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         Stanley Haomin Zhang

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I am currently working on two projects: 1. Measuirng and developing implicit linguistic competence 2. Chinese heritage language acqusition and maintenance.

I. Implicit linguistic competence:

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Second language acquisition is fundamentally different from first language acquisition in the aspect of knowledge and information processing. It is argued that L1 acquisition is triggered by input of implicit knowledge (Bley-Vroman, 1990; N. Ellis, 2006) while explicit knowledge in L2 acquisition facilitates L2 linguistic knowledge (Seliger, 1979; N. Ellis, 2002; R. Ellis, 2002). Pedagogical approaches in L2 grammar instruction are always heatedly-discussed topic in second language teaching and learning. It becomes controversial whether L2 linguistic knowledge should be taught in form-based instruction and meaning-based communicative instruction. An important focus of SLA research is to describe how linguistic competence develops over time (R. Ellis, 2005; Erlam, 2006) and specify variables contributing to the process (R. Ellis, 2005). Hence, it is critical for us to understand how learners process explicit and implicit knowledge in second language, how explicit and implicit knowledge are represented in the learner¡¯s performance, and how we can measure L2 learner¡¯s explicit and implicit knowledge. More importantly, we should investigate how we can support and develop L2 learners¡¯ emerging linguistic competencies after learners¡¯ competencies are assessed and measured.

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Prof. R¨¦mi Adam van Compernolle and I are working on a project combing both a psycholinguistic approach, elicited imitation, to measure L2 learners' implicit linguistic competence and dynamic assessment (based on Vygotsky's sociocultural theory) to develop L2 learners' emerging linguistic/grammatical competence.

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Relevant papers:

Synthesis Paper: Measuring and developing implicit linguistic competence [pdf]

II. Chinese heritage/incomplete language acquisition and maintenance:

I collected the data from Chinese heritage language learners in Great Philadelphia area (including Wayne, Radnor, Swarthmore, University City, and North Philly); investigated specific linguistic (e.g morphosyntactic, semantic) attrition, transfer or loss among heritage language learners; parents¡¯ measures to maintain heritage languages; teachers¡¯ classroom practice and pedagogy in HL classroom; and relevant language policy for this particular group of bilingual speakers.

The topics I am addressing:

1. Morphosyntactic acquisition and attrition among Chinese heritage language speakers (comparative syntax, negative morphemes, word order)

2. Parental measures to maintain heritage language (language ideology, language and identity, language maintenance)

3. Classroom practice in bilingual language classroom (computer-assisted language learning, classroom discourse analysis)

Relevant papers:

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Zhang, H. (2012). Whose Job Is It? Chinese Heritage Language Acquisition and Maintenance, Chinese L2 Theory and Practice, Chinese Language Education & Research Center (CLERC), California, U.S.A [pdf]

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Zhang, H. (2011). Negation in Incomplete Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese, under revision [pdf]

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