Title page for ETD etd-05152006-092746

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rogers, Erin Kyles
URN etd-05152006-092746
Title Verb Aquisition in Students of English as a Second Language: Language Learning Background and Attitudes
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Linguistics (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Arnulfo G. Ramirez Committee Chair
Janna Oetting Committee Member
Jill Brody Committee Member
Michael Hegarty Committee Member
  • second language acquisition
  • verb usage
  • language learning background
  • learner attitudes
Date of Defense 2006-04-06
Availability unrestricted
In order to determine how learner background and learner attitudes affected English as a Second Language students’ verb production, eleven ESL learners participated in both oral and written tasks. They were given written surveys to determine what was emphasized more in learning English in their home countries: speaking or writing. Another survey was administered to determine which of these activities that they liked best. Next, the subjects watched a movie clip, wrote about it, and then spoke about it. Their written and spoken total amount of verbs produced and total amount of verbs used correctly were compared and analyzed to see if there was a relationship between their learning background and production in speaking and writing and activity preference and production in speaking and writing. While the sample size was too small to obtain reliable correlations, so several subjects’ samples were studied in order to determine the effects of preference on production. In the end, individual differences played the largest role in verb production and there was a slight but noticeable relationship between a preference for speaking and amount of verbs produced.
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