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ERIC Number: ED212401
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Are Chicanos Better French Learners Than Other American Students?
Laroche, Jacques M.
Describing the dialectics of theoretical versus applied linguistics and sociological data, this study compares the average achievement in French of Spanish-speaking learners (Chicanos in a southwestern university) with English-speaking monolinguals. Although Spanish and French belong to the Romance Languages and share a great number of cognates and grammatical similarities, three important differences that would not give a Spanish speaker any learning advantages are considered: (1) words for the same things do not always derive from the same Latin words, (2) many words in both French and Spanish come from the same Germanic roots as English vocabulary, and (3) English borrowed much of its vocabulary from French. Discussion of two theories of foreign language acquisition indicates error analysis does not recognize an advantage to Romance language speakers and contrastive analysis appears to appreciate resemblance as a source of confusion rather than help. Non-linguistic aspects of the problem reveal the learners in this study are Chicanos without formal schooling in their native language and bringing the whole sociological aspect of belonging to a bilingual minority into the learning experience. Since the level of French taught is more often school-type than life-type, it does not appear that Spanish-speaking Chicanos have a French language learning advantage over English-speaking monolinguals. (NEC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A