Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Author "Abdul Bagi, Samia"
WRITTEN DISCOURSE PRODUCTION OF BILINGUAL LEARNERS OF SPANISH: A COMPARISON BETWEEN HERITAGE AND NON-HERITAGE SPEAKERS AS A LOOK TO THE FUTURE OF HERITAGE LANGUAGE TEACHINGLorenzino, Gerardo; Toth, Paul D.; Garcia-Sanchez, Inmaculada Ma. (Inmaculada Maria); Holmquist, Jonathan Carl (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)With the purpose of understanding plausible reasons as to why Hispanics learners of Spanish, or heritage language learners (HLL), tend to obtain lower grades than their non-Hispanic counterparts (L2) in the same courses, forty-four students of Spanish (17 HLLs and 27 L2s) provided written production once a week for a period of six weeks. The data collected was analyzed in terms of error frequency in two main areas: orthography and morphology. The hypothesis proposed was that HLLs would have poorer orthographic performance than L2s given the informal aural input they have received at home before learning the language formally in an academic setting. Conversely, given the more complex nature of language morphology, which is believed to be acquired through long periods of time, HLLs, regardless of the informal context in their Spanish learning should show a more mature set of morphological constructions. Within the HL group, I looked at the correspondence between the orthographic and morphological performance of HLLs to the generation to which they belong. Although, the correspondence was not in the direction expected, there seems to be a correspondence in the opposite direction. The further away from the first generation the better orthographic and written performance HLs showed. One third generation HLL had fewer errors than first generation speakers. This tendency suggests that the term "heritage" has a referential value that goes beyond the linguistic realm. When comparing the written performance of the two groups, results did not show radical differences: orthographically L2s had fewer errors by 7% and morphologically HLLs had fewer errors by 14%. These results, however, to suggest that there is a difference in the Spanish competence of the two populations of learners that imply their learning of Spanish involve different needs, which should be considered for Spanish course design and curricula. The goals of this research is to point out that the teaching of Spanish as an HL should not be viewed as the teaching of Spanish as an L2.