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The Effect of Age on Second Language Acquisition with Indirect Instruction

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This thesis covers second language acquisition in regards to age, examining the difference between elementary and high school students. The primary language of all the students tested was English. The second language being tested in this study is German. The

This thesis covers second language acquisition in regards to age, examining the difference between elementary and high school students. The primary language of all the students tested was English. The second language being tested in this study is German. The general age range in the elementary students observed was 7-12 years old. The high school students' ages were between 14-18 years old. The environment consisted of a physical education atmosphere, which includes: gyms, outside recreational areas, fitness equipment, fields, etc. Methods used to conduct this study were visual and auditory/verbal approaches. No direct instruction was provided to the students, they were assessed based on their ability to absorb the information when provided to them indirectly in a traditional classroom atmosphere. In addition, direct instruction is also not conducive to a physical education setting as it has the potential to detract from the necessary lesson content.

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2017-05

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Indonesian L2 speakers of English talking about their ESL experiences: an overview

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This thesis examines the narratives and meta-commentary of Indonesian users of English about their English as a Second Language (ESL) experiences. It approaches interview data with ten Indonesian second language (L2) speakers of English from a narrative analysis/inquiry perspective. Each

This thesis examines the narratives and meta-commentary of Indonesian users of English about their English as a Second Language (ESL) experiences. It approaches interview data with ten Indonesian second language (L2) speakers of English from a narrative analysis/inquiry perspective. Each interview was transcribed according to a modified set of discourse analysis (DA) transcription conventions, then coded by the researcher. The first research question addressed what linguistic devices members of this population used to achieve cohesion and coherence in their narratives, and the second research question examined how members of this population portrayed their L2 selves in their narratives. The data yielded 21 linguistic devices that fell into three levels of frequency. Connectives, discourse markers, and repetition were by far the most common linguistic devices, followed by adverbials, embedded clauses, intensifiers, and the word like (non-comparison uses), which were somewhat frequent linguistic devices. The data also showed that participants constructed their L2 selves using three main categories: agency, identity, and perceptions of English and the U.S.. In regard to identity, participants invoked membership categorization, where they portrayed their identities in relation to other individuals. The study concludes with suggestions for future research, especially relating to Indonesian L2 users of English.

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Date Created
2015

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Imperative clause structure and its realization in Old English syntax: a corpus study

Description

The nature of imperative syntax has remained an elusive, yet ever-present, subject in syntactic research, spanning several decades of linguistic inquiry and analysis, and it is therefore unsurprising that current views on the subject continue to be somewhat divided. This

The nature of imperative syntax has remained an elusive, yet ever-present, subject in syntactic research, spanning several decades of linguistic inquiry and analysis, and it is therefore unsurprising that current views on the subject continue to be somewhat divided. This thesis examines the syntactic evidence from imperatives in Old English and ultimately seeks to develop a picture of the possibilities for imperative clauses in OE alongside an overall framework for imperative syntax within contemporary theoretical models of syntactic structure. The general, perceived pattern for OE imperative clauses (e.g. Millward 1971) is “verb−first,” and statistical data from the corpora confirm this perception, with the majority of imperative clauses exhibiting the verb in clause−initial position. Imperative constructions with post− and preverbal overt subjects are also examined at length, and postverbal subjects are found to be the majority case. These results are further expanded by examinations of data from verb−second and verb−third contexts, which include possibilities for topicalized constituents and adverbs. Ultimately, the relative position of both the verb and the subject and the relationship between these and other elements in the totality of the data provide essential clues for constructing a clearer model of OE imperative syntax. Within a relatively rich cartographic framework (Rizzi 1997), I therefore argue that the imperative verb is standardly fronted to the head of ForceP, with the overt subject remaining in spec−FinP, in parallel with other models for imperative syntax and OE syntax. Exceptions to this pattern for imperatives which suggest lower positions for the imperative verb (e.g. verb−second and verb−third constructions) are also accounted for, all with the central goal of demonstrating a consistent pattern underlying the realization of imperative syntax in Old English.

