Matching Items (2)

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The acquisition of the subjunctive mood by intermediate-level learners of Spanish: the relationship between mood and modality

Description

This study examines the effect that the modality (volition, doubt, emotion, belief, knowledge, etc.) of matrix noun clauses has on the ability of intermediate (second-year) Spanish L2 students (n=56) to properly produce the subjunctive and indicative moods, the relative order

This study examines the effect that the modality (volition, doubt, emotion, belief, knowledge, etc.) of matrix noun clauses has on the ability of intermediate (second-year) Spanish L2 students (n=56) to properly produce the subjunctive and indicative moods, the relative order in which students tend to most accurately produce the subjunctive in response to the modalities of volition, doubt, and emotion, and students' level of syntactic ability and mood development. Each participant took a test consisting of twenty questions containing various modalities intended to elicit either the subjunctive or indicative mood. Participants also filled out a questionnaire that was designed to ascertain the participants' level of formal and informal experience with Spanish. The results of this study show that a) when the subjunctive was the target response most participants favored the unmarked indicative mood significantly more than the marked subjunctive mood, b) students most accurately produced the subjunctive to the modality of volition (VL), followed by doubt (DT), and emotion (EM), which is consistent with Collentine's study, and c) students were able to process complex syntax when producing the unmarked indicative mood but not when they were prompted to produce the marked subjunctive mood. The results of this study show that pedagogical expectations regarding the acquisition of the subjunctive mood by second-year Spanish students may be unrealistic as these students were operating somewhere between the pre-syntactic and syntactic stages.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Instructors' views towards the second language acquisition of the Spanish subjunctive

Description

The study of Spanish instructors’ beliefs is a recent development and the body of work is

small with little research conducted on their insights on the acquisition of any grammar form. Still, Spanish grammar includes the notoriously difficult subjunctive, a grammatical

The study of Spanish instructors’ beliefs is a recent development and the body of work is

small with little research conducted on their insights on the acquisition of any grammar form. Still, Spanish grammar includes the notoriously difficult subjunctive, a grammatical irrealis mood that is affixed to verbs. A national survey was conducted on Spanish professors and instructors (N=73) who teach at institutions randomly selected from a representative sample of American institutions of higher education. The survey was conducted to inquire on their beliefs regarding the most complex forms in Spanish, the causes of the subjunctive difficulty, and their preferred methods of teaching the form. The results first indicate that participants rated the subjunctive the most difficult grammar form. They attributed the cause of difficulty to be primarily interference from the first language and its abstractness. For instructing the subjunctive, participants generally supported form-oriented instruction with a metalanguage approach that focuses on forms. However, the participants disagreed greatly on whether meaning-focused instruction was valuable and dismissed drilling instruction of the subjunctive. Data from the participants provides a distribution of overextended tense, moods, and aspects in lieu of the Spanish subjunctive. However, instructors indicated that their students’ competence of the subjunctive was higher than their performance and that comprehension was not necessarily reliant on correct usage of the subjunctive as it was for proficiency. Moreover, they provided qualitative data of effective methods and pedagogical challenges of the subjunctive. This study illuminates some of the contributing factors of subjunctive difficulty and preferred pedagogical approaches for teaching it. It also has implications that meaning may not be obstructed if students do not use subjunctive.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018