This annual award, in honor of SSLA Founding Editor Albert Valdman, is for an outstanding paper in the previous year's volume.
In 2017, the Albert Valdman Award has been jointly awarded to the following papers:
"The Fine-Tuning of Linguistic Expectations over the Course of L2 Learning," Volume 39, Issue 3, by Tania Leal, Roumyana Slabakova, and Thomas A. Farmer
We are absolutely thrilled that our paper "The fine-tuning of linguistic expectations over the course of L2 learning" has been selected as the joint winner of the Albert Valdman Award. We are grateful to the Studies in Second Language Acquisition editors, associate editors and board members, as well as to the publishers CUP, for this prestigious award. The article stems from Tania Leal’s dissertation work at the University of Iowa. It addresses the fascinating topic of whether second language speakers are capable of making predictions as to what they can expect in the upstream linguistic string, based on what words they have already encountered. We know that monolingual native speakers are very good at such anticipation. It turns out that second language speakers are good at it, too, when they are sufficiently advanced in proficiency and language experience. This finding is one more blow to the argument that second language speakers’ competence and processing are fundamentally different from native speakers’. The article findings have an interesting real-world implication, too. We know that Clitic Left Dislocation, the property we investigate, is not taught explicitly in most Spanish classrooms. Naturalistic language experience, in the form of study-abroad, proves sufficient to overcome this lack of explicit teaching. We very much hope that future research will bring further insights on the effects of naturalistic input on SLA competence and performance.
"Validating Grammaticality Judgment Tests: Evidence from Two New Psycholinguistic Measures," Volume 39, Issue 1, by Payman Vafaee, Yuichi Suzuki, and Ilina Kachisnke
We are sincerely grateful to Studies in Second Language Acquisition and Cambridge University Press for selecting our paper, ‘"Validating grammaticality judgment tests: Evidence from two new psycholinguistic measures", as a winner of the Albert Valdman Award. We are truly honored to receive this prestigious award.
The current study was carried out while we were in the PhD program of Second Language Acquisition at the University of Maryland, College Park. We express our gratitude to their warm encouragement and support for our project. We are particularly indebted to Professors Steve Ross, Mike Long and Robert DeKeyser for their insightful and constructive input and feedback.
In our study, we examined the validity of widely-used assessment tools in the SLA field, grammaticality judgment tests (GJTs), as measures of explicit and implicit knowledge. By employing online sentence processing tasks, we scrutinized the validity evidence of the timed GJT as a measure of implicit knowledge and demonstrated that GJTs, even if timed, are too coarse to be measures of implicit knowledge. We believe that our findings have important theoretical and methodological implications for SLA research. Our study, we hope, could encourage SLA researchers to give more rigorous consideration to the validity of the assessment measures in their research.
2017: Tania Leal, Roumyana Slabakova, and Thomas A. Farmer, for "The Fine-Tuning of Linguistic Expectations over the Course of L2 Learning," Volume 39, Issue 3
and Payman Vafaee, Yuichi Suzuki, and Ilina Kachisnke for "Validating Grammaticality Judgment Tests: Evidence from Two New Psycholinguistic Measures," Volume 39 Issue 1
2016: Akira Murakami and Theodora Alexopoulou, for "L1 Influence on the Acquisition Order of English Grammatical Morphemes: A Learner Corpus Study," Volume 38, Issue 3
2015: Gregory D. Keating and Jill Jegerski, for "Experimental Designs in Sentence Processing Research: A Methodological Review and User's Guide," Volume 37, Issue 1
2014: Dr. Sible Andringa, for "The Use of Native Speaker Norms in Critical Period Hypothesis Research," Volume 36, Issue 3