Adv Rdr Wendys..Catch G2 Stry 08 by HSP

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While these studies suggest that languages not used for a while can still influence a target language, there is also evidence that significant differences can arise in performance depending on whether learners have active or passive knowledge of their languages. Mägiste (1984, 1986) is typically associated with this claim. Mägiste’s work does not specifically focus on crosslinguistic influence phenomena, it nonetheless provides valuable information on prior knowledge in general. Using a nationwide investigation conducted by Balke-Aurell and Lindblad in 1982 in Sweden, she compared the English language proficiency of immigrant students (N = 2,736) with that of monolingual Swedish students (N = 67,162) and examined test results in word comprehension, reading and listening comprehension and grammar.

To mention a few examples, in a discussion on the pronunciation of the number setenta (seventy) in Portuguese, Schmidt and Frota (1986) claim that the learner was incorrectly pronouncing this word as ‘sittenta’ due to the influence of the Arabic word sitta, which means six in English. Similarly, Rivers (1979) comments on the use of the German sehr gut with the Spanish maid, an expression phonetically and structurally similar to the English very good. Selinker and Baumgartner-Cohen (1995) note the replacement of the target German du hast with the French tu as in the sentence tu as mein fax bekommen (Did you get my fax)?

One of the most comprehensive studies on non-native linguistic influence and lexical choices was conducted by Ringbom (1987) in Finland, a country with two official languages: Finnish, a Finno-Ugric language, and Swedish, a Germanic language. Finland is widely considered an ideal location for research on non-native language influence due to the sociocultural and educational homogeneity of its people and the language combination that it offers. 3% was estimated to be of Swedish L1. Swedish L1 speakers are generally competent speakers of Finnish as an L2, and Finnish L1 speakers are formally taught Swedish in school (Ringbom, 1987).

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