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ERIC Number: EJ1135307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0015-718X
Regional Variation in the Language Classroom and Beyond: Mapping Learners' Developing Dialectal Competence
Schoonmaker-Gates, Elena
Foreign Language Annals, v50 n1 p177-194 Spr 2017
Although surveys have shown that regional variation is rarely covered in more than a cursory way in language textbooks, research has suggested that exposure to and knowledge about dialectal variation can be beneficial for second language (L2) learners' development. However, little is known about the effects of explicit instruction and exposure on learners' dialectal competence. This article presents findings from two studies that address these gaps in the previous literature. Students (N = 11) in the first study were enrolled in a fourth-semester Spanish class designed to showcase the regional variation present in several Spanish dialects. Learners' L2 dialect comprehension and recognition were measured before and after instruction and were compared with the comprehension and recognition of a control group (N = 13) who did not receive explicit instruction. The second study examined the relationship between dialect exposure and perception for 20 Spanish language students. The results show that exposure and instruction were both significant predictors of learners' dialect perception. These findings illustrate the importance of choosing instructional materials that expose learners to regional variation and, when possible, explicitly addressing characteristics of different dialects in the classroom setting.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A