As of April 2016 ■most linguistics textbooks answer 'no' to the entitled question above, but can 'yes' ever prove the answer? If so, how distant is linguistics from some breakthrough, quantum leap or paradigm shift that can turn the answer into a 'yes', to the joy of L2 learners like me?
I am hoping for astute linguists to discover and then reveal to us the cure, magic bullets, or panacea that can make L2 Acquisition as easy as L1 Acquisition.
■From p 188, The Study of Language (5 ed, 2014) by George Yule:
[...] there are some individuals who seem to be able to overcome the difficulties and develop an ability to use the L2 quite effectively, though not usually sounding like a native speaker (i.e. someone for whom it is an L1). However, even in ideal acquisition situations, very few adults seem to reach native-like proficiency in using an L2. There are individuals who can achieve great expertise in the written language, but not the spoken language. One example is Joseph Conrad, who wrote novels in English that became classics of English literature, but whose English speech retained the strong Polish accent of his L1. This might suggest that some features of an L2, such as vocabulary and grammar, are easier to learn than others such as pronunciation. Indeed, without early experience using the sounds and intonation of the L2, even highly fluent adult learners are likely to be perceived as having an “accent” of some kind.