Sara Serroukh
© Sara Serroukh


Cross-linguistic influence in additional language acquisition: The effect of language distance, level of proficiency, and task-type on source selection




  • Vita

    Universitäre/Berufliche Tätigkeiten
    since 01/2021            Research assistant at the chair for English Linguistics, WWU Münster
    Akademischer Werdegang
    10/2020                       Aufnahme in das Promotionskolleg Empirische und Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
    09/2017 - 12/2019 Masterstudium der Angewandten Linguistik und des Lehramts für Englisch, Faculty of Education, University of Mohammed V, Morocco
    09/2014 - 06/2017 Bachelorstudium der Anglistik (Linguistik), University of Abd El Malek Essaadi, Morocco


    • 06/2020: Admission to the doctoral program Empirical and Applied Linguistics, WWU Münster
    • 09/2017 – 12/2019: Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching.
    • 09/2014 – 06/2017: Bachlor’s degree in English Studies (Linguistics).

  • Dissertationsprojekt

    Cross-linguistic influence in additional language acquisition: The effect of language distance, level of proficiency, and task-type on source selection

    Cross-linguistic influence, a phenomenon that emerges due to the interaction between languages in the multilingual’s mental lexicon, is one of the central themes in multilingualism research. Traditionally, most studies on CLI have only considered the interaction between two languages- a source language and a target language. However, research has shown that CLI can occur from multiple sources of linguistic knowledge. In a similar vein, research has shown that CLI can occur not only in a unidirectional way (from one or more source languages to a target language), but also in a bidirectional way (two languages influencing each other at the same time), and in the case of additional language acquisition, transfer can even become multidirectional. That is, when three or more languages are involved, CLI can simultaneously work in multiple directions with the possibility of all the languages influencing each other resulting in forward transfer, reverse transfer, etc. However, this area of research is still underexplored which makes it a fertile ground for empirical research.

    The planned PhD project therefore seeks to investigate the occurrence of CLI, lexical transfer in particular, in additional language acquisition. It specifically tends to explore the predictive power of language distance, level of proficiency in the source language, and task type on the choice of the source of lexical transfer. The study focuses on cases of both forward and reverse transfer occurring from and to the multiple languages known to the learners.

    Studies on CLI have been mainly carried out with related languages, mostly Indo-European languages. Studying the interaction of languages that belong to different language families is very likely to yield significant results. Therefore, the present research project focuses on the productions of multilingual learners with Moroccan Arabic as L1, Modern Standard Arabic as L2, French as L3, and English as L4.