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- Metaphor and the ESL Classroom
- This paper concentrates on the viability of using metaphor as a teaching tool in the English as a Second Language classroom. In doing so, a semantically-based theory of metaphor, like that presented by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), is employed as a base for the examination. Such a theory of metaphor presents a dramatic shift from theories, especially Aristotle's, of the past. The theory of metaphor proposed by Lakoff and Johnson contends that language is essentially metaphorical and that much of our 'commonsense' knowledge about the world is derived from interpretations of reality and is manifested in metaphors central to a culture and its language. If this theory is true, then it stands to reason that a student attempting to learn English as a Second Language could profit greatly from metaphor instruction because such instruction would aid all areas of the language acquisition process.
- Past tense marking in Chinese-English interlanguage.
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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.
- The Role of Motivation in Second Language Pronunciation
- 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.
- Speaking up! Adult ESL students' perceptions of native and non-native English speaking teachers.
- 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.