Guidelines for Language Analysis Study Elicit a complete sample of language from a subject that would be typical of classroom language use (oral or written) or any other language learner who would be interesting to study. For example, elicit: a story, a description, an explanation, or even do an interview. Preferably, the language sample will be in a language the subject is still learning or acquiring (a L2 in the case of an older child, or adult, or an L1 in the case of a young child). If you choose the Analysis of Interlanguage(option #1), choose one or more categories of analysis from Ellis (1997), and examine the sample from the point of view of a language teacher. Describe pertinent features of the subject’s performance (again from the point of view of teaching one or another aspect of the language itself, or school-related language use in general). Finally, make a pedagogical recommendation based on your discussion of the case referring to the course readings: Ellis (1997), and the Parker & Riley book. If you choose option #2 (Discourse Analysis), preview pertinent sections in Parker & Riley (chapters 2 and 11) and Foster (1990: 111-129); study the following entries in BME538 basic definitions (anaphor, coherence, competence, dialect, discourse, exophoric reference, metalinguistic awareness, pragmatic system, register, semantics); study LAP#2, and use it as a model. Consider doing your LAS that combines options #1 and #2 (an Analyis of Interlanguage followed by a Discourse Analysis). If you were able to get a language sample with a large number of errors, option#1 might be enough for a good report because you will have plenty of material to work with. But if your subject comitted few errors, then analyze these errors in one section of the LAS report and then start a new section focused on a Discourse Analysis of the language sample. 1) You will need a tape-recorder in the case of an oral language sample. For a written sample, make sure that you provide an adequate model or schema for the subject (e.g. a series of illustrations that depict a story). For an interview, plan the session in advance to make sure that you keep the conversation going. Select a topic for which the subject possesses adequate prior knowledge, especially in the case of L2 learners. In the case of an interview, make sure that your subject did most of the talking. 2) Select a subject. He/she can be of any age (but old enough to produce a language sample that you can analyze), but preferably a second language learner (or a person who is forgetting a language). Completely balanced bilinguals, where it is impossible to determine a dominant language, represent a special case (discuss this with the instructor or the class beforehand). Any language(s) may be chosen for analysis. 3) For this assignment, do not ask the subject to read a text out loud, or repeat, verbatim, phrases or sentences. 4) If you choose a category of analysis from Ellis (1997) focus on aspects of learner language (or Interlanguage). If you choose the Discourse analysis option, examine aspects of how the story that the subject produced is organized for coherence, or examine other stylistic features you are able to identify (in this case your language sample may be in the subject’s primary language). In both cases refer to the subsystems of language outlined in the Parker & Riley book. 5) If you select the examination of Interlanguage (L2 learner or L1 loss), identify learner errors that the subject commits, and conduct an analysis referring appropriately to the subsystem or subsystems of language that are involved. If you are not a native or near-native speaker of the language, you must work closely with a proficient speaker (at least near-native) to analyze the sample. Try to identify error patterns, look for categories of errors, and relationships among the patterns or categories. Then proceed to speculate regarding the origin of the error patterns. Is there a systematic pattern that reflects the present stage of L2 knowledge that the learner possesses? What factors account for these observed patterns? Watch the Discussion Board for more information about how to do this part of the project. 6) In your report, describe, to the extent possible, the language learning history of the L2 learner: his or her first language, other second languages, number of years learning the L2, in what kind of learning situations, opportunities in the past and in the present for using the L2, motivational factors, etc. 7) If you select the Discourse analysis option, identify as many aspects of oral or written discourse from the readings that seem interesting to comment on. Again, look for patterns. For example, if you focus on cohesive ties and how the writer constructs a coherent text, comment on what makes the passage difficult to understand, or what makes the text particularly clear and comprehensible, or what in the discourse strategies the writer applies makes the text esthetically pleasing, etc. Does the writer’s style create ambiguities, for example, and what is their effect (is the effect intentional, is the result "positive," "negative," etc.?). Look for the same kinds of patterns in an oral presentation. 8) Make a pedagogical recommendation that is specific to the analysis. Avoid general comments (e.g. the learner will progress in his grammatical competence with more practice conversing with native speakers). There is one exception to #8 (in the case of the analysis of grammar errors of a young child); pay attention for further details. 9) Remember, you can combine option #1 and option #2 for your LAS. Divide the analysis into two parts: for #1 do a study of grammar errors, and for #2 do a Discourse Analysis. Format for Language Analysis Study report I. If you choose the analysis of Interlanguage 1. Preview Ellis, and study sections that are pertinent to your Language Analysis study. Also in Parker & Riley (Chapters 9 and 10). 2. Language learning history. 3. Method utilized. – Describe the kind of language sample you chose to elicit, and why. – Describe the procedure, aspects of the subject’s performance that are interesting. – Any commentary that the subject made regarding the activity. 4. Identify errors. – Look for categories and patterns. – For example, try to find patterns that are not consistent in some way (e.g. the subject gets the pattern right sometimes, and wrong other times) that may indicate partial knowledge of a grammatical structure. 5. Speculate about the origin of the errors/patterns, or factors that may contribute to the present stage of language learning. 6. Discuss the learning/communicative strategies utilized by the subject. – e.g., How he/she compensates for lack of grammatical knowledge. 7. Pedagogical recommendation that is specific to the analysis. II. If you choose the Discourse Analysis option 1. Preview pertinent sections in Parker & Riley (chapters 2 and 11); study the following entries in BME Basic definitions (anaphor, coherence, competence, dialect, discourse, exophoric reference, metalinguistic awareness, pragmatic system, register, semantics); study LAP#2, and use it as a model. 2. Same as #2 above. 3. Same as #3 above. 4. Identify discourse strategies that the speaker uses to maintain coherence, or identify omissions, problematic patterns, or other examples of immature development of discourse competence. – Look for categories and patterns. 5. Speculate about factors that contribute to the present stage of development of the speaker’s discourse competence. 6. Same as #6 above (however, if your subject is a mature native speaker of the language you will not analyze "how he/she compensates for lack of grammatical knowledge"). 7. Same as #7 above. III. If you find it interesting or useful, I. and II. can be combined. _________
Originally posted 2018-05-01 22:36:56.