Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

foreign language learning Related Abstracts

11 Investigating Interference Errors Made by Azzawia University 1st year Students of English in Learning English Prepositions

Authors: Aimen Mohamed Almaloul

Abstract:

The main focus of this study is investigating the interference of Arabic in the use of English prepositions by Libyan university students. Prepositions in the tests used in the study were categorized, according to their relation to Arabic, into similar Arabic and English prepositions (SAEP), dissimilar Arabic and English prepositions (DAEP), Arabic prepositions with no English counterparts (APEC), and English prepositions with no Arabic counterparts (EPAC). The subjects of the study were the first year university students of the English department, Sabrata Faculty of Arts, Azzawia University; both males and females, and they were 100 students. The basic tool for data collection was a test of English prepositions; students are instructed to fill in the blanks with the correct prepositions and to put a zero (0) if no preposition was needed. The test was then handed to the subjects of the study. The test was then scored and quantitative as well as qualitative results were obtained. Quantitative results indicated the number, percentages and rank order of errors in each of the categories and qualitative results indicated the nature and significance of those errors and their possible sources. Based on the obtained results the researcher could detect that students made more errors in the EPAC category than the other three categories and these errors could be attributed to the lack of knowledge of the different meanings of English prepositions. This lack of knowledge forced the students to adopt what is called the strategy of transfer.

Keywords: foreign language acquisition, foreign language learning, interference system, interlanguage system, mother tongue interference

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10 Motivation and Attitudes toward Learning English and German as Foreign Languages among Sudanese University Students

Authors: A. Ishag, E. Witruk, C. Altmayer

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Motivation and attitudes are considered as hypothetical psychological constructs in explaining the process of second language learning. Gardner (1985) – who first systematically investigated the motivational factors in second language acquisition – found that L2 achievement is related not only to the individual learner’s linguistic aptitude or general intelligence but also to the learner’s motivation and interest in learning the target language. Traditionally language learning motivation can be divided into two types: integrative motivation – the desire to integrate oneself with the target culture; and instrumental motivation – the desire to learn a language in order to meet a specific language requirement such as for employment. One of the Gardner’s main ideas is that the integrative motivation plays an important role in second language acquisition. It is directly and positively related to second language achievement more than instrumental motivation. However, the significance of integrative motivation reflects a rather controversial set of findings. On the other hand, Students’ attitudes towards the target language, its speakers and the learning context may all play some part in explaining their success in learning a language. Accordingly, the present study aims at exploring the significance of motivational and attitudinal factors in learning foreign languages, namely English and German among Sudanese undergraduate students from a psycholinguistic and interdisciplinary perspective. The sample composed of 221 students from the English and German language departments respectively at the University of Khartoum in Sudan. The results indicate that English language’s learners are instrumentally motivated and that German language’s learners have positive attitudes towards the German language community and culture. Furthermore, there are statistical significant differences in the attitudes toward the two languages due to gender; where female students have more positive attitudes than their male counterparts. However, there are no differences along the variables of academic grade and study level. Finally, the reasons of studying the English or German language have also been indicated.

Keywords: English Language, German Language, foreign language learning, motivation and attitudes

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9 Prospective English Language Teachers’ Views on Translation Use in Foreign Language Teaching

Authors: Ozlem Bozok, Yusuf Bozok

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The importance of using mother tongue and translation in foreign language classrooms cannot be ignored and translation can be utilized as a method in English Language Teaching courses. There exist researches advocating or objecting to the use of translation in foreign language learning but they all have a point in common: Translation should be used as an aid to teaching, not an end in itself. In this research, prospective English language teachers’ opinions about translation use and use of mother tongue in foreign language teaching are investigated and according to the findings, some explanations and recommendations are made.

