Matching Items (13)

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Giving the students a voice: surveying students about Arizona's structured English immersion restrictive language policy

Description

This study explores the relationship between restrictive language policies and dropout influences for language minority students. It furthers understanding of factors related to school attachment and restrictive language policies through

This study explores the relationship between restrictive language policies and dropout influences for language minority students. It furthers understanding of factors related to school attachment and restrictive language policies through an analysis of student's attitudes towards their imposed curriculum. Few studies to date have addressed English language learners' (ELLs') attitudes toward school, especially when schools enforce highly restrictive language policies, and the implications of these student perceptions as related to students' level of attachment to school in general. This study addresses this gap. It investigated middle and high school ELLs' and reclassified (RC) students' attitudes toward school, their aspirations for the future, and the language program in which they are or were recently enrolled within the state of Arizona. Using Erickson's analytic induction method and employing descriptive statistics, t tests, and hierarchical multiple regression, 2,264 students were polled from urban school districts in Arizona. The 85-question survey was comprised of demographic questions and attitude items as measured on a 5-point Likert scale. Results indicate some students are not satisfied with the four-hour block and that many students are aware of the negative implications involvement in the four-hour block can incur. Findings also show that language minority students are not receiving an equal education in regards to their curriculum. More importantly, considering policies and practices of schools as a factor, especially those which are restrictive language policies, is important in better understanding ELL and RC students' attachment to school and the potential impact of these policies on the likelihood of language minority students dropping out of school in the future. Policy implications are discussed.

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  • 2011

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Stability of grammaticality judgments in German-English code-switching

Description

Code-switching, a bilingual language phenomenon, which may be defined as the concurrent use of two or more languages by fluent speakers is frequently misunderstood and stigmatized. Given that the majority

Code-switching, a bilingual language phenomenon, which may be defined as the concurrent use of two or more languages by fluent speakers is frequently misunderstood and stigmatized. Given that the majority of the world's population is bilingual rather than monolingual, the study of code-switching provides a fundamental window into human cognition and the systematic structural outcomes of language contact. Intra-sentential code-switching is said to systematically occur, constrained by the lexicons of each respective language. In order to access information about the acceptability of certain switches, linguists often elicit grammaticality judgments from bilingual informants. In current linguistic research, grammaticality judgment tasks are often scrutinized on account of the lack of stability of responses to individual sentences. Although this claim is largely motivated by research on monolingual strings under a variety of variable conditions, the stability of code-switched grammaticality judgment data given by bilingual informants has yet to be systematically investigated. By comparing grammaticality judgment data from 3 groups of German-English bilinguals, Group A (N=50), Group B (N=34), and Group C (N=40), this thesis investigates the stability of grammaticality judgments in code-switching over time, as well as a potential difference in judgments between judgment data for spoken and written code-switching stimuli. Using a web-based survey, informants were asked to give ratings of each code-switched token. The results were computed and findings from a correlated groups t test attest to the stability of code-switched judgment data over time with a p value of .271 and to the validity of the methodologies currently in place. Furthermore, results from the study also indicated that no statistically significant difference was found between spoken and written judgment data as computed with an independent groups t test resulting in a p value of .186, contributing a valuable fact to the body of data collection practices in research in bilingualism. Results from this study indicate that there are significant differences attributable to language dominance for specific token types, which were calculated using an ANOVA test. However, when using group composite scores of all tokens, the ANOVA measure returned a non-significant score of .234, suggesting that bilinguals with differing language dominances rank in a similar manner. The findings from this study hope to help clarify current practices in code-switching research.

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  • 2011

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Age of onset of exposure in codeswitching

Description

Codeswitching, or the bilingual practice of switching between two languages, is a frequently misunderstood phenomenon in many fields, including education. Given the growing number of bilingual students and English Language

Codeswitching, or the bilingual practice of switching between two languages, is a frequently misunderstood phenomenon in many fields, including education. Given the growing number of bilingual students and English Language Learners in U.S. schools, it is imperative that the field of education be informed by current research in bilingualism and language acquisition, including codeswitching. Codeswitching that occurs within a sentence is subject to specific rules derived from the languages involved in the switching. Furthermore, a codeswitcher's intuitions about the grammatical acceptability of certain switches over others, called grammaticality judgments, provide linguists with a unique window into how the language systems interact. In current codeswitching research, it is sometimes claimed that simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals provide more accurate grammaticality judgments than late sequential bilinguals. Although this claim is largely motivated by Critical Period Hypothesis research, the grammaticality judgments of the three groups of bilinguals have yet to be systematically compared to determine if there is indeed a difference in judgments. This dissertation investigates potential differences in intrasentential codeswitching patterns of simultaneous, early sequential and late sequential Slovak-English bilinguals (N = 39) through a comparison of grammaticality judgments. Analysis of potential differences is grounded in generative approaches to first and second language acquisition. Grammaticality judgments from Slovak-English bilinguals were elicited through a survey of constructed items. Chi square results are analyzed to determine variation in judgments attributable to bilingual group based on age of onset of exposure to English. In addition, a sub-study of data from the Welsh-English Siarad Corpus (http://www.siarad.org.uk/siarad.php) is presented. Normed token means for English and mixed tokens for simultaneous, early sequential, and late sequential bilinguals are compared using ANOVA tests, and variability is discussed in light of relevant theoretical considerations. Results from this study indicate that there are few differences attributable to age of onset of exposure, thus helping to clarify current practices in codeswitching research methodology, particularly in terms of identifying characteristics of participants. The study also addresses issues surrounding the critical period hypothesis and the effect of age of onset of exposure in bilingualism, topics which are both directly relevant to the field of education.

