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By Birgit Harley

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G. , 1974; Snow & Hoefnagel-Höhle, 1978a,b). Clearly these studies need to be closely examined in a theoretical light to determine what differences in the subjects, settings, or experiments can be hypothesized to account for the apparently contradictory results. A major purpose of this book is to carry out such an examination of empirical studies in the light of the various theoretical perspectives that have been brought to bear on the age issue. The analysis of the literature in Part I leads to a number of conclusions Page xii concerning the need for further research on specific aspects of L2 acquisition by older and younger learners.

He conceptualizes language proficiency along two continua, one of which relates to the range of contextual support available for expressing or receiving meaning, and the other to the degree of active cognitive involvement in a task or activity. The extremes of the first continuum are described as context-embedded and context-reduced communication. They are differentiated as follows (Cummins, 1983a: 120): "... g. " The extremes of the second continuum are referred to as cognitively undemanding and cognitively demanding.

Also referring specifically to French immersion programs, Swain notes that in an early (total) immersion program at the elementary level, there is more time and opportunity for spontaneous use of the L2 than in a late immersion program. In a majority English L1 setting, where there is little occasion for use of the L2 outside the classroom, she argues that this characteristic of early immersion should lead to superior (long-run) interpersonal communicative skills relative to late immersion.

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