20 Matching Results

Search Results

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

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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Martinez-Garcia, Maria Teresa
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

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.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Yates, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Aguilar, Amanda G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 found to be the key element in allowing reading comprehension to take place and strategies for improving these skills were found to be a necessary part of the MGR process.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Christian, Laura
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 found as well.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sales, Rachel
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Using Children's Literature with Adolescents in the English As a Foreign Language Classroom.

Description: This study provides quantitative and qualitative data about the effects of using children's literature with adolescents in a language classroom and the role of children's literature in students' second/foreign language development, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The study presents qualitative data about the role of children's literature in developing more positive attitudes toward reading in the second/foreign language and toward reading in general. With literature being a model of a culture, presenting linguistic benefits for language learners, teaching communication, and being a motivator in language learning, this study presents empirical data that show that inclusion of children's literature in adolescents' second/foreign language classroom promotes appreciation and enjoyment of literature, enhances the development of language skills, stimulates more advanced learning, and promotes students' personal growth.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Belsky, Stella
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thais Taking Turns: How Thais Participate in Group Work in the American Classroom

Description: Using Ethnography of Communication, Conversational Analysis, and surveys, Thai students' participation in group work was studied to determine how they interact with native English-speaking students. Issues discussed are: (1) behaviors Thai students display during group work; including comparisons and contrasts to native students' behaviors, (2) prejudices native students have about including Thai students in group work, (3) Thais' strengths and weaknesses in group work, and (4) perceptions native and Thai students and their professors have regarding group work and its importance to successful course completion. The study concludes by recommending ways that both Thai students and their professors can enhance the learning outcomes of courses that heavily emphasize group work.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Bischof, Janine Chere
Partner: UNT Libraries

Regional Accent Discrimination in Hiring Decisions: A Language Attitude Study

Description: Evidence is presented to support the notion that US regional accents influence decisions in the hiring process. Fifty-six people who hire for a variety of corporations participated in a computerized survey, during which they listened to speakers from regions of the US reading the same passage. Respondents judged the speakers on personal characteristics commonly considered in hiring decisions, attempted to identify the speakers' regions, and selected job categories for each speaker, in addition to providing information about their own linguistic security. Results indicate: 1) judgments based on regional accents strongly correlate to selection of job categories, 2) respondents were not able to identify regional accents correctly, and 3) negative judgments were assigned to the speakers of accents that were correctly identified.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Markley, E. Dianne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes Toward Language Diversity

Description: This study examines pre-service teachers' attitudes toward language diversity and linguistically diverse students. Two hundred seventy-one teacher education students were surveyed to determine relative effects of demographic, mediating variables and psychosocial variables on language attitude as measured by the Language Attitudes of Teachers Scale (LATS). Independent variables include gender, age, race/ethnicity, teacher certification sought, region, psychological insecurity, cognitive sophistication, and helpfulness viewpoint. Research questions are established and methodology is outlined. A review of related literature places the study in the context of research with a broad interdisciplinary perspective and then links the study to other research relevant to the field of education. The findings of the study indicate that gender, race/ethnicity, teacher certification sought, political ideology, psychological insecurity, and cognitive sophistication contribute significantly to the variation found in attitude toward language diversity. The paper concludes with analyses and discussions of the significant variables and suggestions for application in teacher preparation.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Leek, Patricia A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Torres, Julie West
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Trowell, Melody
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Fernandez, Cody
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Ehrhardt, Brooke
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 proficiency due to limited exposure to the second language (L2). The teacher's explanations and modeling of strategies, the participants' opportunities to discuss strategy use with peers, and extensive practice positively enhanced their development. Additionally, the learners' schema and knowledge of text structures played significant roles in their development of the two skills. These English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners also developed metacognitive awareness and strategy applications, but not to the level that always enhanced effective regulation and control of their reading and writing behaviors. Combining reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) instruction promoted the learners' awareness of the relationships of certain strategies for ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Tapinta, Pataraporn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Motivation in Second Language Pronunciation

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.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Wen, Tao-Chih
Partner: UNT Libraries

Beliefs About Language Learning Strategy Use in an EFL Context: A Comparison Study of Monolingual Korean and Bilingual Korean-Chinese University Students.

Description: This study compared strategy use and beliefs about language learning, and the relationship between beliefs and use reported by 428 monolingual Korean and 420 bilingual Korean-Chinese university students. This study also examined the influence of background variables (e.g., gender, self-rated English proficiency, and academic major) on learners' beliefs and strategy use. Data was collected using three questionnaires, the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI), and the Individual Background Questionnaire (IBQ). Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, principal-component analyses, factor analyses, Pearson r correlation analyses, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the Scheffé post-hoc test. Monolinguals reported using compensation strategies most, followed by cognitive, metacognitive, memory, social/practical practice, and affective strategies. Bilinguals preferred to use cognitive strategies most, followed by metacognitive and affective, compensation, memory, social, and independent practice strategies. Students from both groups reported low use of social and memory strategies. Despite a less favorable formal English education environment in the Korean-Chinese community and fewer English learning experiences, bilingual Korean-Chinese reported higher use of learning strategies, which indicates bilinguals' superior language learning abilities. Students from both groups had strong instrumental motivation for learning English. Bilinguals held stronger beliefs about the importance of formal learning and felt less fear of speaking English with native English speakers. Significant correlations between strategy and belief variables indicated differences in the impact of beliefs on strategy use for both groups. The result of the MANOVA revealed that bilingual humanities or engineering majors used more strategies and held stronger beliefs about formal learning. Proficiency level was positively correlated with strategy use for both groups. No gender effect on strategy use and beliefs was found. The assumption that differences in the learning experiences of the participants from two distinct geographical and socio-educational learning settings would influence the findings of this ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hong, Kyungsim
Partner: UNT Libraries