Keywords: foreign language learning, exposure to foreign language translation, prospective teachers’ opinions, use of L1

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8 Metanotes and Foreign Language Learning: A Case of Iranian EFL Learners

Authors: Nahıd Naderı Anarı, Mojdeh Shafıee

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Languaging has been identified as a contributor to language learning. Compared to oral languaging, written languaging seems to have been less explored. In order to fill this gap, this paper examined the effect of ‘metanotes’, namely metatalk in a written modality to identify whether written languaging actually facilitates language learning. Participants were instructed to take metanotes as they performed a translation task. The effect of metanotes was then analyzed by comparing the results of these participants’ pretest and posttest with those of participants who performed the same task without taking metanotes. The statistical tests showed no evidence of the expected role of metanotes in foreign language learning.

Keywords: Language Teaching, foreign language learning, EFL learners, metanotes

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7 Comparing the Willingness to Communicate in a Foreign Language of Bilinguals and Monolinguals

Authors: S. Tarighat, F. Shateri

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This study explored the relationship between L2 Willingness to Communicate (WTC) of bilinguals and monolinguals in a foreign language using a snowball sampling method to collect questionnaire data from 200 bilinguals and monolinguals studying a foreign language (FL). The results indicated a higher willingness to communicate in a foreign language (WTC-FL) performed by bilinguals compared to that of the monolinguals with a weak significance. Yet a stronger significance was found in the relationship between the age of onset of bilingualism and WTC-FL. The researcher proposed that L2 WTC is indirectly influenced by knowledge of other languages, which can boost L2 confidence and reduce L2 anxiety and consequently lead to higher L2 WTC when learning a different L2. The study also found the age of onset of bilingualism to be a predictor of L2 WTC when learning a FL. The results emphasize the importance of bilingualism and early bilingualism in particular.

Keywords: bilingualism, foreign language learning, willingness to communicate, L2 acquisition

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6 The Influence of Intrinsic Motivation on the Second Language Learners’ Writing Skill: The Case of Third Year Students of English at Constantine 1 University

Authors: Chadia Nasri

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Researches in the field of foreign language learning have indicated the importance of the mastery of the four language skills; speaking, listening, writing and reading. As far as writing is concerned, recent studies have shown that this skill is unavoidable for learning a second language successfully. Writing is characterized as a complex system not easy to achieve. Writing has been proved to be affected by a variety of factors, particularly psychological ones; anxiety, intrinsic motivation, aptitude, etc. Intrinsic motivation is said to be the most influential factors in the foreign language learning process and is considered as the key factor for success. To investigate these two aspects; writing and intrinsic motivation, and the positive correlation between them, our hypothesis is designed on the basis that the degree of learners’ intrinsic motivation helps in facilitating their engagement in the writing tasks. Two questionnaires, one for teachers and the other for students, have been carried out to check the validity of the research hypothesis. As for the teachers’ questionnaire, the results have indicated their awareness of the importance of intrinsic motivation in the learning process and the role it plays in the mastery of their students’ writing skill. In addition, teachers have mentioned various procedures aiming at raising their students’ intrinsic motivation to write. The students’ questionnaire, on the other hand, has investigated students’ reasons for learning a foreign language with regard to their attitudes towards writing as an important skill that they need to master. Their answers to the questionnaire together with the marks they got in the second term test they have had in the writing module have been compared to see whether students’ writing proficiency can be determined by the degree of their intrinsic motivation. The comparison of the collected data has shown the positive correlation between both aspects.

Keywords: Motivation, foreign language learning, intrinsic motivation, writing proficiency

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5 The Phenomena of False Cognates and Deceptive Cognates: Issues to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching Methodology Based on Set Theory