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Date Created
2012

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A study of multilingual repertoires and accumulated literacies: three Karenni families living in Arizona

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This empirical study aims to identify and analyze the accumulated literacies and multilingual repertoires of three Karenni refugee families originally from the highlands of Burma but who had lived in refugee camps in Thailand before arriving in Phoenix, Arizona. Through

This empirical study aims to identify and analyze the accumulated literacies and multilingual repertoires of three Karenni refugee families originally from the highlands of Burma but who had lived in refugee camps in Thailand before arriving in Phoenix, Arizona. Through participant observation in the families' households and neighborhood, artifact collection, and individual and group interviews, I observe, document, and examine the everyday literacy practices of these three families in order to understand how these literacies are used to foster new understandings and social networks while maintaining transnational connections. The data analysis demonstrates that there are similarities and differences between the literacy practices and language choices of the sixteen individuals who participated and that there are significant differences across generations as well as across the three families. The findings shed light on the complicated relationship between migration and language learning, ideologies of language, literacy practices, and various modes of communication (face-to-face and digital). Building on a long tradition of ethnographic work that examines language learning and literacy in relation to educational access and opportunity, this research is relevant to educational researchers, policy makers, and teachers who are committed to rethinking what counts as literacy, for whom, in what contexts, and with what kinds of consequences. In a time of increased movement of people across borders, and increased use of information and communication technologies, this investigation has important implications for teacher preparation, theories of language learning and literacy development, and educational research.

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Date Created
2012

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Conceptualizations of English as a global language: the case of Brazil

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The present study investigates some of the different ways in which English has been conceptualized in Brazil since the beginning of intensified globalization in the 1990s, and proposes how such conceptualizations relate to sociocultural, political and historical phenomena in the

The present study investigates some of the different ways in which English has been conceptualized in Brazil since the beginning of intensified globalization in the 1990s, and proposes how such conceptualizations relate to sociocultural, political and historical phenomena in the country. To this end, central texts (governmental documents, musical lyrics, cultural messages, educational policies, and language school commercials) of three domains of language regulation and use (political discourse, pop culture, and English language teaching) were examined through discourse analytical tools, text mapping, and content analyses. The investigation of each domain was supplemented by analyses of additional data (media texts, artistic work, and teacher interviews) that either confirmed or problematized results. Findings showed that the symbolic meanings of English in Brazil are caught in a heteroglossic web of discourses, which reflect diverse understandings of global processes, of the spread of English, and of Brazil itself. Tensions between authoritative and internally persuasive discourses, and between centripetal and centrifugal forces are revealed not only across different texts and realms - as reported in studies of English in other contexts - but also within domains, and within the discourses of the same people and institutions. It is argued that legislative authority, the role of the state, and the contradictions between discourses of mobility and empowerment and unsuccessful educational practices play a central role in the way English is understood and experienced in Brazil, confirming previous claims of an identity crisis, and revealing other crises of power, democracy, politics, and education. The study adds to the literature on English conceptualizations by bringing an understanding of the case of Brazil, which has not been as extensively investigated as other contexts. Moreover, the individual analyses presented bring new perspectives on the political discourses that have attempted to regulate loanword use in Brazil, and on the nature of language teaching in the country, besides emphasizing the role of pop culture in the understanding of English in that context. Further implications include the discussion of how the study of the spread of English may connect with different understandings of globalization, and the presentation of how the results contribute to language education.

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Date Created
2012

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A quest for equity in language: educating Maya-American children

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ABSTRACT

This research is a study of the relationship between language acquisition and the status of equity. The history of the Maya people in Guatemala gives strong evidence that their failure

ABSTRACT

This research is a study of the relationship between language acquisition and the status of equity. The history of the Maya people in Guatemala gives strong evidence that their failure to acquire competence in Spanish, which is the national language of their nation, has resulted in their failure to compete in the social, economic, and political components of their society. It also shows that they have failed to maintain their competence in Mayan, their own language, as a result of mistreatment from their conquerors who have shown a determination to eliminate their use of Mayan. Many Maya have left Guatemala and entered the United States in hope of finding the status of equity which has evaded them for hundreds of years.

The key to overcoming their poverty and loss of civil rights can be found in the US through compensatory programs offering them the opportunity of competency in English along with the opportunity to maintain their Mayan language. The US legal system guarantees equal rights for a quality educations for students who are learning English.

This study offers some suggestions for integrating the Guatemalan Maya into mainstream activities of the economy and social life of this country. It offers the idea of sustaining and increasing their competency in Mayan as a long-range possibility. The status of equity is available for the children of the Guatemalan refugees who enter the United States as they exercise their rights to a quality education.

