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 <>

Date: 02-Mar-2013
From: Prospero Garcia <>
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:

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 ofSecond Language Acquisition (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006), thisdissertation explores the role of verbalizing in the internalization ofgrammatical categories through the use of Concept-based Instruction(henceforth CBI) in the second language (L2) classroom.

Using Vygotsky’s (1986) distinction between scientific and spontaneousor everyday concepts applied to L2 development (Negueruela, 2008),this study focuses on the teaching and potential development of thegrammatical concept of aspect in the Spanish L2 classroom, and therole of verbalizing in its internalization. It is proposed that verbalizingmediates between the learners’ initial understandings of thegrammatical concept of aspect, the development of consciousconceptualizations, and students’ written and oral production ofpreterite and imperfect grammatical forms.

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

Data is analyzed through a clinical analytic approach, which has itsroots in Vygotsky’s (1978) genetic method of analysis. The study wascarried out over a 12-week period and collected multiple sets ofdevelopmental data, including learners’ definition of the grammaticalconcept of aspect, written performance protocols, and verbalizationdata recorded during two oral interviews. The study interprets learnerperformance in these three complementary, and dialectically connectedtypes of L2 conceptual data. A close analysis of this participant’s dataprovides critical insights to understand the role of verbalizing in L2conceptual development.

Findings confirm that learners’ verbalizations are key factors toascertain L2 conceptual development, as well as a mediational tool thatfosters learners’ internalization of the grammatical concept of aspect. Itis proposed that verbalizing notably contributes to research on L2development. Not only does it allow the researcher to have a morecomprehensive picture of L2 development, but it also helps learnersdevelop a more sophisticated semantic understanding of thegrammatical concept of aspect and fosters their ability to understandand control relevant grammatical features in L2 communication.

Page Updated: 03-Mar-2013