Program

Event Title

"I'd Pursue More, But...": Linguistic Attitudes of Beginning Language Students

Location

215 Hartwell

Description

Previous research in the field of second language acquisition has confirmed that, in order for students to establish a solid linguistic base, instructors must be conscious of who they are and what they bring as learners, including their attitudes toward the language (Lee and VanPatten, 2003). Hofman (1977) establishes domains of linguistic attitude, which are indicative of the personal value one assigns to the language itself and reflect one’s motivation to learn it. It is also known that motivation plays a large role in the degree of success in both the teaching and language learning processes (Oxford and Shearin 1994, Masgoret and Gardner 2003). Therefore, if one understood a student’s motive to enroll in a given language course, one could adapt a curriculum in order to instruct him/her in an efficient and effective way, based upon empirical data. The present investigation attempts to understand the reasons for which university students choose to study a determined language. The study was performed during the fall semester of 2012 at mid-sized state university in New York and is compared to a previous study performed at the same institution 5 years prior (Thomas 2010). Data was collected from 92 students of introductory Spanish by means of a questionnaire and analyzed with SPSS to determine significance between age, sex, linguistic attitude, decision to continue study, and anticipated frequency of language use upon course completion. Analysis suggests relationships between age, class of linguistic attitude, and possible societal and cultural trends.

Start Date

20-4-2013 1:45 PM

Comments

Language and Education Panel

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Apr 20th, 1:45 PM

"I'd Pursue More, But...": Linguistic Attitudes of Beginning Language Students

215 Hartwell

Previous research in the field of second language acquisition has confirmed that, in order for students to establish a solid linguistic base, instructors must be conscious of who they are and what they bring as learners, including their attitudes toward the language (Lee and VanPatten, 2003). Hofman (1977) establishes domains of linguistic attitude, which are indicative of the personal value one assigns to the language itself and reflect one’s motivation to learn it. It is also known that motivation plays a large role in the degree of success in both the teaching and language learning processes (Oxford and Shearin 1994, Masgoret and Gardner 2003). Therefore, if one understood a student’s motive to enroll in a given language course, one could adapt a curriculum in order to instruct him/her in an efficient and effective way, based upon empirical data. The present investigation attempts to understand the reasons for which university students choose to study a determined language. The study was performed during the fall semester of 2012 at mid-sized state university in New York and is compared to a previous study performed at the same institution 5 years prior (Thomas 2010). Data was collected from 92 students of introductory Spanish by means of a questionnaire and analyzed with SPSS to determine significance between age, sex, linguistic attitude, decision to continue study, and anticipated frequency of language use upon course completion. Analysis suggests relationships between age, class of linguistic attitude, and possible societal and cultural trends.