Westwell, Rosemary (2007) The development of language acquisition in a mature learner. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.
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The primary objective of this study is to provide insight into the advancement of my knowledge and understanding of Spanish and of the process of language acquisition in a mature learner. While learning Spanish as a beginner, I kept a diary for two-and-a-half-years in which I recorded detailed, reflective responses to my language acquisition experiences. The diary data was recorded under prompt headings. At the end of the learning period, I approached the data from different perspectives. I summarised the content of the diary in the form of four different charts. Then I analysed the contents of the charts and the whole diary and these analyses indicated salient themes that emerged during my observations of the language acquisition process. A first quantitative preliminary study of the entries under the prompt headings in the charts indicated most frequently mentioned phenomena. A second, closer analysis of the content of the diary entries re-interpreted the entries under the prompt headings to reveal specific aspects of these phenomena that were incorporated in the process of my language acquisition. In the third interpretive analysis, I ignored the prompt headings and looked at the entries individually in terms of implicit and explicit phenomena indicated. This analysis revealed four main phenomena involved in the development of my language acquisition: language source material, method of learning, my attitude as the learner and memory. In the fourth and final analysis, I interpreted the individual entries of the whole diary in terms of the insight they gave to a detailed description of the nature of the advancement of my knowledge and understanding of Spanish and of the process of my language acquisition. Finally, the study revealed the significance of the language acquisition process itself in contrast to the products of language acquisition which currently form a major part of language acquisition theory. Although this study concerns an individual, and the language development of this individual is unique, the insight into the process of the development of acquisition involved in this individual has significant implications for further research into the development of the language acquisition in other learners of similar age and background.
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Depositing User:||Peter Moss|
|Date Deposited:||09 Apr 2008 15:34|
|Last Modified:||26 Jun 2012 22:21|
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