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ERIC Number: EJ862000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0965-8416
Noun, Verb, or Adjective? L2 Learners' Sensitivity to Cues to Word Class
Zyzik, Eve
Language Awareness, v18 n2 p147-164 May 2009
This study investigates learners' knowledge of word classes (i.e. noun, verb, adjective) in their second language (L2). Although some L2 studies have examined the problem of word class indirectly through a focus on vocabulary and the teaching of derivational morphology (Morin, 2003, 2006; Schmitt & Zimmerman, 2002), little is known about learners' sensitivity to word class contrasts (e.g. "fuerte" "strong" versus "fuerza" "strength"). The present study utilised concurrent and retrospective think-aloud protocols to examine learners' attention to different sorts of cues to word class in Spanish. The participants, beginning-level learners of Spanish (n = 35), completed a forced-choice task that targeted word class contrasts in various syntactic contexts. The results indicate that learners attended to grammatical cues frequently, with these accounting for 45% of the total cue usage. Among the various grammatical cues, learners showed a marked preference for inflections (i.e. gender and number). The use of semantic cues was also common (32%), but led to word class confusions when learners knew only the general meaning of a target word but not the exact L1 equivalent. Finally, an error analysis indicates that the main problem for these learners may not be misclassification of lexical items but rather incomplete syntactic knowledge. (Contains 4 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A