anne marie devlin anne_mariedevlin at
Mon Feb 28 15:20:54 UTC 2011

Hi Shannon,
There is actually some research out there at the moment which suggests that if a student has a close friend with the same L1, then the acquisition process happens much faster.  It seems to be connected with 'courage' for want of a better word.  When the learner has a bit of support s/he is more likely to make contact with native speakers.  This work is being carried out as part of the Barcelona Age project (BAF).  In general, one factor in successful SLA seems to be  intensity of contact with the language and it has been well documented (look at Barbara Freed's work).  for children and ESL success or lack of, try Jennifer Miller.  She conducted some wonderful research into children and esl in Australia.  I'm not sure if she looked precisely at the point you mentioned, but her work is certainly worth looking at.
Hope that helps
> Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 08:53:22 -0500
> From: at
> To: funknet at
> Subject: [FUNKNET] SLA
> Hi all,
> A student of mine is an elementary school ESL instructor. She has noticed
> that if a child arrives to the school without a cohort of speakers of the
> same L1 (say Igbo), the student seems to pick up English much quicker than
> those students that arrive with a cohort of speakers of the same L1 (e.g.
> all Spanish speakers). Intuitively this make sense. However, I was
> wondering if anyone was familiar with research in this area? I tried a
> number of different search terms but have had difficulty finding anything.
> Thanks,
> Shannon

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