chapter  9
19 Pages

Teaching grammatical meaning to advanced learners: A cognitive-semantic perspective OLGA LIAMKINA

As a grammatical category that is absent in English, the German Dative case would seem to pose obvious acquisitional challenges for English-speaking learners of German. Indeed, even quite advanced learners do not employ the full range of Dative case uses as they strive to achieve precision of expression and nuanced meanings. This is true although they normally encounter the Dative in the first year of formal instruction and although they are quite able to recite the formal markers of the case. In other words, the Dative is clearly an acquisitional phenomenon whose developmental trajectory evolves over long periods of time and, therefore, can be captured most adequately longitudinally. However, not only are

longitudinal studies in second language (L2) learning a rarity (see Ortega and IberriShea, 2005), but advanced instructed L2 learners are almost completely absent in such research.