Is L3 phonological competence affected by the learners' level of bilingualism?

International Journal of Multilingualism

Research on the effect of bilingualism on third language acquisition was initially set in the framework of the study of potential differences between monolinguals acquiring a second language and bilinguals learning a third language. However, many authors have already started to concentrate on third language acquisition itself, and have investigated if there are any differences with regard to target language competence as a function of certain characteristics of the bilingual learner. The number of specific studies on the acquisition of phonology in a third language is extremely limited, though. The article presented here reports a research study on the phonological acquisition of English as a foreign language in an institutional context and, specifically, examines the effect of different levels of bilingual proficiency on phonological competence in the third language.