A Corpus-Based Approach to Gerundial and Infinitival Complementation in Spanish ESL Writing

A Corpus-Based Approach to Gerundial and Infinitival Complementation in Spanish ESL Writing

Date: May 2011
Creator: Martinez-Garcia, Maria Teresa
Description: This paper examines the use of infinitival and gerundial constructions by intermediate Spanish learners. The use of those two patterns creates problems for second language learners at intermediate and advanced levels. However, there are only few studies on their second language acquisition, and fewer focus on Spanish learners. This study tries to resolve this and to this end, I retrieved all hits of the two constructions from the Spanish component of the International Learner Corpus of English (SP-ICLE). I run a distinctive collexeme analysis (DCA) to identify the verbs that are associated with either pattern. The results are discussed at three different levels: (i) the identification of verbs that Spanish learners associate with each construction; (ii) a systematic comparison with previous studies on native speakers to show possible similarities/discrepancies; and (iii) a comparison of the results with findings on German learners to discuss possible effects of language similarity and transfer.
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Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

Date: May 2003
Creator: Yates, Karen
Description: This thesis tests the hypothesis that a whole language approach to ESL (English As A Second Language) pronunciation with emphasis on suprasegementals through the use of linguistic mimicry is more effective than a focus on segmentals in improving native speakers perceptions of accent and comprehensibility of ESL students' pronunciation of English. The thesis is organized into seven chapters. Chapter 2 is a discussion of the factors that affect the degree of foreign accent in second language acquisition. Chapter 3 gives a background on current ESL pedagogy followed by a description of the linguistic mimicry approach used in this research in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 and 6 are discussion of Materials and Methods and Conclusions and Implications.
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Present tense marking as a synopsis of Southern American English: Plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular.

Present tense marking as a synopsis of Southern American English: Plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular.

Date: May 2005
Creator: Aguilar, Amanda G.
Description: This thesis explores the evolution plural verbal -s ("People thinks he is guilty") and zero 3rd singular ("He think he is guilty") in data from two sources on Southern English: The Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) and The Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS). The research questions that underlie this study consider (1) the demographic association of plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular, (2) the maintenance of each form, (3) the constraints on their use, and (4) the origins of -s variability. The atlas data suggest the following for plural verbal -s: (1) it has a British source, (2) it was present in both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and early Southern White English (SWE), and (3) there were different grammatical constraints on its use in AAVE and SWE. Data for zero 3rd singular -s suggest this form (1) did not have a British source and (2) that it has historically been an AAVE feature.
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Perception of Foreign Accented Speech: the Roles of Familiarity and Linguistic Training

Perception of Foreign Accented Speech: the Roles of Familiarity and Linguistic Training

Date: May 2012
Creator: Sales, Rachel
Description: This paper seeks to address the issue by examining two factors that potentially affect a listener’s perception of foreign accented speech: degree of familiarity (as acquired through a work or personal environment) and amount of ESL or linguistic training. Speech samples were recorded from 18 international students from Hispanic, Asian, and Middle-eastern backgrounds and across all proficiency levels as designated by their academic English program. Six native English speakers were also recorded to serve as a basis for comparison. Listeners were drawn from two pools: people with ESL and/or linguistic training (n=42) and laypersons with no such specialist training (n=36). After completing a background questionnaire to assess familiarity with foreign accented speech, each listener rated all 24 speech samples on the dimensions of comprehensibility, degree of accent, and communicative ability. Results indicate that participants with ESL/linguistic training rate foreign accented speech more positively on all three dimensions than laypersons with no such training. Additionally, degree of familiarity with foreign accented speech is positively correlated with how participants rated the accented speech samples. a number of highly significant interactions between these and other factors including sex of the speaker, proficiency level of the speaker, and L1 family of the speaker were ...
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Reading Beyond the Words: How Implementing Esl Strategies During Modified Guided Reading Affects a Deaf Student’s Language Acquisition Process

Reading Beyond the Words: How Implementing Esl Strategies During Modified Guided Reading Affects a Deaf Student’s Language Acquisition Process

