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Languages, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2017) – 4 articles

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Article
Maximizing L2 Speaking Practice through iPads
Languages 2017, 2(2), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages2020006 - 03 May 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2295
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of additional out-of-class speaking practice, using a simple iPad application, on students’ overall speaking proficiency, fluency, and syntactic complexity. Students in the experimental and control groups (N = 52) completed an adapted Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effects of additional out-of-class speaking practice, using a simple iPad application, on students’ overall speaking proficiency, fluency, and syntactic complexity. Students in the experimental and control groups (N = 52) completed an adapted Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) at the end of the semester, which was rated by two independent raters. Results of an independent-samples t-test revealed statistically significant differences between the two groups. The students who had received additional speaking practice on iPads achieved higher SOPI scores than the students in the control group. Two of the seven tasks of the SOPI test were used for the analysis of fluency and complexity. Results did not show any statistically significant differences between the two groups for fluency and complexity. The study suggests that mobile technology can be effectively implemented for beginning language learners to enhance their learning outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Article
Clausal Subordination and the Structure of the Verbal Phrase
Languages 2017, 2(2), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages2020005 - 03 May 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
In his first approach to recursion in clausal embedding, Chomsky (1957) postulates a proform in the matrix clause linked to an independently constructed clause that, via an application of the generalised transformation, eventually becomes the matrix verb’s complement. Chomsky (1965) replaces this with [...] Read more.
In his first approach to recursion in clausal embedding, Chomsky (1957) postulates a proform in the matrix clause linked to an independently constructed clause that, via an application of the generalised transformation, eventually becomes the matrix verb’s complement. Chomsky (1965) replaces this with a direct clausal embedding analysis, with clausal recursion in the base component of the grammar. I argue here that, while direct clausal recursion is certainly needed, an update to the Chomsky’s (1957) approach (minus the application of the generalised transformation) deserves a prominent place in syntactic theory as well. The discussion is based on data from Dutch, German, and Hungarian. This paper addresses the role of presuppositionality in the context of clausal coordination, the analysis of the so-called wh-scope marking construction, and the importance of Agree in connection with a subordinate clause’s transparency or opacity to extraction. Central in the analysis is a perspective on the structure of the verbal phrase which accommodates two discrete structural positions for the object. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clausal and Nominal Complements in Monolingual and Bilingual Grammars)
Article
Narrative Perspectives on Self-Directed Foreign Language Learning in a Computer- and Mobile-Assisted Language Learning Context
Languages 2017, 2(2), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages2020004 - 21 Apr 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3735
Abstract
Millions of learners around the world use self-directed computer- and mobile-assisted language learning (CALL, MALL) programs to study foreign languages. One such program, Duolingo, currently attracts over 120 million users and is claimed (by the publisher) to be a highly effective method of [...] Read more.
Millions of learners around the world use self-directed computer- and mobile-assisted language learning (CALL, MALL) programs to study foreign languages. One such program, Duolingo, currently attracts over 120 million users and is claimed (by the publisher) to be a highly effective method of language learning. While L2 researchers have shown limited engagement with similar large-scale commercial programs, issues related to learner persistence, motivation, and program efficacy have been reported. This study investigates the experiences and efficacy of learning Turkish on Duolingo for 12 weeks, drawing on a methodological tradition of researcher narratives. Three graduate student researchers kept diaries and completed weekly reflections on their Turkish learning experiences, which served as source material for individual narrative analysis. The resulting narratives were discussed and analyzed collaboratively from an ecological perspective. Strategies used by the researcher-participants were heavily influenced by ecological factors. Persistence in learning was found to be influenced by ecological factors and varied across timescales. Ultimately, the researcher-participants had limited Turkish learning outcomes and felt demotivated to continue studying on Duolingo. Implications for CALL/MALL design include presenting materials in a meaningful context, capitalizing on social affordances, and providing meaningful feedback to learners in order to facilitate learning and goal-setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
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Article
Language Mixing and Diachronic Change: American Norwegian Noun Phrases Then and Now
Languages 2017, 2(2), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages2020003 - 20 Apr 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
This article investigates the diachronic development of language mixing within noun phrases in the heritage language American Norwegian. By comparing data collected in the 1930s and 1940s with recently collected data, I present and discuss patterns showing systematic changes, specifically concerning the categories [...] Read more.
This article investigates the diachronic development of language mixing within noun phrases in the heritage language American Norwegian. By comparing data collected in the 1930s and 1940s with recently collected data, I present and discuss patterns showing systematic changes, specifically concerning the categories number and definiteness. Moreover, I propose two potential analyses of these patterns based on an exoskeletal approach to grammar. This theoretical framework crucially separates the abstract syntactic structure from its phonological exponents, and the analyses that are discussed consider both the structure and the exponents as the origins of the change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clausal and Nominal Complements in Monolingual and Bilingual Grammars)
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