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 Degree Discipline: English as a Second Language
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Does the Provision of an Intensive and Highly Focused Indirect Corrective Feedback Lead to Accuracy?

Does the Provision of an Intensive and Highly Focused Indirect Corrective Feedback Lead to Accuracy?

Date: May 2010
Creator: Jhowry, Kheerani
Description: This thesis imparts the outcomes of a seven-week long quasi-experimental study that explored whether or not L2 learners who received intensive and highly focused indirect feedback on one type of treatable error - either the third person singular -s, plural endings -s, or definite article the - eventually become more accurate in the post-test as compared to a control group that did not. The paired-samples t-test comparing the pre-test and post-test scores of both groups demonstrates that the experimental group did no better than the control group after they received indirect corrective feedback. The independent samples t-test measuring the experimental and control group's accuracy shows no significant difference between the two groups. Effect sizes calculated, however, do indicate that, had the sample sizes been bigger, both groups would have eventually become more accurate in the errors targeted, although this would not have been because of the indirect feedback.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Effectiveness of on-line corpus research in L2 writing: Investigation of proficiency in English writing through independent error correction.

Effectiveness of on-line corpus research in L2 writing: Investigation of proficiency in English writing through independent error correction.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Kim, Yu-Jeung
Description: Second language (L2) researchers and teachers have increasingly come to believe that using a computer-based corpus can be extremely helpful in the language classroom. The purpose of this study is to examine whether corpora can be used outside of the classroom in order for students to improve their essays independently. No previous study has tried to examine students' essays in relation to corpus use so that this study is exploratory. Seven international students wrote five essays on specific topics and then corrected their errors through corpus research. Two experiments were conducted with different students and followed three steps: receiving information about how to use the BYU COCA, writing and correcting, and interviews with students. I examined quantitatively the number and types of errors that students were able to correct in two experiments and reported qualitatively on students' interview responses.
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Formulaic sequences in English conversation: Improving spoken fluency in non-native speakers.

Formulaic sequences in English conversation: Improving spoken fluency in non-native speakers.

Date: August 2009
Creator: McGuire, Michael
Description: Native speakers often ignore the limitless potential of language and stick to institutionalized formulaic sequences. These sequences are stored and processed as wholes, rather than as the individual words and grammatical rules which make them up. Due to research on formulaic sequence in spoken language, English as a Second Language / Foreign Language pedagogy has begun to follow suit. There has been a call for a shift from the traditional focus on isolated grammar and vocabulary to formulaic sequences and context. I tested this hypothesis with 19 L2 English learners who received 5 weeks of task-based instruction and found substantial progress in oral fluency only for the experimental group. Differences between pretest and posttest oral fluency were examined by looking at the learners' speech rate and their mean length of run. Subjective evaluation of fluency by 16 native English judges confirmed the calculated measures.
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Investigating incidental vocabulary acquisition in ESL conversation classes.

Investigating incidental vocabulary acquisition in ESL conversation classes.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Mohamed, Ayman Ahmed Abdelsamie
Description: This study examined incidental receptive and productive vocabulary gains within conversation-class interactions. Eleven Mexican learners of English attended four videotaped conversation lessons where 40 target words were incorporated in different types of exposure. Stimulated recall interviews with students highlighted the effect of cognates, learners' access to passive vocabulary, and use of their vocabulary knowledge in learning related words. Posttests revealed a correlation between frequency and receptive/productive gains. Mean scores showed that words mentioned with synonyms were learned most often, followed by task-essential words and last those mentioned without explanation. A two-way ANCOVA revealed main effects for cognates, and a statistical interaction between cognate status and types of exposure. A statistical correlation was found between receptive and productive gains. Aptitude scores correlated with productive gains but not with receptive gains. The results provide implications for ESL teachers who consider incidental learning of vocabulary within their conversation lessons.
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NNS Use of Adverbs in Academic Writing

NNS Use of Adverbs in Academic Writing

Date: August 2011
Creator: Heidler, Linda E.
Description: Recent studies have begun to redefine the idea of accuracy in second language acquisition to include not only grammatical correctness, but also native-like selection. This is an exploratory study aimed at identifying areas of nonnative-like selection of adverbs, such as sentence position, semantic category preferences, frequency of use and breadth of word choice. Using corpus-linguistic methods it compares the writing of nonnative English speakers at an intermediate and advanced level to both American college students’ writing and published academic writing. It also conducts in-depth case studies of three of the most commonly used adverbs. It finds that while advanced students are grammatically accurate, there are still several ways in which their use of adverbs differs from that of native speakers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Past tense marking in Chinese-English interlanguage.

Past tense marking in Chinese-English interlanguage.

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Flahive, Patrick J.
Description: This data study concentrates on the past tense marking in the interlanguage (IL) of Chinese speakers of English. Following the assumptions of Hawkins & Lizska, (2003), it is assumed that unlike native speakers of English, Chinese speakers of English have a higher level of optionality within the past tense marking of their grammars. It is claimed that the primary reason for this occurrence is the lack of the functional feature T(ense) [+/-past] in Mandarin Chinese. If a particular functional feature is missing in a learner's L1 grammar, it is thought that it will be absent in one's L2 grammar as well. Three advanced Chinese speakers of English were tested on the past tense marking in their IL production. Both spontaneous oral and reading speech were used for this data analysis.
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The Role of Motivation in Second Language Pronunciation

The Role of Motivation in Second Language Pronunciation

Date: August 2005
Creator: Wen, Tao-Chih
Description: This thesis investigates the phonological ability of exceptional second language (L2) learners of English and their levels of motivation. This study is the first of its kind to do a large-scale examination of L2 learners whose first languages (L1s) do not belong to the same Indo-European language family as English. Fifteen non-native speakers (NNSs) of English filled out a questionnaire and produced four speech samples, including a picture description task, paragraph reading task, sentence reading and word reading task. Fifteen native speaker (NS) controls also produced the same speech samples. Four NSs judged all participants' accents. Six NNSs scored as highly as NSs on some of the speech segments using a 2-standard deviation (SD) cut-off point. There was no significant correlation between their scores on pronunciation and motivation.
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Speaking up! Adult ESL students' perceptions of native and non-native English speaking teachers.

Speaking up! Adult ESL students' perceptions of native and non-native English speaking teachers.

Date: December 2004
Creator: Torres, Julie West
Description: Research to date on the native versus non-native English speaker teacher (NEST versus non-NEST) debate has primarily focused on teacher self-perception and performance. A neglected, but essential, viewpoint on this issue comes from English as a second language (ESL) students themselves. This study investigated preferences of adults, specifically immigrant and refugee learners, for NESTs or non-NESTs. A 34-item, 5-point Likert attitudinal survey was given to 102 students (52 immigrants, 50 refugees) enrolled in ESL programs in a large metropolitan area in Texas . After responding to the survey, 32 students volunteered for group interviews to further explain their preferences. Results indicated that adult ESL students have a general preference for NESTs over non-NESTs, but have stronger preferences for NESTs in teaching specific skill areas such as pronunciation and writing. There was not a significant difference between immigrants' and refugees' general preferences for NESTs over non-NESTs based on immigration status.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries