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Does L1 Aid L2 Learning? Christine L. Mace Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, CT)

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Presentation on theme: "Does L1 Aid L2 Learning? Christine L. Mace Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, CT)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Does L1 Aid L2 Learning? Christine L. Mace Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, CT)

2 Goals Action study – Research project to determine if reinforcement in L1 will assist an adult education class in their English language studies. Role of L1 – Does the use of L1 facilitate learning in an L2 lower proficiency level classroom setting? What place does it have in Second Language Acquisition?

3 Does L1 belong in L2 learning? Comprehensible Input (Krashen 1982) Transfer perspective (Gass & Selinker 1983) Bi-Lingual Education – Core subjects in L1 Social Development Theory (Vygotsky 1978) – Social interaction -> Cognition Second Language Acquisition – Balanced Approach Goal : expand L2

4 L1 Facilitates Learning Hindrance -> Asset Teaching Tools – Instruction – Translation – Explanation

5 Social Aspect of L1 Promotes: – Self worth – Positive experience – Verbal interactions Themselves Peers (Scott & de la Fuente 2008) (Storch & Wigglesworth 2003) (Yough & Fang 2010)

6 When to Use L1 Grammar – Explanation Similarities/Differences L1 vs. L2 (de la Colina & del Pilar Garcίa Mayo 2009) Vocabulary – Translation (Liu 2008) (Carson & Kashihara 2012) (Yough & Fang 2010) – Exposure (File et al 2010)

7 What amount of L1 reinforcement should be used? Related to proficiency level – Comprehension level of students The lower proficiency level, the amount of reinforcement in L1 use increases As proficiency level increases, the reinforcement in L1 decreases (DiCamilla & Antόn 2012) (de la Colina & del Pilar Garcίa Mayo 2009)

8 Moral Obligation Educators Have to Their Students Provide quality education Promote students’ self worth (Edstrom 2006) (Yough & Fang 2010)

9 Research Questions Is there a place for L1 in the L2 classroom? What is the role of native language in second language acquisition? How much of the native language should be used? Will the use of native language hinder or facilitate the learning of the target language?

10 Participants ESL Survival Group – Placement test 15 final participants (6 Female, 9 Males) – Attrition: one participant Ages 19 – 60, median age 34 All Spanish Native Language Home Countries: Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico

11 Data Collection The Ventures Series, basic edition, published by Cambridge University Press, 2010 Consecutive Units Unit 7: Clothing – Spanish Reinforcement Unit 8: Work – Target Language Only

12 Unit 7: Vocabulary Vocabulary introduced in L2 with L1 translations and visual reinforcements.

13 Unit 7 : Grammar Grammar lesson introduced in L2 and reinforced in L1. L1L2 ¿Cuánto esHow much is? ¿Cuánto sonHow much are?

14 Unit 8: Vocabulary Vocabulary introduced in L2 with visual reinforcements.

15 Unit 8: Grammar Lesson taught in Target Language. Reinforcement in the form of repeated examples in Target Language.

16 Student Assessment Unit 7 Vocabulary Grammar

17 Student Assessments Unit 8 VocabularyGrammar

18 Total Number of Errors on End of Unit Assessments Total errors made on assessments. – 18 total errors Unit 7 (reinforcement in L1) had less errors – 6 errors Unit 8 (no reinforcement in L1) students committed twice as many errors – 12 errors

19 Number of errors by units Unit 7Unit 8

20 Results of error analysis Twice as many errors w/o use of L1 72% of errors in Grammar – Grammar difficulties Vocabulary errors – all answered “yes” reinforcement in English would be helpful Grammar Errors – All answered “no” reinforcement in English wouldn’t be helpful Native country, age and gender did not play a role

21 Questionnaire Sex:Length of Stay in the U.S.: Age: Highest Level of Education Completed: Questions Yes / No Should the teacher know Spanish? Should the teacher use Spanish? Should the students use Spanish? Is Spanish helpful for instructions? Is Spanish helpful to ask questions? Is Spanish helpful for vocabulary? Is Spanish helpful for grammar? Is Spanish helpful to explain the differences between Spanish and English? Is Spanish helpful to talk to the other students about the assignments?

