One Vietnamese ELL: A Data Analysis andLanguage Comparison Study Sarah L. Beacker Wilkes University
Background Informationo 12-year-old male studento Adopted from Vietnam at the age of six and brought to the USo Fluent speaker of Vietnamese at the time of the move
Educational Backgroundo Never schooled in writingo Learned English completely through immersion, without Vietnamese scaffoldingo Never worked with an ESL teacher upon moving to the USo Worked with a Speech and Language Pathologist on his speaking skills
Common Writing Errorso Linking verbs o For example, “I think the teacher nice.”o Homonym Confusion o For example, “…there house.”o Possession/Contraction Confusion o For example, “…my sisters class.”
Common Writing Errorso Omission of Articles o For example, “Its hardest class.”o Superlatives o For example, “…more good.”o Spelling o For example, “Quite” for “Quiet”
Common Speech Errorso Dropping of final /s/ sound o For example, “United State”o Self-Confidence o The student is a strong speaker, but due to his accent and some pronunciation problems, he is uncomfortable speaking
How to help? By understanding the Vietnamese languageand the way Vietnamese compares to English, teachers will be better able to understand the needs of and help Vietnamese ELLs.
Vietnamese in the United Stateso Vietnamese make up the fourth largest Asian group in Americao The number of individuals of Vietnamese descent living in the US has grown dramatically in the past decade, and the number is expected to continue growing (Hwa-Froelich, Hodson, & Edwards, 2002)
The Vietnamese Languageo Uses one letter or a combination of letters for each sound, making it phonetico Consists of 23 consonants and 12 vowelso Final consonant sounds of a word can only be a voiceless stop or nasalo There are no consonant clusters or blends (Hwa-Froelich, Hodson, & Edwards, 2002)
Differences Between English and Vietnameseo Vietnamese is almost entirely without inflectional morphologyo English utilizes word endings to indicate number and tense (Duffield, 2007)
Differences Between English and Vietnameseo Vietnamese is predominantly a monosyllabic language, with few words having more than one syllableo English includes many examples of polysyllabic words, and their use is encouraged (Hwa-Froelich, Hodson, & Edwards, 2002)
Phonetic Differences Between English and Vietnameseo The sounds /v/ and /ʒ/ do not exist in the Vietnamese language.o Some sounds occur in Vietnamese that do not occur in Standard American Englisho In certain situations, such as with the English /w/, the Vietnamese pronunciation is different, closer to “hu” (Hwa-Froelich, Hodson, & Edwards, 2002)
Translating Between Vietnamese and Englisho When English is translated into Vietnamese, it is likely that the sentence will no longer retain its intended meaning (Weeks, Swerissen, & Belfrage, 2007)
Implications for Vietnamese ELLso Dropping of /s/ sound in speech is understandable as Vietnamese has no inflectional morphologyo Pronunciation difficulties are to be expected, as some phonetic differences occur between English and Vietnamese
Implications for Vietnamese ELLso The ELL will not be able to translate into the first language of Vietnamese for understanding and retain the intended meaning, meaning that the student must truly learn English as a separate language
Conclusionso Understanding the first language of an ELL can help with understanding errors being made, as well as how to help correct those errors
References• Duffield, N. (2007). Aspects of Vietnamese clausal structure: separating tense from assertion. Linguistics, 45, 765-815.• Hwa-Froelich, D., Hodson, B.W., & Edwards, H. T. (2002). Characteristics of Vietnamese phonology. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11, 264-273.• Weeks, A., Swerissen, H., & Belfrage, J. (2007). Issues, challenges, and solutions in translating study instruments. Evaluation Review, 31, 153-165.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.