The Ideology of U.S. Spanish in Foreign and Heritage Language Curricula: Insights from Textbooks and Instructor Focus Groups
AuthorAl Masaeed, Katharine Burns
Keywordsforeign and heritage language
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
critical discourse analysis
AdvisorWaugh, Linda R.
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.
AbstractAccording to data from the U.S. Census Bureau (2012), the United States is the world's fifth most populous Spanish-speaking country, with over 35 million Spanish-speakers. In addition, Spanish is the most widely taught foreign language in the United States, with more students enrolled in Spanish at the higher-education level than in all other modern languages combined, as detailed in a 2010 report from the Modern Language Association (MLA). How are these two realities connected? Is the United States' status as a top Spanish-speaking country reflected in Spanish as a Foreign Language (SFL) and Spanish as a Heritage Language (SHL) curricula at the university level? This case study of a large, Southwestern university, which is home to SFL and SHL programs among the largest in the country, explores that question using a two-tiered approach. First, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is employed to examine the ideological underpinnings of how spoken varieties of Spanish, with particular emphasis on U.S. Spanish, are presented in first-year and second-year university-level SFL and SHL textbooks used at the university. Second, focus groups of SFL and SHL instructors are conducted to gain insight into their beliefs and practices regarding language variety in the classroom. The study finds a systematic reinforcement of the ideology of a monolithic 'standard' Spanish in the SFL and SHL textbooks and curricula, with only cursory attention paid to regional varieties of Spanish and an oftentimes explicit de-legitimization of U.S. Spanish in particular.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Acquisition versus long-term retention of Japanese words and syntax by children and adults: Implications for the critical period hypothesis in second language learning.Boswell, Paul Duane; Reyna, Valerie; Brainerd, Charles; Aleamoni, Lawrence M. (The University of Arizona., 1993)The critical period hypothesis for second language learning, which states that young children learn additional languages better than adults, lacks unambiguous empirical support as well as a coherent theoretical model. An experimental study was conducted which analyzed child-adult differences in difficulty of acquisition and long-term retention for rules of syntax and words in Japanese, a language unfamiliar to the subjects. The results of this study found no advantage for children over adults either in acquisition or long-term memory. However, relative to the difficulty of acquisition, the children had lower forgetting rates for words than for rules when both materials were learned completely. In the lexical study, the children's performance at retention was closer to the adults' than at acquisition, whereas in the syntax study, the opposite was the case. These results confirm the existence of developmental differences in the forgetting rates of different materials. Such results imply that, if there is an advantage for learning language at an early age, it might be localized in lexical retention.
THE USE OF FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS IN LANGUAGE REMEDIATIONChalfant, James C.; Foster, Georgiana Elizabeth (The University of Arizona., 1980)The purpose of the investigation was to examine the effect of training on the use of morphology and syntax of language delayed children. Performance with no instruction was compared to performance with two methods: (1) a Standard Remedial Instruction Approach and (2) the Individualized Instruction Approach. The intent was to determine if a standard method would be superior to no instruction; and then, if individualization of training procedures, based on a functional analysis of the child's approach to learning tasks, would facilitate progress over what might be achieved with the standard method. Finally, a follow-up test was done to check if skills were maintained. Three language delayed children in a Primary Resource Classroom served as the subjects. A multiple baseline across subjects design was employed, with a sequential multiple intervention component added. Using each subject as his own control, his performance was compared across adjacent phases. Instructional phases were introduced to subjects in a staggered fashion rather than at the same time to test the power of each intervention. The method chosen as the Standard Remedial Instruction approach was the Interactive Language Development Teaching method. The Individualized Instruction approach was devised from a functional analysis. Diagnostic teaching provided the means for doing the functional analysis, during which the child's responsiveness to varied stimulus, response, affective and cognitive dimensions of tasks was observed. Performance under the different phases of the study was measured by experimenter-made criterion referenced tests on the specific language forms being taught. Each test required a degree of generalization since novel stimulus materials were used. Visual analysis of the data was facilitated by use of trend lines made by the method of least squares, to determine changes between phases. Trend lines of adjacent phases were compared in terms of level and slope. The procedures described above yielded the following results: (1) All three subjects showed notable improvement in performance with Standard Remedial Instruction as compared to Baseline performance; (2) All three subjects displayed some improvement with Individualized Instruction over Standard Remedial Instruction, but by trend analysis, only one exhibited marked improvement; and (3) The performance of two subjects on follow-up testing was commensurate with the level of performance obtained during Individualized Instruction. The findings of the study indicate that, within the context of the public schools, improvement in morphology and syntax of language delayed children is dependent upon the use of systematic language instruction. Provision of such instruction, and the establishment of more efficient screening procedures for identifying expressive syntax problems, therefore seem warranted. If a standard remedial instruction program does not seem to be effective, an individualized program may be needed. A functional analysis of the child's learning characteristics appears to provide a sound basis from which to develop an individualized program. Speech and language clinicians, thereby, could increase their effectiveness by learning to conduct a functional analysis. The study further documents the promise of time-series research for use with a handicapped population. A public school system could use such a design to evaluate methods or programs. It would be relatively easy and inexpensive to conduct. A limitation of the particular design used for this study was that the effect of method two could not be separated from the effect of method one since it was always preceded by method one. An alternation of methods could alleviate the problem. A study of this type has minimal significance by itself but in a series can make a contribution.