Patterns of Article Use in the Expository Writing of Spanish-Speaking Adult Learners of English
Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair
Secondary Advisor/Reader One
The research question addressed is how do adult English learners use articles in academic writing? Motivated by classroom observations of Spanish-speaking learners’ difficulties acquiring the English article system, this study applies the discourse pragmatic framework of the Givenness Hierarchy (GH) to examine how learners use articles in expository writing. Seven participants responded to three expository writing prompts and article use was analyzed according to the GH. Both intermediate and advanced learners exhibited similar patterns of use for the definite, indefinite, and zero articles, while null article usage patterns diverged. GH-based target-like use analysis of the indefinite and definite articles revealed that intermediate and advanced learners showed greater accuracy with the definite article than with the indefinite article. Writing tasks were related to variability in eliciting some articles, especially the null article. Implications are discussed and the results are placed within the context of existing research on second language article acquisition.
ESL/ ELLs, Writing, Article Acquisition
Killam, Jennifer Marie, "Patterns of Article Use in the Expository Writing of Spanish-Speaking Adult Learners of English" (2014). School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 63.