The development of aspects of communication strategy use: a study of early French immersion students at the primary/elementary level

Greene, Marie Louise (1991) The development of aspects of communication strategy use: a study of early French immersion students at the primary/elementary level. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study was an attempt to explore aspects of the development of communication strategy (CS) use in the interlanguage (IL) of young second language (L₂) learners. The investigation examined the frequency and patterns of CS use by successful language learners (SLLs) and by less successful language learners (LLLs) at two points in time, in an attempt to document inter-group and intra-group patterns of change over developmental time. The eight subjects of the study were students in an Early French Immersion (EFI) Program in an urban Newfoundland school and data was collected at the end of the Grade Two Year (Time 1) and again at the end of the Grade Five Year (Time 2). The subjects provided taped speech samples by means of picture description elicitation tasks at both times. -- The speech samples were transcribed and analyzed for CS use, using a typology of CS based on those developed by a number of second language (L₂) researchers. The information obtained through the analysis was converted into table format, showing individual and group strategy use at Time 1 and Time 2. -- As well as a quantitative description of CS use, a qualitative description was undertaken. The results of the study indicated that both groups of subjects showed evidence of variation over time in the frequency of use of particular strategies and in the percentage of use of these strategies. Over time, most subjects decreased their use of reduction strategies, cooperative strategies and retrieval strategies and increased their use of L₁-based (interlingual) and L₂-based (intralingual) strategies. -- The analysis also indicated that the pattern of use of categories and subcategories CSs changed over time for both groups. Both groups used more achievement strategies and fewer reduction strategies at Time 2 than at Time 1. The LLLs dramatically increased their use of L₂ –based strategies, indicating that change was in the direction of the target language (French). The SLLs, however, showed a much slighter increase in their use of L₂-based strategies. -- Analysis of the surface realization or quality of strategies used at Time 1 and Time 2 did not indicate any clear-cut differences between the two groups of subjects, nor between Time 1 and Time 2 strategies. Both groups did, however, use more qualitatively superior strategies (intralingual strategies) at Time 2 than at Time 1, but for the SLLs the degree of change over time was less than for the LLLs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10577
Item ID: 10577
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 145-165
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1991
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Communication in education; French language--Study and teaching (Primary)

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