22 Results of Questionnaire Majority felt Spanish should not be spoken in the classroom – 80% said teachers shouldn’t use it – 93% said students shouldn’t use it 73% felt the teacher should know Spanish 87% felt it was helpful to explain the differences between Spanish and English It was split almost in half 53% for it being helpful in instruction, the same percentage for its effectiveness in vocabulary instruction. However, for grammar instruction it was only 33% stating its effectiveness

23 Results of Questionnaire

24 Implications for Teaching L1 has an important place in classroom Amount of L1 spoken varies on class How do you assess when to increase/decrease Multiple uses for L1 Students’ attitude about L1 Teacher attitude about L1 Basic understanding of L1

25 Conclusions L1 facilitates SLA Data supports the use of L1 to reinforce vocabulary and grammar in L2 instruction Students find the use of L2 beneficial in vocabulary instruction Proper reinforcement in L1 yields a higher success rate in L2 learning for lower proficiency level learners L1 has an important role in second language acquisition

26 Limitations Should study be done using a higher proficiency level as a control group? Did curriculum being used affect results? Would the results have varied if participants were children?

27 References de la Campa, Juliane C. & Nassaji, Hossein (2009). The Amount, Purpose, and Reasons for Using L1 in L2 Classrooms. Foreign Language Annals, 42 (4), 742 – 759. Carson, Eleanor & Kashihara (2012). Using the L1 in the L2 classroom: The students speak. The Language Teacher, 36 (4), 47 – 52. Centeno-Cortés, Beatriz & Jiménez, Antonio F. Jiménez (2004). Problem-solving tasks in a foreign language: the importance of the L1 in private verbal thinking. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14 (1), 7 – 35. de la Colina & del Pilar Garcίa Mayo, Marίa (2009). Oral interaction in task-based EFL learning: The use of the L1 as a cognitive tool. IRAL, 47, 325 – 345. Copland, Fiona & Neokleous, Georgios (2011). L1 to teach L2: complexities and Contradictions. ELT Journal, 65 (3), 270 – 280. DiCamilla, Frederick I. & Antόn, Marta (2012). Function of L1 in the collaborative interaction of beginning and advanced second language learners. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 22 (2), Edstrom, Anne (2006). L1 Use in the L2 Classroom: One Teacher’s Self-Evaluation. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 63 (2), 275 – 292. File, Kiernan, A. et al. (2010). Should Vocabulary Instruction Be Integrated or Isolated? TESOL QUARTERLY 44(2). 222 – 249.

28 Gass, S. & Selinker, L. (1983). Language transfer and language learning. Rowley, MA: Newburry House. Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice In second language acquisition. New York: Pergamon. Liu, Jing (2008). L1 Use in L2 Vocabulary Learning: Facilitator or Barrier. International Education Studies, 1 (2), 65 – 69. Nazary, Mustafa, (2008). The Role of L1 In L2 Acquisition: Attitudes Of Iranian University Students. Novitas-ROYAL, 2(2), 138 – 153 Scott, Virginia, M. & de la Fuente, Marίa José (2008). What’s the Problem? L2 Learners’ Use of the L1 During Consciousness-Raising, Form-Focused Tasks. The Modern Language Journal, 92, 100 – 113. Storch, Neomy & Wigglesworth, Gillian (2003). Is there a Role for the Use of the L1 in an L2 Setting? TESOL Quarterly, 37(4), 760 – 770. Ventures Series, basic edition, published by Cambridge University Press, Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (M. Cole, V. John- Steiner,S. Scribner, & E. Souberman, Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Yough, Michael S. & Fang, Ming (2010). Keeping Native Languages in ESL Class: Accounting for the Role Beliefs Play Towards Mastery, Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 23 (2), 27 – 32.

29 Appendix A. Number of errors by participants Participant #M/FCountry of OriginUnit 7Unit 8 1MPuerto Rico20 2MEcuador10 4F 13 5MDominican Republic00 6FMexico02 7MDominican Republic04 8FPuerto Rico10 9MEcuador00 10FDominican Republic00 11MMexico11 12MEcuador00 13MDominican Republic00 14FDominican Republic02 15FEcuador00 16MDominican Republic00 Note: #3 results not included. This participant did not complete study due to attendance.

30 Acknowledgements My enrollment in LING 598 Research in TESOL & Applied Linguistics at Central Connecticut State University where I learned the research process Dr. Leyla Zidani-Eroglu for all of her instruction and guidance throughout my research project Dr. Seunghun Lee for his professional advisement on this presentation


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