This thesis explores the ideologies behind dialect versus standard Italian usage in the Piedmont speech community in northern Italy, and analyses possibilities for the community's linguistic future through research into Italian history, linguistic theory, and face-to-face interviews with members of this unique speech community.
Linguistic anthropologists argue that communicative abilities of a foreign language can only be acquired when the learner understands the culture that is entwined within the language. Previous research has found international students to face difficulties with linguistic, social, and cultural barriers when living abroad in the United States. A mixed methods research was conducted in two parts in order to study not only the English language curriculum through which East Asian students have acquired English language skills, but also their experiences in communicating with native English speakers. Part I consisted of a personal narrative that explored the cultural elements associated with learning additional languages. Part II included findings from non-experimental quantitative data gathered through survey questionnaires and ethnographically grounded qualitative data found through semi-structured interviews. Participants consisted of ten university students in Seoul, South Korea who had either little or no experience living in an English-speaking country and ten East Asian international students at Colorado College, a private liberal arts college in the United States. Although the quantitative data did not present significant findings due to the small number of participants, contrastable mean responses between the Korean university and Colorado College students were supported by findings of the interviews and the review of literature. In addition, the interview data presented ten themes of common responses found among the participants. The main findings revealed that nearly all participants were dissatisfied with their communicative abilities and some even lacked communicative confidence due to an exam-oriented, grammatical focus in the English language curriculum of their home countries. Additionally, the participants suggested a stronger focus on speaking and cultural lessons in order to promote a greater communicative and cultural competence and thus, improve their confidence to socially interact with native English speakers.
Students who have the opportunity to learn another language in elementary school are not only shown to score higher on standardized tests in math and English language arts, but will also increase their fluency through daily exposure to a world language in a variety of avenues in the classroom, through availability of literature in the second language, and through partnering with students of a different grade level to explore the language together.
Children will attain the greatest proficiency in second languages when bilingual children’s literature is incorporated into the curriculum and learning environment, such as the school or classroom library. Additionally, semi-bilingual children’s texts will be more effective at introducing English to ELL students than fully-bilingual texts, because the format of the text forces the students to read more of their second language.
This 18 minute film was the final project for a class taught during block 3, 2014 entitled "Cultural and linguistic diversity in the San Luis Valley." The course explored the cultural and linguistic heritage of the San Luis Valley of Colorado as a platform for understanding and working with diverse learners in various contexts. Through practicum work with English language learners in Center School (in the town of Center, Colorado) the students experienced the connections between culture, language acquisition and education. The film documents their two weeks of practicum work in the Valley.