< Back to previous page


i-LAP: The role of Input in English and French LAnguage Proficiency

This cross-linguistic proposal aims to advance our understanding of the input-acquisition relationship by investigating the mechanisms underlying language learning by learners who have English and French at school, but who are exposed to large amounts of English outside of school and have a later starting age for formal English instruction than for French. Language learning “can only take place when learners are exposed to input” (Ellis & Shintani, 2014, p.7). Language learners can be exposed to language input in the classroom and/or outside-of-school. There is growing evidence that engaging with a foreign language outside of school is beneficial for language learning. For instance, previous research has shown that young learners in Flanders already have a considerable vocabulary size prior to formal English instruction because they frequently engage with English language media.The project’s aim is to study how different types of input (classroom, reading, TV, social media …) contribute to Flemish learners’ language proficiency in two languages, English and French. We will conduct a cross-sectional study in which Flemish learners in grade 6, 8 and 12 will be tested on their vocabulary knowledge, speaking and writing proficiency in English and French, and link those test samples to learners’ input. The findings will contribute to theories of language proficiency and language acquisition. The project will have great societal impact, as it could directly inform language teaching policy.
Date:1 Jan 2021 →  31 Dec 2022
Keywords:English, French, language proficiency, out-of-school exposure, informal language learning, formal language learning
Disciplines:Second language learning, Language curriculum and pedagogics, Language didactics, English language, French language, Language acquisition