LANGUAGE ATTRITION AMONG SHORT-TERM FOREIGN RESIDENTS IN SELECTED PROVINCES IN CHINA

Johnson Alinani, Antonio Maritoni

Abstract


Attrition is the loss of proficiency in a language caused by a lack of exposure to or use of a language. It is a natural part of the language experience as it exists within a dynamic environment. The extant literature is still inconclusive about language decay in short term residents in countries they acquire linguistic skills. This research examined the factors influencing language attrition among short-term residents in selected Chinese provinces.  The analysis showed that in the case of the respondents, as the environment changes, the language adapts. One way it does this is by using L1 as a tool to navigate the periods of change associated with acquisition and attrition. A learner's L2 is not suddenly lost with disuse, but its communicative functions are slowly replaced by those of the L1.Similar to second-language acquisition, second-language attrition occurs in stages. The study further confirmed the regression hypothesis that states that the stages of attrition occur in reverse order of acquisition.


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