Potential L1 transfer effects in explicit and implicit knowledge of articles in L2 English

Myeong hyeon Kim, Tania Ionin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates how L1-Korean L2-English learners perform with regard to articles in both explicit and implicit tasks. It also examines the role of L1-transfer from Korean demonstratives to English definites in L2 article production. 21 native English speakers and 27 adult intermediate L1-Korean L2-English learners were tested. The participants completed an elicited imitation task (EIT, implicit) and a forced-choice task (FCT, explicit). In the EIT, participants repeated sentences with and without articles, while stating whether the sentence matched the picture. In the FCT, participants chose the correct article for each item. The same sentences were used in both tasks. The results showed that in the FCT, learners were target-like in anaphoric contexts, supplying the, but very frequently overused a in non-anaphoric (bridging) contexts, suggesting that they equate definiteness with previous-mention. In the EIT, learners were less target-like than native speakers, yet the patterns of the two groups were similar. We consider possible explanations for the different results obtained in the two tasks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-77
Number of pages27
JournalAustralian Review of Applied Linguistics
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 7 2022
StatePublished - Mar 29 2024


  • Korean
  • L1-transfer
  • articles
  • demonstratives
  • explicit knowledge
  • implicit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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