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Title:Foreign Language Acquisition in Adults in Native and Non-Native Linguistic Environments--an Experiment With English-Speaking American Students Studying French at the University of Illinois and in Paris
Author(s):Ali, Sehba
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:It is generally hypothesized that learning a foreign language is more effective in the native linguistic environment than in the non-native one, but not much empirical research has been conducted to support the hypothesis. The present study has investigated the role of the linguistic environment in adult foreign language acquisition by studying two groups of English speaking American students, one learning French at the University of Illinois and their counterpart in a Study Abroad Program in Paris.
Error analyses were performed on the French compositions of the students and errors were counted and classified into eighteen grammatical and stylistic categories. Mean error scores were computed and t tests were performed to determine if there were statistically significant differences in the performance of the two groups. No significant differences were found in the overall performance (t = 0.432). Significant differences were found between the two groups in some error categories, for instance, the Paris groups used a considerable amount of spoken language in their writings as compared to the Illinois group (t = 3.948) and the Illinois group used much more English (Anglicisms) in their French writings than the Paris group (t = 4.307).
A questionnaire was also administered to collect the students' biographical data; examine their attitudes towards the French language, culture, and people; and to determine the extent of language exposure outside the classroom. Pearsons' product moment correlations were computed to determine intercorrelations among the nine variables tested in the questionnaire and the error scores. The correlation matrices for both the groups yielded clusters of significant relationships, most of which appeared to be associated with the attitude variable. In general, there was a congruity between positive attitudes and low error scores, particularly for the Paris group.
Issue Date:1982
Description:276 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8209539
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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