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Date Created
  • 2010

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Surface conflict, underlying compatibility: reconciling rival theories of language

Description

Lakoff and Levinson claim they have discredited the theory of universal grammar. This dissertation discusses the possibility of a universal humor, suggesting that if universals exist in language's most playful

Lakoff and Levinson claim they have discredited the theory of universal grammar. This dissertation discusses the possibility of a universal humor, suggesting that if universals exist in language's most playful and least rule-governed aspect then they must exist in grammar, language's least playful and most rule-governed aspect. Lakoff's and Levinson's texts are closely analyzed to demonstrate that their claims against Chomsky are not firmly supported; that their groundbreaking new theories of language, perception and cognition do not constitute data that undermines Chomskyan theory; that Levinson's theory of a universal mechanism for human interaction is no stronger than the the grammar universals that Levinson strongly rejects. It is suggested that the litmus test of culture-specific versus universal language may be its level of rhetorical density, as illustrated with humor and naming samples. It is argued that Fillmore's deep case theory, as explained by Nilsen using semantic features and pragmatic intent, has never lost its status as a linguistic universal; Chomsky's theoretical debt to Charles Fillmore may indicate that he unconsciously used Fillmore's deep case, which for Chomsky became thematic relations, without realizing that Fillmore had been the impetus for his research. It is argued that none of the theories of universality, typology or conceptual metaphor may be considered mutually exclusive.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The power of the virtual pen and the development of college freshmen: exploring the impact of university website messaging on the situated identities of first-year college students

Description

As enrollment in postsecondary education increases, colleges and universities increasingly rely heavily on the use of the Internet as a means of communication with their students. Upon students' admission, institutional

As enrollment in postsecondary education increases, colleges and universities increasingly rely heavily on the use of the Internet as a means of communication with their students. Upon students' admission, institutional webpage messaging shifts to messages about students' new affiliation with the institution in their situated identity - a college student. Unlike continuing-generation students, first-generation college students are not institutional legacies and must learn how and what it means to be a college student through other means. This study examined the situated identity construction and website experiences of 23 first-year first- and continuing-generation college freshmen attending a summer transition program at Western University (WU). Using a multifaceted approach, this study analyzed how first-generation students made meaning of and used institutional website messaging as they constructed their college student identities. The following steps were used to collect data: a questionnaire, eight observations, a focus group with first-generation participants, one-on-one interviews with two focus group participants, and three interviews with WU staff members responsible for their college or unit webpages for first-year students. Findings utilizing critical discourse analysis revealed answers to several guiding questions focusing on situated identities construction and enactment; multiple and salient identities are at work; the Discourses and impact of WU webpages on first-generation students; how first-generation students experience, make meaning of, and use WU website messaging as they construct their situated identity; and feelings of belonging, marginalization, and mattering experienced by first-generation students through website messaging. Results highlighted differences between the first-generation and continuing-generation students' perception and enactment of the situated identity. Although first-generation students used the website as a tool, they used different ways to gain access into the WU Discourse. Both students and staff members enacted multiple salient identities as they enacted their situated identities, and the multiple salient identities of the WU website designers were highly influential in the website Discourse. Findings have implications for WU institutional practices that could facilitate earlier and more simplified access to the WU Discourse, and findings generated a new model of situated identity construction in Discourse.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Pragmatic competence: the case of advice in second language acquisition (SLA) abroad

Description

Using Spencer-Oatey's rapport management approach, the present study evaluates the interlanguage pragmatic development of 17 native English-speaking American learners over the course of a semester in Spain, specifically in terms

Using Spencer-Oatey's rapport management approach, the present study evaluates the interlanguage pragmatic development of 17 native English-speaking American learners over the course of a semester in Spain, specifically in terms of the strategies they used in their second language (L2) to manage rapport in an advice-giving, oral role-play situation at semester start and semester end. To allow for a more in-depth analysis of the effect that a semester abroad has on Spanish L2 advice-giving behaviors, the learners were grouped into two distinct proficiency levels. Group 1 (n=9) represents learners who entered the semester abroad with a beginning to intermediate-low proficiency level and group 2 (n=8) represents learners who entered the semester abroad with an intermediate-high proficiency level. The results indicate that both learner groups had similar overarching behavioral expectations in this context. Specifically, both sets of learners expressed empathy, involvement, and respect for the interlocutor, while at the same time they used advice-giving strategies of varied illocutionary force to claim authority in addressing the interlocutor's dilemma. Both groups also balanced face sensitivities through strategies that both enhanced and challenged the interlocutor's identity face. However, it is argued that in this context claiming authority and challenging the interlocutor's identity face were permitted behaviors that emphasized the relational goals of the participants. Additionally, when developmental differences between the two proficiency levels were analyzed, the results showed that learner proficiency had an impact on specific strategy choices.

