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LINGUIST List 24.1081

Sun Mar 03 2013

Diss: Applied Ling/Lang Acq/Linguistic Theories/Spanish: Garcia: 'Verbalizing in the Second Language Classroom...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 02-Mar-2013
From: Prospero Garcia <prospero.garciarutgers.edu>
Subject: Verbalizing in the Second Language Classroom: The development of the grammatical concept of aspect
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Institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Program: Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: Prospero N Garcia

Dissertation Title: Verbalizing in the Second Language Classroom: The development of the grammatical concept of aspect

Dissertation URL: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/open_access_dissertations/640/

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition
                            Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Dissertation Director:
Eduardo Negueruela

Dissertation Abstract:

Framed within a Sociocultural Theory of Mind (SCT) in the field of
Second Language Acquisition (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006), this
dissertation explores the role of verbalizing in the internalization of
grammatical categories through the use of Concept-based Instruction
(henceforth CBI) in the second language (L2) classroom.

Using Vygotsky’s (1986) distinction between scientific and spontaneous
or everyday concepts applied to L2 development (Negueruela, 2008),
this study focuses on the teaching and potential development of the
grammatical concept of aspect in the Spanish L2 classroom, and the
role of verbalizing in its internalization. It is proposed that verbalizing
mediates between the learners’ initial understandings of the
grammatical concept of aspect, the development of conscious
conceptualizations, and students’ written and oral production of
preterite and imperfect grammatical forms.

This study presents and analyzes data from one of the thirty-two adult
college students enrolled in an advanced Spanish conversation course.

Data is analyzed through a clinical analytic approach, which has its
roots in Vygotsky’s (1978) genetic method of analysis. The study was
carried out over a 12-week period and collected multiple sets of
developmental data, including learners’ definition of the grammatical
concept of aspect, written performance protocols, and verbalization
data recorded during two oral interviews. The study interprets learner
performance in these three complementary, and dialectically connected
types of L2 conceptual data. A close analysis of this participant’s data
provides critical insights to understand the role of verbalizing in L2
conceptual development.

Findings confirm that learners’ verbalizations are key factors to
ascertain L2 conceptual development, as well as a mediational tool that
fosters learners’ internalization of the grammatical concept of aspect. It
is proposed that verbalizing notably contributes to research on L2
development. Not only does it allow the researcher to have a more
comprehensive picture of L2 development, but it also helps learners
develop a more sophisticated semantic understanding of the
grammatical concept of aspect and fosters their ability to understand
and control relevant grammatical features in L2 communication.

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