Authors: Marilei Amadeu Sabino

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The aim of this study is to establish differences between the terms ‘false cognates’, ‘false friends’ and ‘deceptive cognates’, usually considered to be synonyms. It will be shown they are not synonyms, since they do not designate the same linguistic process or phenomenon. Despite their differences in meaning, many pairs of formally similar words in two (or more) different languages are true cognates, although they are usually known as ‘false’ cognates – such as, for instance, the English and Italian lexical items ‘assist x assistere’; ‘attend x attendere’; ‘argument x argomento’; ‘apology x apologia’; ‘camera x camera’; ‘cucumber x cocomero’; ‘fabric x fabbrica’; ‘factory x fattoria’; ‘firm x firma’; ‘journal x giornale’; ‘library x libreria’; ‘magazine x magazzino’; ‘parent x parente’; ‘preservative x preservativo’; ‘pretend x pretendere’; ‘vacancy x vacanza’, to name but a few examples. Thus, one of the theoretical objectives of this paper is firstly to elaborate definitions establishing a distinction between the words that are definitely ‘false cognates’ (derived from different etyma) and those that are just ‘deceptive cognates’ (derived from the same etymon). Secondly, based on Set Theory and on the concepts of equal sets, subsets, intersection of sets and disjoint sets, this study is intended to elaborate some theoretical and practical questions that will be useful in identifying more precisely similarities and differences between cognate words of different languages, and according to graphic interpretation of sets it will be possible to classify them and provide discernment about the processes of semantic changes. Therefore, these issues might be helpful not only to the Learning of Second and Foreign Languages, but they could also give insights into Foreign and Second Language Teaching Methodology. Acknowledgements: FAPESP – São Paulo State Research Support Foundation – the financial support offered (proc. n° 2017/02064-7).

Keywords: foreign language learning, teaching methodology, deceptive cognates, false cognates

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4 Students' Perceptions of Social Media as a Means to Improve Their Language Skills

Authors: Bahia Braktia, Ana Marcela Montenegro Sanchez

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Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, has been used for teaching and learning for quite some time. These platforms have been proven to be a good tool to improve various language skills, students’ performance of the English language, motivation as well as trigger the authentic language interaction. However, little is known about the potential effects of social media usage on the learning performance of Arabic language learners. The present study explores the potential role that the social media technologies play in learning Arabic as a foreign language at a university in Southeast of United States. In order to investigate this issue, an online survey was administered to examine the perceptions and attitudes of American students learning Arabic. The research questions were: How does social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, impact the students' Arabic language skills, and what is their attitude toward it? The preliminary findings of the study showed that students had a positive attitude toward the use of social media to enhance their Arabic language skills, and that they used a range of social media features to expose themselves to the Arabic language and communicate in Arabic with native Arabic speaking friends. More detailed findings will be shared in the light data analysis with the audience during the presentation.

Keywords: Social Media, Survey, foreign language learning, students’ perceptions

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3 Prosodic Transfer in Foreign Language Learning: A Phonetic Crosscheck of Intonation and F₀ Range between Italian and German Native and Non-Native Speakers

Authors: Violetta Cataldo, Renata Savy, Simona Sbranna

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Background: Foreign Language Learning (FLL) is characterised by prosodic transfer phenomena regarding pitch accents placement, intonation patterns, and pitch range excursion from the learners’ mother tongue to their Foreign Language (FL) which suggests that the gradual development of general linguistic competence in FL does not imply an equally correspondent improvement of the prosodic competence. Topic: The present study aims to monitor the development of prosodic competence of learners of Italian and German throughout the FLL process. The primary object of this study is to investigate the intonational features and the f₀ range excursion of Italian and German from a cross-linguistic perspective; analyses of native speakers’ productions point out the differences between this pair of languages and provide models for the Target Language (TL). A following crosscheck compares the L2 productions in Italian and German by non-native speakers to the Target Language models, in order to verify the occurrence of prosodic interference phenomena, i.e., type, degree, and modalities. Methodology: The subjects of the research are university students belonging to two groups: Italian native speakers learning German as FL and German native speakers learning Italian as FL. Both of them have been divided into three subgroups according to the FL proficiency level (beginners, intermediate, advanced). The dataset consists of wh-questions placed in situational contexts uttered in both speakers’ L1 and FL. Using a phonetic approach, analyses have considered three domains of intonational contours (Initial Profile, Nuclear Accent, and Terminal Contour) and two dimensions of the f₀ range parameter (span and level), which provide a basis for comparison between L1 and L2 productions. Findings: Results highlight a strong presence of prosodic transfer phenomena affecting L2 productions in the majority of both Italian and German learners, irrespective of their FL proficiency level; the transfer concerns all the three domains of the contour taken into account, although with different modalities and characteristics. Currently, L2 productions of German learners show a pitch span compression on the domain of the Terminal Contour compared to their L1 towards the TL; furthermore, German learners tend to use lower pitch range values in deviation from their L1 when improving their general linguistic competence in Italian FL proficiency level. Results regarding pitch range span and level in L2 productions by Italian learners are still in progress. At present, they show a similar tendency to expand the pitch span and to raise the pitch level, which also reveals a deviation from the L1 possibly in the direction of German TL. Conclusion: Intonational features seem to be 'resistant' parameters to which learners appear not to be particularly sensitive. By contrast, they show a certain sensitiveness to FL pitch range dimensions. Making clear which the most resistant and the most sensitive parameters are when learning FL prosody could lay groundwork for the development of prosodic trainings thanks to which learners could finally acquire a clear and natural pronunciation and intonation.