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  • 2011

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The effects of visual and textual annotations on Spanish listening comprehension, vocabulary acquisition and cognitive load

Description

The purpose of this experimental study was to investigate the effects of textual and visual annotations on Spanish listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition in the context of an online multimedia

The purpose of this experimental study was to investigate the effects of textual and visual annotations on Spanish listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition in the context of an online multimedia listening activity. 95 students who were enrolled in different sections of first year Spanish classes at a community college and a large southwestern university were randomly assigned to one of four versions of an online multimedia listening activity that contained textual and visual annotations of several key words. Students then took a comprehension and vocabulary posttest and a survey to measure cognitive load and general attitudes towards the program. Results indicated that textual annotations had a significant positive effect on listening comprehension and that visual annotations had a significant positive effect on how successful students felt. No statistically significant differences were found for other variables. Participants also reported positive attitudes towards vocabulary annotations and expressed a desire to see more annotations during multimedia listening activities of this type. These findings provide further evidence of the impact that multimedia may have on language acquisition. These findings have implications for multimedia design and for future research. Language listening activities should include a variety of vocabulary annotations that may help students to understand what they hear and to help them learn new vocabulary. Further research is needed outside of the laboratory, in the online and increasingly-mobile language learning environment in order to align the research with the environment in which many students currently study. The incorporation of motivation into multimedia learning theory and cognitive load should be explored, as well as new measures of cognitive load.

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Date Created
  • 2010

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Grammaticalization of complementizers in Old English glosses

Description

I investigate how complementizers, which connect subordinate clauses to the main sentence, develop from other parts of speech, namely prepositions and adverbs. This occurs by the process of grammaticalization, in

I investigate how complementizers, which connect subordinate clauses to the main sentence, develop from other parts of speech, namely prepositions and adverbs. This occurs by the process of grammaticalization, in which a word loses lexicality and gains grammatical function instead. I use computer-based corpus analysis to determine how often certain words are used as each part of speech in my selected texts, and whether they are accompanied by other grammatical words. I use two Old English glosses of the Latin gospels, the Rushworth and Lindisfarne glosses, in order to analyze possible diachronic and geographical differences between the texts. I demonstrate that prepositions develop into adverbs and thence into complementizers with the assistance of certain grammatical accessory words which are later lost. This occurs by the process of reanalysis, in which the language user interprets a word or phrase differently than before.

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Date Created
  • 2010

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Diachronic adverbial morphosyntax: a minimalist study of lexicalization and grammaticalization

Description

The historical study of sentence adverbs has, before now, been based mostly on models that emphasize the pragmatic and discourse-based motivations of processes of grammaticalization. This dissertation breaks from such

The historical study of sentence adverbs has, before now, been based mostly on models that emphasize the pragmatic and discourse-based motivations of processes of grammaticalization. This dissertation breaks from such tradition by exploring diachronic adverb development through syntactic and morphological lenses. A generative, feature-based approach is used that incorporates the cartographic architecture developed by Cinque and combines it with a more phenomenological approach to both grammaticalization and lexicalization. Cinque's hierarchy of speech-act, evaluative, evidential, and epistemic adverbs is analyzed. It is determined (through corpus data) that these subcategories have grown in use primarily during the Modern English era, and particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These four subcategories can be divided into two groups that are more general: speech-act adverbs, which arise from a (conditional) speech-act clause that undergoes ellipsis, and the other three types, which all arise from copula clauses. Each of these two groups is considered, and different methods of reanalysis by speakers are proposed for each. In addition, a revised model for categorizing adverbs is proposed. This model is based on morphological lexicalization (or univerbation) processes, thus accounting for the wide variety of adverbial source materials. Such lexicalization offers a pattern for sentence adverbial formation. Finally, Standard Chinese adverbials are briefly examined, with results indicating that they show very similar signs of lexicalization (within the limits of the writing system).

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Linguistic influence on the publishing industry

Description

ABSTRACT For this study, I chose to look at the influence that linguistics has on the publishing industry, both in writing and editing literary fiction. Both sides of

ABSTRACT For this study, I chose to look at the influence that linguistics has on the publishing industry, both in writing and editing literary fiction. Both sides of publishing deal with the words and language of a novel, which is what the study of linguistics entails. Throughout this study, I researched the different areas of the publishing industry, academic programs that focus on publishing, and how-to guides on writing literary fiction in order to find out to what extent--if any--linguistics is involved. Also, through editors that I have worked with, and recommendations from various acquaintances, I interviewed two authors--one published and one unpublished--to see if they used any aspects of linguistics in their writing techniques. I found that linguistics was never specifically mentioned in the descriptions of publishing courses, in the how-to guides, nor in the answers from the authors on different writing techniques used; however, linguistics may be used or studied unintentionally.

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Date Created
  • 2011