ERIC Number: ED329108
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
The Significance of Written Accent Marks for L2 Spanish Learners.
Wieczorek, Joseph A.
This study explores the belief that if students of Spanish do not write a word correctly, they can not pronounce it correctly. Particular attention focuses on the interrelation between using accent marks in orthography and pronunciation. It is demonstrated that: (1) accent marks may not always be relevant for second-language (L2) speakers, indicating a difference in parameter setting between L2 and the target language, and (2) L2 learners may pronounce Spanish words according to the target language norm without correct use of the accent mark. The data were solicited from high school student Spanish compositions. As students turn in their compositions, the researcher asked them to pronounce those words that lacked either a written accent mark or contained one where it should not occur. In about 90% of the cases, students who did not write an accent mark according to the norm could pronounce the word with proper stress. Asking students to pronounce words they write may allow instructors to analyze the interlanguage writing system of students instead of relying on error analysis in the classroom. The use and presentation of accent marks in standard methodologies and current textbooks for beginning and intermediate students are compared to the results of the study. (VWL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A