Date: August 2013
Creator: Christian, Laura
Description: While Deaf students are not typically classified as English as a second language (ESL) students, the majority of deaf students first become fluent in a signed language, making them ideal candidates for ESL research. This case study has been designed to explore the ways in which one method of ESL reading instruction, known as modified guided reading (MGR), affects the language acquisition process, and resulting reading comprehension level, of a deaf student over eleven weeks. The study documented the student’s language acquisition development both in American Sign Language (ASL) and in English, as well as tracked the student’s growth in reading comprehension, metalinguistic awareness, and visual attention skills. The Accelerated Reader (AR) program, benchmark testing, and daily observations were used to measure growth. Findings of the study suggest that the ESL methods implemented through MGR positively impacted the student’s language acquisition process, reading comprehension level, metalinguistic awareness, and visual attention skills. Results showed an increase in all three of the student’s AR scores as follows: 31% in reading level, 13.1% in number of words read, and 13.2 % in comprehension test scores. Observations and benchmark testing revealed increased metalinguistic knowledge in word, syntactic, and pragmatic awareness. Visual attention skills were ...
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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.
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A test of the effects of linguistic stereotypes in children's animated film: A language attitude study.

A test of the effects of linguistic stereotypes in children's animated film: A language attitude study.

Date: May 2007
Creator: Trowell, Melody
Description: This study examined the claim that animated films influence childrens' opinions of accented-English. Two hundred and eighteen 3rd through 5th graders participated in a web-based survey. They listened to speakers with various accents: Mainstream US English (MUSE), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), French, British, and Arabic. Respondents judged speakers' personality traits (Work Ethic, Wealth, Attitude, Intelligence), assigned jobs/life positions, and provided personal information, movie watching habits, and exposure to foreign languages. Results indicate: (1) MUSE ranks higher and AAVE lower than other speakers, (2) jobs/life positions do not correlate with animated films, (3) movie watching habits correlate with AAVE, French, and British ratings, (4) foreign language exposure correlates with French, British, and Arabic ratings.
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Language Choice in the ESL and FL Classrooms: Teachers and Students Speak Out

Language Choice in the ESL and FL Classrooms: Teachers and Students Speak Out

Date: August 2006
Creator: Fernandez, Cody
Description: This paper compares English as a second language (ESL) and foreign language (FL) teachers' and students' perspectives regarding target language (TL) and first language (L1) use in the respective classrooms. Teachers and students were given questionnaires asking their opinions of a rule that restricts students' L1 use. Questionnaires were administered to 46 ESL students, 43 FL students, 14 ESL teachers, and 15 FL teachers in Texas secondary public schools. Results were analyzed using SPSS and R. Results demonstrated an almost statistical difference between perspectives of ESL and FL students regarding TL and L1 use, while teacher results demonstrated no statistical difference between the groups. Students had a more positive perspective of the rule than teachers.
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Mary/merry and horse/hoarse: Mergers in Southern American English

Mary/merry and horse/hoarse: Mergers in Southern American English

Date: May 2004
Creator: Ehrhardt, Brooke
Description: Phonetic mergers in American English have been studied throughout the last half century. Previous research has contributed social and phonetic explanations to the understanding of front and back vowel mergers before /l/, front vowel mergers before nasals and phonetically unconditioned back vowel mergers. Using data from the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) and the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS), this thesis examines the spread of the front vowel mergers in Mary and merry and the back vowel mergers in horse and hoarse. The two complementary sources of data allow for a social and phonetic approach to the examination of the merger.
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Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Date: December 2006
Creator: Tapinta, Pataraporn
Description: The purpose of this research was to conduct case studies to explore and describe Thai university students' awareness and application of cognitive and metacognitive strategies when reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL). Four participants, including two high and two low English language proficiency learners, were selected from 14 students enrolled in a five-week course called English for Social Sciences offered at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The major sources of data for the analyses included the transcripts of the participants' pair discussions, think-aloud protocols, interviews, and daily journal entries. In addition, field work observations, reading and writing strategy checklists, participants' written work, and the comparison of the pretest and posttest results were also instrumental to the analyses. The interpretive approach of content analysis was employed for these four case studies. Findings were initially derived from the single-case analyses, and then from cross-case analyses. Major findings revealed that strategic knowledge enhanced these English-as-a-foreign- language (EFL) learners' proficiency in English reading and writing. However, applying elaborative strategies for higher-level reading was challenging for most of the participants. Two crucial factors that impeded their development were the learners' uncertain procedural and conditional knowledge of strategy uses and their limited English language ...
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