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ERIC Number: ED548560
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-2079-4
Learners' Perceptions of Written German, L2 Writing Ability, and (Mis)attributions of Native vs. Non-Native Speaker Authorship
Larson-Guenette, Julie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
This study examined L2 (German) awareness in intermediate American college learners of German through their judgments of 15 texts that had been authored by either native speakers (NS) or non-native speakers (NNS) or had been created through Web-Based Machine Translation (WBMT). The specific objectives sought to investigate: (a) how learners perceived these texts with regards to their accuracy and, sophistication in grammar and vocabulary, respectively; (b) how learners assessed their comprehension and ability, respectively, of these texts; (c) what text features learners noticed to be below, at, and above perceived L2 writing ability and (d) to which types of authors (NS or NNS) the learners attributed each of these texts. Sociocultural theories associated with Vygotsky (1978, 1986) and Norton (e.g., 1995, 2001, 2006) as well as cognitive theories related to language awareness (e.g., Svalberg, 2007, 2009) and to noticing (e.g., Schmidt & Frota, 1986; Schmidt, 1990) contributed to the theorization of this mixed-method empirical study. The study was divided into two parts: (1) a quantitative component comprised of text ratings assigned from 129 learners and 132 NSs on perceptions of accuracy, sophistication, complexity, and comprehension; and (2) a qualitative component based on individual sessions during which 13 learners engaged in a receptive think-aloud task. Qualitative data further included researcher's notes, session recordings, task sheets, and learners' background surveys. Major findings suggest that (a) perceptions of lexical sophistication and grammatical complexity interact with learners' text comprehension; (b) learners display varying degrees of language awareness; (c) text features considered below-level (e.g., basic vocabulary, repetition, and SVX word order) were used to attribute NNS authorship whereas text features considered above-level (e.g., "complex" word order, multiple/embedded clauses, sentence length and "higher" vocabulary) were used to attribute NS authorship; and (d) text features considered at-level (e.g., word order, V2 and/or V-final verb placement) were the most salient to participants in this study. Results are discussed in regard to pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A