ERIC Number: ED362013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Influence of Linguistic and Cultural Variables on Conceptual Learning in Second Language Situations.
Gonzalez, Virginia; Schallert, Diane L.
A study investigated the way in which monolingual English-speaking college students developed new concepts for the linguistic structures and sociocultural symbolic meanings of gender that are unique to the Spanish language. Subjects were seven students of first-year intensive Spanish. They were asked to perform two problem-solving tasks: defining, on paper, three nouns denoting specific linguistic gender cases for animates in Spanish; and verbal construction of three complete sentences for use in a restaurant situation. Cognitive, cultural, and linguistic factors influencing concept formation were assessed. The seven cases were compared and analyzed individually. Results suggest a triple interaction between cognitive, cultural, and linguistic factors. In verbal reports it was found that the learner could access higher or lower forms of knowledge and perform at different developmental levels in relation to the particular semantic and linguistic characteristics of the second language content knowledge. At the same time, individual learning approaches related to individual learning histories emerged. The findings suggest that verbal reports can be used to enhance concept formation, and thereby improve second language learning. The study is preceded by a seven page summary. (MSE)
Descriptors: Concept Formation, Cultural Context, English, Higher Education, Language Patterns, Second Language Learning, Second Languages, Semantics, Spanish, Undergraduate Students
Virginia Gonzalez, Dept. of Educational Psychology, The University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ 85721.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A