Assoc. Prof. Nattama Pongpairoj

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand


Nattama Pongpairoj is an associate professor at the English as an International Language Program (EIL), the Graduate School, and Head of the Applied Linguistics for Language Education, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her research interest lies in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, particularly L2 representation and processing.

Topic: Small Words, Big Problems in SLA

Abstract: English is a language withonly the indefinite‘a(n)’and the definite‘the’articles.Althoughboth aresmall words,variability in L2 English articles has been well-documented. This talk willincludetwo cases of variabilityinL2 English articlesbyL1 Thai learners: article omissions(Pongpairoj 2015) and article substitutions (Pongpairoj 2020). It will beshown that variabilityof English articlescan beaccounted for by a commonconstruct.In the former study,Pongpairoj (2015)explored English article omissions by 30 advanced L1 Thai learners. Theobligatory nominal contexts were first and second mention definites.The data were elicited on a grammaticality judgment task (GJT)and a translation task.The resultsrevealedthat the learners would exhibithigher article omissions with second rather than with first mention definite referentsin both production and representation.In thelatterresearch,Pongpairoj(2020)explored English article substitutionsin definite and indefinite contexts.Theparticipants were two advanced learner groups(30 participants each)of different L1 backgrounds.,i.e.,French and Thai,a languagewithand without articles, respectively.Thetasks were a GJTand a forced-choiceelicitation task.Thedatashowedsignificantlyhigher article substitutionsin the Thaigroupthaninthe French groupin all nominal contextsin both perception and production.Based on thenotionofnon-target-like syntacticrepresentationunder Generative Grammar(Hawkins 2000; 2003),itis assumedthat L2 functional parameters not instantiated in the learners’L1areunresettable, and thus, unacquirable.As Definitenessis not grammaticalizedin the Thai language,the L1 Thailearners do not possess the feature[Def] in theirmentalrepresentation,leading to deficit syntax.UnliketheFrench counterparts,TheThai learners’Englisharticle useis possibly notsyntactically motivated,resulting in variability in English articles in terms ofomissions and substitutions.

Keywords: variability, English articles,variability,omissions, substitutions, L1Thailearners,syntacticrepresentation

Assoc. Prof. Yulianeta

Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Indonesia


Dr. Yulianeta is an associate professor in the Department of Indonesian Language and Literature Education at the Indonesia University of Education (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia), Bandung. Her interests are in the study of literature, culture, as well as women's studies. She is also passionate about teaching Indonesian language for foreigners. Her works have been published in several journals and books. She has written seven comics inspired by manuscripts and then adapted them into animated movies. Recently, she has taught Indonesian language at SOAS University of London and has been a visiting lecturer at Nanzan University, Japan.

Topic: TBA