Three-dimensional clay modeling instruction: A pathway to spatial concept formation in second language learners
AuthorSerrano-Lopez, Maria A.
KeywordsEducation, Language and Literature.
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.
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.
AbstractThis dissertation contributes to the area of Applied Linguistics and foreign language teaching and learning by investigating whether formal instruction, as opposed to no specific instruction, plays a significant role in the acquisition of Spanish spatial prepositions: "en", "sobre", "de," and "a." The study investigates the effect of formal instruction for spatial concepts for which English native speakers could use the L1 to generate correct responses in the L2 and for spatial concepts that created confusion between the L1 and the L2. It also investigates the effect of formal instruction when prepositions are taught by rules. The study introduces a visual/spatial/kinesthetic methodology based on the Davis Symbol MasteryRTM program, originally designed to be used with juvenile and adult dyslexics. The study investigates whether 3-D clay modeling can create new mental representations of spatial concepts not existent in the L1 or resolve overlapping spatial concepts between the L1 and the L2. Advanced university learners of Spanish as a Second Language participated in this study. Results show that (a) formal instruction has a significant general effect for the mixed spatial concepts chosen for this study; (b) formal instruction has no significant effect over no specific instruction for concepts for which English native speakers could use the L1 to generate correct responses in the L2; (c) formal instruction, specifically 3-D clay intervention, can either help resolve the confusion in case of overlapping of spatial concepts between the L1 and L2 or create new mental representations not existent in the L1; and (d) formal instruction has no significant effect in the case of instruction by rules. The dissertation offers a novel theoretical explanation for why 3-D clay modeling may help resolve confusion in the case of overlapping of spatial concepts between the L1 and L2 or create new mental representations not existent in the L1. Vygotsky's Tools for Cognitive Development are extended: 3-D clay modeling provides a tool that is both concretely grounded and consciously systematically accessible. The dissertation also discusses motivation in learning based on Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow Theory".
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching