The Variable use of ne in Negative Structures: An Apparent-Time Variationist Study of Synchronous Electronic French Discourse

The Variable use of ne in Negative Structures: An Apparent-Time Variationist Study of Synchronous Electronic French Discourse

Date: December 2010
Creator: Gould, Rebecca J.
Description: This study of the variable use of ne in synchronous electronic French discourse follows the methodological guidelines and the theoretical framework proposed and subsequently elaborated by Labov for analyzing variable features of language. This thesis provides a quantitative variable rule (i.e., VARBRUL) analysis including age as a factor group (i.e., independent variable), thereby making a new contribution to this area of inquiry. The data (50,000 words from the vingtaine 'twentysomething' channel and 50,000 words from the cinquantaine 'fiftysomething' channel) are a subset of 100,000 words from a corpus of one million words collected in 2008 by the thesis director from the public chat server EuropNet. This study aims to answer the following overarching question: To what extent does age-compared to other factors-influence the variable use of ne in verbal negation in synchronous electronic French discourse? In order to answer this question, and possibly others, the VARBRUL analysis will include age, subject (e.g., noun vs. pronoun), type of second negative particle (e.g., pas 'not', jamais 'never', personne 'no one'/'nobody', and so forth), as well as verbal mood/tense.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Representations of New Technologies and Related Terminology in Textbooks for Learners of French and Spanish

Representations of New Technologies and Related Terminology in Textbooks for Learners of French and Spanish

Date: August 2011
Creator: Allred, Michael Kay
Description: The purpose of the thesis is to look at the presentation of vocabulary related to new technologies in four French and four Spanish textbooks for first-year university students to examine the relevance of the language presented in terms of its authenticity to French and Spanish as it is used today. The focus is on authenticity to show the correlation between what is presented to students versus what they will need to communicate effectively in ways that are linguistically, socially, and sociopragmatically appropriate with native speakers. The thesis also provides teachers with a pedagogical framework that will help them integrate new technologies and their related vocabularies into curriculum when textbooks fail to do so.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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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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: Mbuye, Kanku Lisette
Description: This exploratory case study aims to develop a set of best practices for integrating online discussion forums into the foreign language curriculum, focusing specifically on a group of learners in an advanced French grammar course at a large, public U.S. university. During a period of two months, 26 participants completed a series of tasks designed to provide three different types of data: 1) exploration and analysis of interactional, linguistic, and social features of Web forum discourse; 2) participation in Web forums; and 3) feedback from students. Since the feedback received from two questionnaires was ultimately the most consistent and reliable type of data collected, this study focuses on students' participation patterns and their perceptions of Web forums as a communication space having the potential to provide opportunities for learning French. Although some students indicated that they would neither consider visiting a French-language Web forum nor actually visit one, in both cases, more than half of the participants who completed these questionnaires indicated that they would both consider visiting a French-language Web forum and might actually visit one. Since encouraging students to use French beyond the classroom and to engage in the lifelong use of French for personal enrichment (following the ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Processing Instruction and Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling: A Study of Input in the Second Language Classroom

Processing Instruction and Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling: A Study of Input in the Second Language Classroom

Date: May 2011
Creator: Foster, Sarah Jenne
Description: This paper reports a study of VanPatten's processing instruction (PI) and Ray's TPRS. High school students in a beginning Spanish course were divided into three groups (PI, TPRS, and control) and instructed in forms using the Spanish verb gustar. Treatment included sentence-level and discourse-level input, and tests included interpretation and production measures in a pretest, an immediate posttest, and a delayed posttest given two and a half months following treatment. The PI group made the greatest gains in production measures and in a grammaticality judgment test, and the TPRS group made the greatest gains in written fluency. The PI group's statistical gains in production measures held through the delayed posttest.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries