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A concept-based approach to teaching Spanish mood

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This study investigates the effectiveness of the use of Concept-Based Instruction (CBI) to facilitate the acquisition of Spanish mood distinctions by second semester second language learners of Spanish. The study

This study investigates the effectiveness of the use of Concept-Based Instruction (CBI) to facilitate the acquisition of Spanish mood distinctions by second semester second language learners of Spanish. The study focuses on the development of Spanish mood choice and the types of explanations (Rule-of-Thumb vs. Concept-based) used by five students before and after being exposed to Concept-Based Instruction regarding the choice of Spanish mood following various modalities .The students in this study were presented with a pedagogical treatment on Spanish mood choice that included general theoretical concepts based on Gal'perin's (1969, 1992) didactic models and acts of verbalization, which form part of a Concept-Based pedagogical approach. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the use of concept-based tools to promote the ability to use Spanish mood appropriately over time, a pre and post-test was administered to the group in which students were asked to respond to prompts containing modalities that elicit the indicative and subjunctive moods, indicate their level of confidence in their response, and verbalize in writing a reason for their choice. The development of these abilities in learners exposed to CBI was assessed by comparing pre and post-test scores examining both forms and explanations for the indicative and subjunctive modality prompts given. Results showed that students continued to rely on Rule-of-Thumb explanations of mood choice but they did expand their use of conceptually-based reasoning. Although the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the results indicate that most students did improve their ability to make appropriate mood choices (forms and explanations) after the CBI treatment, the increased use of conceptually-based explanations for their mood choices led to both correct and incorrect responses.

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  • 2013