Keywords: German, transfer, foreign language learning, Italian, L2 prosody, pitch range

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2 Exploring the Dynamic Identities of Multilingual Adolescents in Contexts of L3+ Learning in Four European Sites

Authors: Harper Staples

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A necessary outcome of today’s contemporary globalised reality, current views of multilingualism hold that it no longer represents the exception, but rather the rule. As such, the simultaneous acquisition of multiple languages represents a common experience for many of today's students and therefore represents a key area of inquiry in the domain of foreign language learner identity. Second and multilingual language acquisition processes parallel each other in many ways; however, there are differences to be found in the ways in which a student may learn a third language. A multilingual repertoire will have to negotiate complex change as language competencies dynamically evolve; moreover, this process will vary according to the contextual factors attributed to a unique learner. A developing multilingual identity must, therefore, contend with an array of potential challenges specific to the individual in question. Despite an overarching recognition in the literature that pluri-language acquisition represents a unique field of inquiry within applied linguistic research, there is a paucity of empirical work which examines the ways in which individuals construct a sense of their own identity as multilingual speakers in such contexts of learning. This study explores this phenomenon via a mixed-methods, comparative case study approach at four school sites based in Finland, France, Wales, and England. It takes a strongly individual-in-context view, conceptualising each adolescent participant in dynamic terms in order to undertake a holistic exploration of the myriad factors that might impact upon, and indeed be impacted by, a learner's developing multilingual identity. Emerging themes of note thus far suggest that, beyond the expected divergences in the experience of multilinguality at the individual level, there are contradictions in the way in which adolescent students in each site 'claim' their plurilingualism. This can be argued to be linked to both meso and macro-level factors, including the foreign language curriculum and, more broadly, societal attitudes towards multilingualism. These diverse emergent identifications have implications not only for attainment in the foreign language but also for student well-being more generally.

Keywords: Educational Psychology, Multilingualism, foreign language learning, student identity

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1 A Pilot Study to Investigate the Use of Machine Translation Post-Editing Training for Foreign Language Learning

Authors: Hong Zhang

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The main purpose of this study is to show that machine translation (MT) post-editing (PE) training can help our Chinese students learn Spanish as a second language. Our hypothesis is that they might make better use of it by learning PE skills specific for foreign language learning. We have developed PE training materials based on the data collected in a previous study. Training material included the special error types of the output of MT and the error types that our Chinese students studying Spanish could not detect in the experiment last year. This year we performed a pilot study in order to evaluate the PE training materials effectiveness and to what extent PE training helps Chinese students who study the Spanish language. We used screen recording to record these moments and made note of every action done by the students. Participants were speakers of Chinese with intermediate knowledge of Spanish. They were divided into two groups: Group A performed PE training and Group B did not. We prepared a Chinese text for both groups, and participants translated it by themselves (human translation), and then used Google Translate to translate the text and asked them to post-edit the raw MT output. Comparing the results of PE test, Group A could identify and correct the errors faster than Group B students, Group A did especially better in omission, word order, part of speech, terminology, mistranslation, official names, and formal register. From the results of this study, we can see that PE training can help Chinese students learn Spanish as a second language. In the future, we could focus on the students’ struggles during their Spanish studies and complete the PE training materials to teach Chinese students learning Spanish with machine translation.

Keywords: Spanish, Machine Translation, foreign language learning, Chinese, post-editing, post-editing training

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