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Date Created
2017

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A New Generation of Chinese International Students in the United States and Their Experience in the First-year Composition Classes

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The purposes of this dissertation are two-fold. First, it aims to re-examine the new generation of Chinese students in the United States (U.S.) in light of the changing international and educational contexts. Second, the dissertation seeks to understand the new

The purposes of this dissertation are two-fold. First, it aims to re-examine the new generation of Chinese students in the United States (U.S.) in light of the changing international and educational contexts. Second, the dissertation seeks to understand the new generation of Chinese students’ experience in First-year Composition (FYC) classes in a public U.S. university. A model of dynamic sociocultural approach is developed and applied to explore this new generation of Chinese students. Compared to previous generations of overseas students, the new generation is substantially different in their backgrounds and shares their own unique characteristics. Taking a sociocultural approach, this dissertation undertakes a systematic examination to delineate Chinese overseas students’ demographic trends over time, the backgrounds and characteristics of the new generation, the motivations for them studying in the United States, and the pathways these students take to come to the U.S. universities. Furthermore, this dissertation explores the experiences of 23 Chinese undergraduate student participants in FYC classes at a U.S. university. In the past decade, with a soaring number of Chinese undergraduate students, there is a dramatic rise in the number of Chinese students in FYC classes. Compared with their previous English education and learning experience in China, what these Chinese undergraduates are experiencing and how them adapting to in their FYC classes will shed light to better understanding of this new generation, as well as how their previous educational experience in China overlap, facilitate, or collide with their current studying in the United States. This dissertation enriches the literature on understanding the new generation of Chinese students, their background, and their adjustments to foreign countries and new educational environments. Using the dynamic sociocultural approach, the study provides teachers and administrators an approach for viewing Chinese and other second language (L2) students in a more holistic way. To a greater extent, the study has implications on how to meet the challenges of diversity in our universities and how to help students with different home cultural backgrounds to succeed in class. The results can also be used to improve the services and programs in the U.S. higher education institutions.

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Date Created
2020

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Speech Acts, Syntax, Conversation Sequences, Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Discourse Markers, with an Emphasis on "Oh"

Description

This study explores the topic of Discourse Markers from an Interdisciplinary perspective. Applying the frameworks of Speech Act Theory, Syntax, Conversation Analysis, and Discourse Analysis, to empirical data, it answers the following important questions. What specific types of Speech Actions

This study explores the topic of Discourse Markers from an Interdisciplinary perspective. Applying the frameworks of Speech Act Theory, Syntax, Conversation Analysis, and Discourse Analysis, to empirical data, it answers the following important questions. What specific types of Speech Actions are performed in everyday Utterances? What Syntactic Mood & Clause Type is used to perform the various Speech Actions? What Discourse Markers occur in the Left-Periphery of the Clause? What Meaning-Functions do Discourse Markers perform? What interactions do Discourse Markers have with the various types of Speech Actions and with the Clause Type with which they are expressed? The results of this study contributed valuable insights to each of the aforementioned fields individually, as well as to the study of human language in general. Among these contributions are the following: Searle’s Taxonomy of Speech Acts was refined by dividing Representatives into Informing and Opinionating and Directives were divided into Commanding and Inquiring. The frequencies of the various Speech Acts relative to each other was identified. Furthermore, 79 distinct and specific Speech Actions were identified. The Speech Act type as well as the Clause Types with which they are expressed were identified. Among the many insights with respect to the interactions between the Speech Action Types and the Clause types with which they are expressed were each of the major Clause Types perform many different Speech Actions that are in addition to those normally attributed to them. Many of the particular Speech Acts are performed via various of the different Clause Types. The Indicative Clause type has the ability to perform most, if not all of the Speech Actions performed by all of the other Clause types. The 200 most frequently-occurring Left-Periphery Elements were identified and observations regarding their Word Class and the Meaning-Functions they perform were identified. The Meaning-Functions of the 10 most frequently-occurring Discourse Markers were identified and defined. The interactions between these Discourse Markers and the Speech Actions to which they attach as well as the Clause Types with which they are expressed were identified, thus documenting empirically that Discourse Markers are intricately connected to the Clause.

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Date Created
2020