Language Contact in the Inner City: the Acquisition of AAVE Features by Bilingual Hispanic Adolescents

Description: Sociolinguists working in Northern urban areas have shown that Hispanics who come in contact with African Americans sometimes acquire features of African American vernacular English (AAVE). However, the acquisition of AAVE features by Hispanics in the South has yet to be documented. Specifically, no one has studied the kind of English that Hispanics in Texas are acquiring. The present study investigates this issue through research in an inner-city area of Dallas: Oak Cliff. During the past twenty-five years, the population of Oak Cliff has changed from a largely African American community to include a substantial number of Hispanics. Though their neighborhoods remain fairly separate, sports and gangs provide an arena for extended contact. This study investigates the extent to which AAVE grammatical features are being acquired by bilingual Hispanic adolescents who hang out with African Americans. The analysis for this paper focuses on the relationship between contact and depth of acquisition of AAVE syntactic constraints on the use the copula (is/are, be). Preliminary results show that be+V+ing as an habitual form has been incorporated into the grammar of these subjects, suggesting fundamental changes towards an AAVE grammatical system.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Coleman, Jeffrey Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Missed Opportunities: Examining The LiteracyExperiences Of African American Students Displaced By Hurricane Katrina.

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine how five African American middle school students, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina represent their literacy experiences before, during, and after their displacement. Specifically, the two research questions were: (a) What are the stories that these middle school students tell about their lives, before, during, and after their displacement, and (b) What do their stories reveal about their literacy experience before, during, and after their displacement? Narrative Inquiry was the chosen methodology for the study, which allowed the participants to tell their experiences from a first-person perspective. It also encouraged the participants to reflect upon these experiences, in order to give meaning to their thoughts and emotions. Employing a critical lens and perspective, I constructed a narrative profile for each participant, which was then analyzed using these methods. Each narrative profile detailed the literacy experiences of the participants before Hurricane Katrina, during the transition period, and current literacy experiences now that the participants are resettled and attending school in the host city. These data were supplemented by archival data such as report cards, individual education plans (IEPs), and Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. Data analysis of the five participants’ literacy experiences revealed common themes. These participants have pleasant memories of school literacy before the storm and mentioned “choice” as a component of those experiences. During the transition period, few or no literacy experiences took place. Hence, there were missed opportunities for the participants to use literacy experiences to make connections to their new world. Participants reported current classroom and school experiences were controlled environments that led to controlled literacy experiences. This compartmentalization of literacy experiences is not consistent with the critical literacy perspective adopted in this study. Their interviews suggested that they that they saw no connection between school ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Pollard, Tamica McClarty
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drawing Boundaries and Revealing Language Attitudes: Mapping Perceptions of Dialects in Korea

Description: Perceptual dialectology studies have shown that people have strong opinions about the number and placement of dialect regions. There has been relatively little research conducted in this area on Korean, however, with early studies using only short language attitude surveys. To address this gap in research, in the present study, I use the 'draw-­?a-­?map' task to examine perceptions of language variation in Korea. I ask respondents to draw a line around places in Korea where people speak differently and provide names, examples, and comments about the language spoken in those areas. With the resulting data, I use ArcGIS 10.0 software to quantitatively identify, aggregate, and map the most salient dialect areas and categories for subjects' perceptions. I also perform a content analysis of the qualitative data provided by respondents using 'keywords.' During this process, I categorize comments and labels given by respondents to find emerging themes. Finally, I stratify perceptions of respondents by demographic factors, e.g., age, sex, and urbanicity, that have often been found to be important in language variation and change. An analysis of these data suggests that Koreans' perceptions of dialect regions are not necessarily limited by administrative boundaries. In fact, the data reveal not only perceptions of dialect variation unassociated with geographic borders, but they also tap into the way people connect ideas about language and place. Results from this study have implications for language attitudes research, perceptual dialectology methodology, and the relationship between language and place in Korea.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Jeon, Lisa
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Perception and Viability of English Corner on the American Campus

Description: International students are often under considerable pressure from language barriers, culture shock, social isolation and lack of social support in American universities. Those stressors often discourage international students as ESL learners from practicing English with native students on campus. Based on Krashen & Terrell’s subconscious acquisition and conscious learning hypothesis, Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development , Cummins’ Basic Interpersonal Communication System (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP), Horwitz’s language anxiety and Oxford’s indirect learning strategies , this study explores how international students and American students, respectively, perceive English Corner and whether English Corner could be an applicable out-of-class learning environment for international students to practice English and socialize with American students on American campuses. English Corner refers to regular meetings that English learners in Mainland China voluntarily organize in public places to practice spoken English. A survey was conducted on language learning strategies, socialization, acculturation, autonomy and English Corner among international students and native students at the University of North Texas. The questionnaires were adapted from Oxford and Nyikos’ study as to what variables affect choice of language learning strategies, Iheanacho’s study as to how international students use the Morris Library at the University of Delaware and their perception of library services and programs, and Battle’s study as to how information literacy instruction affects library anxiety among international students. The findings of this study may help American universities realize the importance of English Corner as one optimal intervention program for international students and American students. The support for English Corner may help international students improve their English learning, alleviate their language anxiety and create more opportunities for international students and native students to socialize with each other.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Hu, Jiaying
Partner: UNT Libraries