chapter  2
27 Pages

Introducing Patty

This chapter introduces Patty by presenting a brief biographical sketch. This biographical background information is then used as the basis for considering the role of affect and motivation in Patty's acquisition of English specifically, and in fossilization more generally. In addition to providing background information about the informant, the rather detailed picture presented here allows us to refer eventually to affective factors and better evaluate the extent to which such factors may have played a role in the outcome of Patty's English proficiency. In addition to social group factors, there are individual affective factors influencing second language acquisition that center around attitude and motivation. Patty reports that she usually spoke Hokkien at home, although occasionally Mandarin, especially with her mother, who was a (Mandarin) Chinese language teacher. After arriving in the United States, Patty lived in her fiance's household, which was situated in an urban Asian neighborhood, and where the primary language spoken among family members was Vietnamese.