Little is known about the development of second language (L2) capacities in L2 users located in multilingual environments where more than one language is a viable communication tool and users can decide which to use for which purpose. Adopting a socially-grounded perspective on L2 learning, this study explores university-based L2 English learning in a multilingual learning context in Denmark. 46 academic presentations from first and final year undergraduate students were analysed for the users’ use of recurrent multiword sequences as a measure of development of routinized discourse production. This analysis was complemented by an analysis of the users’ language use habits and socialization patterns. The analyses revealed a negative development in pre-patterned L2 use between first and final year students. These results call for a reconsideration of academic L2 English instruction in multilingual environments outside native English-speaking settings, where L2 learning trajectories appear to be able to be stunted by L2 users’ overall language use habits.
20 Dec 2014.