the acquisition of
an L2. Most of the SLA research on this issue has investigated grammatical
or phonological competence, so Hellman’s study is noteworthy in being one
of only a few that focus on lexical attainment.' It was further observed
that 'the study is well theoretically-informed and well designed, with a
careful and insightful analysis, making use of statistical tools in a
sophisticated way to support it.'

Dr. Hellman completed her dissertation at the Boston University School of
Education, USA under the supervision of Dr. Shanley Allen, Dr. Mary
Catherine O’Connor, Dr. Marnie Reed, and Dr. John Read.

For more information about the 2009 Christopher Brumfit Award visit:


Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; General Linguistics; Language Acquisition

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