Biographical Information of Interviewee, Jenny Urbina0 Native of Colombia0 Age 29 years0 Spanish is L10 Has lived in the United States for almost 10 years0 Married to Mexican native0 Has 3 small children ages 5 & 2 years and 10 months • Family speaks Spanish at home • Oldest child speaks English in school and receives supplemental ESL services0 Stay at home mother0 Received formal schooling in Colombia through high school
Background of the Spanish Language0 Roots derived primarily from Latin0 comprised of five short vowel sounds (i.e. /ɑː/, /e/, / iː/, / ə/, /uː/)0 Comprised of short consonant sounds that have the same phonemic/phonetic pronunciation in all words0 Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, including ñ is a combination of the /n/ and /j/ (i.e. niño)0 Letter ch and the double letters ll and rr have been omitted from the alphabet in recent years0 Different phonemes than English • Ll creates a /j/ use quite similar to that of the “y” (llamar = jɑː ɑːr ´m ) in English • rr calls for a rolling of the tongue when being used (i.e. carro, ferrocarril).
Background of the Spanish Language (cont.)0 Inflection typically falls on the second to last syllable of the words. If the stress is not to be placed in that location, the word receives an accent mark above the vowel • i.e. Panamá, México, Haití, Gabón, Camerún0 Diphthongs of vowel con are treated carefully as they occur frequently in ion and ia combinations • i.e. televisión- television, librería- book store0 Has many cognates- words that sound or look the same in English.) • i.e. clase, carro, interesante, etc.0 Shares préstamos with English- borrowed words that do not offer direct translations otherwise • i.e. rodeo, enchilada, etc.
Background of the Spanish Language (cont.)0Written syntactic errors • Accent marks • Inverted question marks/exclamation points at the beginning of written sentences0Adjective placement and agreement • Agree in number and gender • Placed after noun being modified i.e. la chica baja- the girl short; los perros grandes- the dogs big (literal translations)0“Do” questioning is implied in statements
Background of the Spanish Language (cont.)0 Sentence rearrangement of parts of speech • Is she a friend? ¿Ella es una amiga? ¿Es una amiga (ella)? ¿Es ella una amiga?0 General patterns often exist as they do in English • Adverbs with the suffix –ly take form via use of –mente • Infinitive forms of verbs (to...read, run, write) end in the letters – AR, -ER and –IR0 Significantly less pronouns are used in Spanish than English
Chart of Common Errors Statement Error Classification“You want eat?” Omission of preposition“I no eat yet.” “No” as the word for negation rather than “not”“You welcome.” Omission of /r/ on the word “your”“Church today really nice.” Lack of past tense verb“My husband make the party for all Agreement: Lack of “s” for thirdmy family.” person subject/verb clause.“When you make the translation, it’s Use of the verb “make” rather thanthe same.” another more “advanced” verb.
Error Analysis0 Incorrect use of prepositions. En can mean in, at or to in Spanish, thus it is often omitted or used incorrectly by ELL native Spanish speakers.0 Use of “no” to negate sentences rather than “not”. This is concrete example of interlanguage.0 Lack of past tense verb use. Jenny commonly speaks in the present. This demonstrates her [can do] ability to go beyond her scaffold of speaking. More exposure to English speakers with higher level fluency could aid in expanding her vocabulary.0 Omission of /r/ on the word “your.” /r/ is a “harder” sound that is not as pronounced in Spanish. In fact, /r/ is often takes the sound of the English letter “d” in Spanish.0 Use of the verb “make” rather than another more “advanced” verb. The verb “hacer (to make/do)” is commonly used in Spanish in a variety of cases, thus interlanguage occurs.0 Agreement: Lack of “s” for third person subject/verb clause. Subject/verb agreement functions differently in Spanish than English. Each subject has a different verb conjugation, so it may be difficult for Jenny remember the singular/plural conjugation.
Implications for Future Classroom Use0 With Spanish-speaking population rapidly growing in the United States, many classroom ELLs will have this speaking background.0 Helpful in structuring curriculum for Spanish L1 speakers. • Negative sentence construction • Use of prepositions • Specific English phonemes (i.e. /r/, /d/) • Ensure that students here past tense sentences throughout. • Help students develop written syntax for adjectives and other modifiers • Make comparisons between concepts in English and Spanish.