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LINGUIST List 22.3859

Tue Oct 04 2011

Diss: Lang Acq/Socioling: Salgado-Robles: 'The Acquisition of ...'

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        1.     Francisco Salgado-Robles , The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Variation by Learners of Spanish in a Study Abroad Context


Message 1: The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Variation by Learners of Spanish in a Study Abroad Context
Date: 02-Oct-2011
From: Francisco Salgado-Robles <fsalgadoufl.edu>
Subject: The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Variation by Learners of Spanish in a Study Abroad Context
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Institution: University of Florida
Program: Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Francisco Salgado-Robles

Dissertation Title: The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Variation by Learners of Spanish in a Study Abroad Context

Dissertation URL: http://hispanismo.cervantes.es/detalleTesis.asp?ID=133

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
                            Sociolinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Gillian Lord
David Pharies
Diana Boxer

Dissertation Abstract:

It is generally believed that study abroad (SA) is the most efficient and
successful way to acquire proficiency in a second language (L2). SA is a
crucial component of students' second language acquisition (SLA) process,
for it puts them in situations in which they can use the language on a
daily basis and interact with native speakers. More than two decades of
research focused on the second language outcomes of Spanish immersion
programs has produced a wealth of studies documenting the weaknesses and
strengths of Spanish immersion students' communicative proficiency. For the
most part, these studies have concentrated on L2 learners' acquisition of
features of the target language, typically measured by categorical, as
opposed to variable, standards. Consequently, many questions pertaining to
the acquisition of patterns of language variation common to a particular
community in a SA context remain unanswered. This dissertation explores the
extent to which L2 learners of Spanish acquire variable structures of
language -specifically, the leísmo phenomenon, i.e., the use of the dative
pronoun le(s) instead of the accusative pronouns lo(s) and la(s) as direct
objects- while participating in a five-month study abroad immersion
program. The research is comprised of two groups (N = 40; n = 20 per group)
of L2 learners of Spanish studying in two different regions of Spain where
septentrional (Valladolid, Castilla-León) and meridional (Sevilla,
Andalucía) dialects make this linguistic variation salient. In addition,
baseline data from native speakers of both regions (N = 36; n = 18 per
group) is compared to that of the L2 learners of Spanish. The present study
is a quantitative and qualitative longitudinal investigation of oral and
written data, which were elicited respectively through sociolinguistic
interviews and written tasks with participants. The results suggest that SA
learners do in fact develop an awareness of non-standard forms of the
target language, which are, to a certain degree, incorporated into their
sociolinguistic competence. In sum, this project contributes to an
extensive body of research on the SLA of object pronouns by adding
qualitative and quantitative longitudinal data, and helps to add further
knowledge about the development of L2 linguistic competence during a
sojourn abroad, and to fill a gap in the new strand of studies on the
acquisition of sociolinguistic variation due to L2 learners' exposure to
the target speech community.




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