Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students Page: 126
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assumptions (or misconceptions) about language. Analysis of the Atajo logs revealed that the
students did not use the reference databases to their full potential, relying almost exclusively on
the dictionary feature. For example, students who look up the word "would" in the dictionary
when they actually need to conjugate the verb "will" in the conditional do not understand that
this is actually a grammar query versus a vocabulary query.
Bland et al. (1990) termed this type of learner behavior the "naive lexical hypothesis" to
describe when a student learning a foreign language makes the assumption that there is an L2
lexical match for the desired element or category in the L 1. In this study, this behavior was
observed repeatedly in spite of orientation to and practice sessions with Atajo, as well as implicit
encouragement to consult the references. Subjects were provided guidance on the composition
tasks that was designed to prompt them to look up different references under their corresponding
categories of Grammar, Phrases, and Vocabulary. Other researchers have encountered similar
learner behavior. In New's (1994/1995) study of revision strategies, students were informed that
half of the points for their composition evaluation were related to the use of Systime-D (the
French-language parallel to Spanish Partner) yet they very rarely used the specific reference
databases. Baily (1992/1993) conducted four introductory sessions over a two-month period of
time with adult learners yet these students overwhelmingly used only the dictionary feature as
well. This may indicate that students do not view writing in a foreign language so much in terms
of expressing their ideas as an exercise in translation.
Some inquiries to the dictionary are not naive on the part of the student: the words simply
do not have a translation from English to Spanish. For example, the English verb to volunteer is
commonly constructed in Spanish as to do volunteer work (hacer de voluntario). In other cases
the students were simply following logical patterns of inquiry: A student found England, Italy,
Here’s what’s next.
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Reference the current page of this Dissertation.
Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students, dissertation, December 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/m1/135/: accessed July 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .