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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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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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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 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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2020