This book, written for both seasoned and novice researchers, presents a theory of what is called Basic and Higher Language Cognition (BLC and HLC), a theory aimed at making some fundamental issues concerning first and second language learning and bilingualism (more) empirical. The first part of the book provides background for and explication of the theory as well as an agenda for future research, while the second part reports on selected studies of language proficiency in native speakers, as well as non-native speakers, and studies of the relationship between literacy in a first and second language. Conceptual and methodological problems in measuring language proficiency in research on second language acquisition and bilingualism are also discussed. Further, the notion of levels of language proficiency, as rendered by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), is critically examined, suggesting ways of empirically investigating a number of questions that the CEFR raises but is not capable of answering.
1. Foreword; 2. Part I. Theory; 3. Chapter 1. Scientific inquiry; 4. Chapter 2. Language acquisition and the need for a theory of language proficiency; 5. Chapter 3. BLC-HLC Theory: Language proficiency in native speakers; 6. Chapter 4. BLC-HLC Theory: Language proficiency in non-native speakers; 7. Chapter 5. BLC-HLC Theory: Summary and discussion of Part One; 8. Part II. Research; 9. Chapter 6. Language proficiency of native speakers: Commonalities and differences; 10. Chapter 7. Components of language proficiency; 11. Chapter 8. Interdependence of L1 and L2 literacy; 12. Chapter 9. Measuring language proficiency in research on L2 acquisition and bilingualism; 13. Chapter 10. Levels of language proficiency in scales of educational assessment; 14. Epilogue; 15. References; 16. Appendix 1; 17. Person index; 18. Subject index