ENGLISH PERFECT IN COGNITION OF SLOVAK ISCED3 LEARNERS OF ENGLISH – PRELIMINARY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
In English language instruction in Slovakia, a strong preference for declarative knowledge at the expense of procedural knowledge development has been reported over the last two decades. However, the cognitive aspects of language attainment predict no impact of instructional efforts, since mental representations of language to be attained are told to be supported by different cognitive systems than associative learning develops. Language variation materializes differences among languages based on differences in digitalizing the experience and thus understanding the world. For Slovak learners, the English present perfect is one such anomaly in categorization. This paper aims to answer what the specific interactions between past simple and present perfect are and how the predicted cognitive aspects of language attainment influence the use of different types of knowledge. A proficiency test focusing on declarative knowledge and language use without context and in context was distributed to 600 Slovak learners of English at the ISCED3a level. In Past simple conditions, students proved highly proficiency in all 3 types of tasks. In present perfect conditions, declarative knowledge strongly dominated over language use in context. In Present perfect conditions, substitutions by past simple were significantly more frequent than substitutions of present perfect by past simple. Cognitive funneling was recognized as a process inhibiting fast proceduralization of the English present perfect compared to fast and reliable proceduralization of the past simple.
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