Data Analysis and Language ComparisonPresentation Transcript
Data Analysis and Language Comparison Summer Schoenberg ESL 502
Background Information Name: Rodrigo Zamaolla Origin: Arequipa, Peru Native Language: Spanish Age: 19 years old Grade: 12th Family: mother, father and two brothers Future plans: to attend Penn State University and major in Mechanical Engineering
Difficulties he has had in learning English Words with multiple meanings in Spanish but a singular meaning in English Spanish en can mean in, on, at or by; English uses those four specific words for different situations Spanish hacermeans to do or to make and he often isn’t sure whether to use the English “do” or “make”, such as, “I make my homework as soon as I get home”
Contractions In Spanish there are only two contractions: a + el combines to al (to the or at the) and de + el combines to form del (of the or from the) He was completely unaware of words such as I’m, won’t, isn’t, doesn’t, shouldn’t, etc. Pronunciation for him was difficult with the last consonant of each of these
Errors made during interview…
Preposition Errors Student ErrorCorrect Form I go at the movies I go to the movies My brother is at a trip My brother is on a trip It depends of what school It depends on what school I go in car to school I go to school by car
This student blatantly told me he has a lot of trouble with prepositions in English. The reason for this is because in Spanish, one preposition can mean many different things. So, when you see en carro in Spanish, it doesn’t literally mean in car but rather by car as en can have multiple meanings. Some uses can get translated to in, some can get translated to by, some can get translated to in. He said he has a hard time memorizing which prepositions are used when and that many times he just uses what he thinks sounds right, or someone will correct him.
Contraction Errors Student ErrorCorrect Form I amn’tgoing I’m not going or I am not going (General unfamiliarity with contractions in English)
He also was totally unfamiliar with English contractions when he began school here back in the fall. As I stated earlier, this student sought me out to ask for help with his biography for the yearbook. When I translated something to the English “I’m”, he asked “What’s that?”. I explained to him it is a contraction similar to how a + el combines to form al in Spanish. He understood it and then asked if there were more. In Spanish there are only two, which deal with combining prepositions and definite articles. In English, we combine two or more words, usually containing a verb so this is totally unfamiliar to Spanish speakers. This would be an example of rules in his L1 not corresponding with grammatical rules in his L2.
Past Tense Errors Student ErrorCorrect Form I were there once too I was there once too I get a good grade I got a good grade She gived me 2 books She gave me 2 books
Past tense verbs also presented a challenge to this student. Mainly, the irregular past tense endings proved problematic. He would often generalize the –ed rule and apply to verbs that are actually irregular in the past tense. In Spanish, to form different tenses of verbs, you always start with the stem then have a specific set of endings and although there are irregularities, the rules are more general than they are in English.
Word Order Errors Student ErrorCorrect Form It is to see very It is very interesting to interesting the parade see the parade She makes me very much She makes me study study much/ a lot Vacations excite me for summer Vacations make me excited for summer
Upon interviewing this student, I anticipated many word order errors as many Spanish speakers tend to struggle with this. They often leave out articles or reverse word order as their L1 grammatical rules can interfere with their L2.
Pronunciation Errors Intended wordStudent Error Correct Form it /iːt/ /ɪt/ is /iːz/ / ɪz/ fit /fiːt/ /fɪːt/ hot /hot/ / hɑt/ study /stɛdi/ /stədi/ excited /ɛgsajtəd/ /ɪksajtəd/ fit /fit/ /fɪt/as /əs/ /æz/ isn’t /izənt /ɪzənt/ vacation /vekəʃən/ /vekeʃən/ read /riːd/ /red/
Although he has been studying English for many years, he still has a pretty thick accent that sometimes makes his speech incomprehensible to those who are unfamiliar with the Spanish language. I was aware that he would have trouble with vowels, as they sound totally different in Spanish. My students that are taking Spanish have this same issue and once they are able to memorize them and use them correctly, they are all set.
Other Errors Student ErrorsCorrect Form Isn’t it not that time yet? Is it not that time yet? I don’t know nobody in that class I don’t know anybody in that class We both do the food at night We both make the food at night Where are papers? Where are the papers?
Other errors included the use of double negatives since this is acceptable in the Spanish language. He also seems to neglect the use of quantifiers and articles.
Language Comparison Here are some examples of some differences between this student’s L1 and his L2 You will notice how the differences between the two caused much confusion
1. Spanish is phonetic Words in Spanish are usually pronounced how they look There are no homophones (like maid/made) Spanish has 5 vowel and 5 diphthongs English has 12 vowel sounds and 8 diphthongs Vowels have a shorter sound in Spanish and my student had trouble pronouncing vowels since they have multiple sounds, which for example, results in “it” sounding like “eat”
2. A subject is not needed in a Spanish sentence Verbs in Spanish are derived from the infinitive form Each subject has a specific ending depending on the type of verb and verb tense So, the subject is clear just based on the ending of the verb, once it is conjugated This student often omitted the subject such as in the phrase “Is ok?” rather than “IS it ok?”
3. Spanish uses inflection In order to differentiate between gender (masculine and feminine) and number (singular and plural), Spanish uses inflection for nouns and adjectives This means where we have one word for “yellow”, they have four: Amarillo – used to describe something singular and masculine Amarilla – used to describe something singular and feminine Amarillos – used to describe something plural and masculine or plural and both masculine and feminine Amarillas – used to describe something plural and feminine
4. Contractions Only two exist in Spanish A + el = al De = el = del This is done strictly for pronunciation purposes and does not combine verbs like in English, but rather prepositions and definite articles This student never formally learned contractions and was unfamiliar with words such as: I’m Don’t Isn’t Didn’t Wasn’t
According to the WIDA Can Do Descriptors, this student would be classified at a level 4 with some abilities also at a level 5