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Case studies – combining tradition and innovation Kathryn Jergovich Svetlana Nedelcheva Georgetown University, USA Konstantin Preslavsky University, Bulgaria.

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Presentation on theme: "Case studies – combining tradition and innovation Kathryn Jergovich Svetlana Nedelcheva Georgetown University, USA Konstantin Preslavsky University, Bulgaria."— Presentation transcript:

1 Case studies – combining tradition and innovation Kathryn Jergovich Svetlana Nedelcheva Georgetown University, USA Konstantin Preslavsky University, Bulgaria 2010

2 Overview  Background (Motivation)  Research Questions  Methods  Results  Limitations  Future Analysis and Research

3 Background A major focus in Linguistics: The relationships between verbs, sentence patterns verbs occur with, and the meanings of the sentences. Generativist view: projection account (e.g. Chomsky, 1981). John gave Bill a book. Construction Grammar (e.g., Goldberg, 1995, 2003) Argument structures have meanings themselves independent of verbs.

4 Motivation A number of scholars have recognized the potentials of Cognitive Linguistics in language teaching (e.g., Achard & Niemeier; 2004; Putz, Dirven, & Niemeier, 2001; Taylor, 1993). Major focus on vocabulary learning either through metaphor awareness or through an exposure to a core sense of the vocabulary item Still, the relation between CL theories and pedagogical practices needs to be made clearer.

5 Goal of the study: determining whether the innovative Construction Grammar approach or the traditional Transformation Grammar account of verb argument structure, specifically relating to prepositional dative (John gave the book to Bill: PD) and double object construction (John gave Bill the book: DO) is more useful for EFL instruction. Motivation

6 Construction Grammar for EFL instruction Network of constructions

7 Construction Grammar for EFL instruction Polysemy Each construction is associated with a “family of closely related senses” around a core meaning. Double Object Construction (D.O.) (Goldberg, 1995) Agent causes transfer (central sense): give, hand, pass, throw, toss, bring, take Conditional transfer: guarantee, promise, owe, etc. Intended transfer: bake, build, make, get, grab, win, earn, etc. Agent prevents transfer: refuse, deny Future transfer: leave, reserve, grant, etc. Enabling conditions for transfer: permit, allow

8 The study

9 Research Questions Does Construction Grammar based instruction aid learners in learning and using English double object construction and prepositional dative construction? Is Construction Grammar based instruction more effective than traditional instruction in facilitating learning of English double object construction and prepositional dative construction?

10 Methods: Participants English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners (N=44) year old students at Shumen University, Bulgaria L1 Bulgarian (n=35), Turkish (n=7), Macedonian (n=1), Polish (n=1) 7-10 years of formal English lessons at school Gender: female (n=25), male (19) Intermediate-Upper Intermediate Level Two groups Cognitive Group (n=22), Traditional Group (n=22).

11 Methods: Participants BulgarianEnglish Explicit Morphological Marker NO Prepositional Dative V NP-dat NP-acc YES Double Object V NP-acc NP-acc YES, but only when a pronoun is the Indirect Object (IO) YES

12 Materials

13 Pretest Materials Grammaticality Judgment Test Picture Completion / Description Test Grammaticality Judgment Test 40 items Examples UG G Sabrina changed Joe the music Ken promised Cathy a bonus

14 Picture Description / Completion Test 20 items Example

15 Instruction materials – a “Cognitive” workbook and a “Traditional” workbook The “Cognitive group” completed a workbook with a CG focus: the explanations emphasized constructional polysemy, metaphorical extensions of ditransitive The “Traditional group” completed a workbook with a transformational grammar focus: verb lists plus exceptions

16 Cognitive instructional materials: - Syntax has meaning; - The core meaning of a syntactic construction reflects scenes that are very basic to the human experience Ex. John gave Mary a banana. giver receiver thing received

17 Traditional instructional materials: the IO is generally a person, the Direct object is generally a thing; the IO should have the characteristics +human or at least +animate. Subject + Verb + Indirect object + Direct object John gave Mary a banana.

18 Posttest Materials Grammaticality Judgment Test Picture Completion / Description Test SameDifferent N of sentences and picturesContent of sentences Target verbsPictures

19 Methods (Coding and Scoring) Grammaticality Judgment Test  Raw Score (rating)  Converted Score Grammatical Item: 6=2 points; 5, 4=1 point 3,2,1=0 point Ungrammatical Item: 1=2 points, 2, 3=1 point, 4, 5, 6=0 point  The ratio of converted score to the total possible score  Gain score Picture Completion / Description Test  Number of accurately produced PD sentences  Number of accurately produced DO sentences  Number of accurately produced PD + DO sentences (total)  Gain score

20 Results

21 Pretest Results Grammaticality Judgment Test No significant differences (P=.828) Picture Completion / Description Test No significant differences Total no. of dative constructions (P=.416) No. of DO constructions (P=.896) No. of PD constructions (P=.512)

22 Results: Descriptive Statistics Grammaticality Judgment Test Means by Group (accuracy ratio)

23 Results: Descriptive Statistics Picture Description Test (Means by Group) Mean number of Accurate Dative Constructions Produced by Group

24 RQ1 Does Construction Grammar based instruction aid learners in learning and using the double object construction and prepositional dative construction?

25 RQ2 Is Construction Grammar based instruction more effective than traditional instruction in facilitating learning of English double object construction and prepositional dative construction?

26 Limitations CL approach to instruction should ideally be incorporated throughout a course, not just one isolated treatment Participants’ lack of enough prior experience on this type of tests (esp. GJT, Picture Test) Serious limitations were observed in the workbook method

27 Future Work a new set of visual teaching materials (Yiyoung Kim Yiyoung Kim) instruction - conducted by a teacher in a computer-facilitated classroom tasks requiring active student interaction with the target verbs preliminary results - higher level of accuracy and statistically significant difference

28 Sub V Obj1 Obj2 X causes Y to receive Z successfully

29 Sarah ed Michelle the picture of her dog.

30 Ben won Sarah a stuffed animal at the carnival.

31 Intended Transfer Prevent Transfer Enable Transfer Conditional Transfer Future Transfer

32 fax give buy hand mail send win Obtaining Sending Giving Communication via instrument Common Meaning?

33 Conclusions A positive relationship between CL-based instruction and EFL development Enlarging the scope of CL-based instruction to traditional “grammar” area Detailed model of classroom application of CL

34 THANK YOU


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