An Investigation Of The Value Of Fictional Texts As A Tool For Enriching German Language And Culture Learning: A Kaleidoscopic View Of Outcomes And Possibilities
AuthorOstertag, Veronica Susanne
Foreign Language Learning
Foreign Language Literature
AdvisorWildner-Bassett, Mary E.
Committee ChairWildner-Bassett, Mary E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGiven current changes and trends in foreign language (FL) education (National Standards, waning interest in FL study), educators need to develop intellectually stimulating tasks to encourage personal, inter-/intrapersonal and cultural growth. Although many researchers postulate that fictional texts are a superior means to accomplish this goal (Swaffar, 1992; Shanahan, 1997; Einbeck, 2002), only few have experimented with using them as a basis for culture learning (Scott and Huntington, 2002) or measured their overall efficacy for FL learning. This study investigated the effectiveness of fictional media in the German intermediate FL classroom using a multi-faceted research design incorporating different data sets (questionnaires, student journals, and CMC chats), which underwent quantitative and/or qualitative analyses.The pre-posttest format for of three questionnaires assessed changes in learners' responses to FL attitude and motivation for study, course interest, the National Standards, perceptions about the intellectual content of fictional media, motivation, and enjoyment. Results showed that literature provides educational value beyond the level of language acquisition and encourages a multitude of learning dimensions.Students' CMC journals written about fictional media were analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (Pennebaker, Francis, & Booth, 2001) to ascertain changes of word usage in certain categories over the duration of the semester. A qualitative analysis using Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Glaser 1992 & 1998) showed emergent changes and themes relevant for culture and language learning. In addition to the journals, learners' CMC chats were also analyzed qualitatively to investigate the social nature of L2 language use and its pedagogical implications (Vygotsky, 1986). Shifts in categories and the emergence of themes were attributed to the effect of Text content/Genre rather than Time, and learners' chat did not evidence co-constructivist/dialogic learning as first postulated.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching