The Spanish Vowel Productions of Native English-Speaking Students in Spanish Immersion Programs
Monday, April 26, 2010
Jones Hall Room 35
Sponsored by CARLA
Non-native articulations of vowels have been shown to contribute to a foreign accent. Second language (L2) learners of Spanish at beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages of acquisition have been found to retain a mark of their English accent in their Spanish vowel productions, yet these few studies have only considered learners who began studying the language as adults; none have investigated Spanish vowel acquisition by child learners with early, extended exposure to Spanish. Given that previous work has suggested L2 study during childhood leads to greater accuracy in the articulation of L2 sounds, this is an important population to consider in order to further our understanding of how Spanish vowels are acquired by L2 learners. This study sets out to address this gap by investigating the development of immersion learners' pronunciation of Spanish vowels, comparing the productions of native English-speaking learners to those of Spanish-English bilingual peers. The effect of type of immersion program will be explored as will development over (apparent) time.
Presenter: Mandy R. Menke is a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. Her research encompasses the fields of second language acquisition, phonology, and immersion education. She has taught Spanish at the University of Minnesota and was an immersion teacher in Virginia for three years. She has served as one of the instructors for the Immersion 101 summer institute and has been working with Tara Fortune on a publication looking at struggling learners in the immersion classroom. She was selected as the CARLA Fellow for the 2008-2009 year.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies.