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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

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

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 oneís 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 studentís 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.

Presenter: Victor Lucio (University at Albany - SUNY) -- vlucio@albany.edu
Topic: Language & Education - Panel
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 2 pm (Session III)

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