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A Study on English-Speaking Learners’ Acquisition of the Chinese Mood System Nuo Xu Ohio Univeristy
Introduction Mood is closely related with the way of thinking under different cultures. Chinese and English mood system: Chinese mood
Literature Review • Contrastive study on Chinese and English mood systems Hu Zhuanglin (1994), Li Qing (2001), etc. • Acquisition study on the mood system Perez-Leroux (1998); Caruana (2001); SanchezNaranjo&Perez-Leroux(2010), Montrul (2011), etc.
Research questions: 1. Which aspects of the Chinese mood system are hard for Englishspeaking learners? 2. Does the use of mood in L2 Madanrin reflect the mood system of their L1?
Study on the following aspects •
Features of learning errors;
Reasons why there are performance differences(if there is any);
Whether similarities and differences between English and Chinese produce contrastive language behavior;
Importance of target language learning environment;
Methods that help reduce the impacts by L1;
Advantages and disadvantages of the Chinese language summer program in China;
How to improve Chinese programs abroad.
Methodology Participants: 16 native speakers(13 from the 3rd year; 3 from the 4th) Age: 15-35; 9 went to China for 2014 summer program (6 weeks, finished 2nd year or Chinese study) EG(Experimental Group, students who went to China); CG(Control Group, students who didn't go to China.)
Procedure: 15 minutes, written test, 20 multiple choices: Modal particle: 8; declarative sentence; interrogative sentence; exclamatory sentence Chinese to English&English to Chinese translation: 8 Tag question: 2 Mood recognition: 2; identifying the mood of the speaker.
Scoring: Each question-5 points.
Quantitative and qualitative data: Count numbers for wrong answers; rate of correctness; categorize and compare. 5
Combined CHIN 3110/5310 4110/5410 Gender: Male/Female
Did you ever attend Chinese Summer Program? Yes/No
Multiple choice. Choose and circle the item which you think is correct. 1. 你___, 还是不够认真。 A. 吗 B. 呀 C. 了 D. 的 2.你问我，我知道吗？What does the underlined part mean? A.Do I know? B. I should know. C. I don’t know either. D. I may know. 3. 李老师会来上课的____。If you are not sure when you say this, then you choose: A. 吧 B. 吗 C. 啊 D. 呀 4. 你说过的话，我会记住____。(The words you said, I will remember.) A. 呢 B. 的 C.啊 D. 吧 5. 这也算是个理由吗？What does this sentence mean? A.Is this a reason? B. This isn’t a reason. C. This should be a reason. D. This may be a reason. 6. 我打电话____，等会找你。If you are busy having a phone call, then you choose: A. 啊 B. 呀 C. 呢 D. 吧 7. You don’t know he is here? What does the underlined part mean in Chinese? A．你不知道 B. 难道你不知道 C. 你怎么会不知道 D. all the above 8. 做人____，最重要的就是开心！ A. 过 B. 了 C. 呢 D. 吗 9. “我能不上班？”Which of the following expresses the same meaning as this sentence?
A. 我不能上班。 B. 我能上班。 C.我不能不上班。 D. 我能不能上班？ 10. 这里不让吸烟____？(This place doesn’t allow smoking right?) A. 了 B. 呀 C. 呢 D. 吧
11. 你不是不喜欢吃中国菜吗？The truth is you like, then the answer should be: A.不，我喜欢。B. 不，我不喜欢。C. 对，我不喜欢。D. 对，我喜欢。 12. “你告诉老师我没有写作业，你可真是我的好朋友!”What is the mood of the speaker? A. happy B. thankful C. angry D. worried 13. 如果他们告诉我，我一定去那儿。 A. If they told me, I would surely go there. B. If they tell me, I will surely go there.
C. A&B D. None of the above.
14. 你哪能这么说？Which of the following expresses the same meaning? A.你可以这么说？B. 你不能这么说。C. 你可能这么说。D. 你一定这么说。 15. 您少说点话吧！Which of the following expresses the same meaning? A.You can speak more! C. You should keep quiet.
B. You are talking too loudly! D. You talk too much!
16. 妈妈，您渴了____，我给您倒一杯水。 A. 吧 B. 吗 C. 啊 D. 呢 17. 你让我说什么？我看你上楼睡觉吧。What does the underlined part mean? A. Do you want me to say something? B. I am thinking about what to say. C. I have nothing to say.
D. What are you trying to make me say?
18. “谁不想去医院看他，就是没时间____！” A. 的 B. 了 C. 啊 D. 吧 19. “把钱都还给你，还不行吗？”What is the mood of the speaker?
A. unhappy B. confused C. relieved D. discouraged 20. “马大为不是新学生吗？”The truth is 马大为不是新学生, so the answer is: A. 不，他是。B. 是，他不是。C. 不，他不是。D. 是，他是。
Top 11 challenging ones for CG and EG 9
Results • • • • • • • •
EG, CG all got wrong: Q17(translation type) EG all got wrong: Q8(modal particle type) CG all got wrong: Q9(translation) EG did the best on: Q1(modal particle) CG did the best on: Q16(modal particle) EG did much better than CG on: Q1, Q3, Q6(modal particle choices), CG did much better than EG on: Q8(modal particle), Q12(identify speaker's mood) The top 5 challenging questions: Q17, Q9, Q5, Q2,(translation type), Q8(modal particle)
Discussion • • •
17. 你让我说什么？我看你上楼睡觉吧。What does the underlined part mean? A. Do you want me to say something? B. I am thinking about what to say. C. I have nothing to say. D. What are you trying to make me say?
English: a. Isn't it a lovely day?-indicative mood b. It's time to have supper.-make request Similarities didn't promote correctness; difficulty identifying underlying meaning; Chinese in euphemistic way rather than being direct and impolite
• • •
Modal particles: high rate of error-呢，吧，啊，呀 6. 我打电话____，等会找你。If you are busy having a phone call, then you choose: A. 啊 B. 呀 C. 呢 D. 吧 吧-suggestion, casual response; 呢-manner of relaxation in indicative sentences
8. 做人____，最重要的就是开心！ A. 过 B. 了 C. 呢 D. 吗
EG all got wrong-six weeks of second year of Chinese learning, CG-whole year of Chinese learning, different resources, TV shows and drama. L1 cannot help English speakers transfer in the use of Chinese modal particles.
Translation: EG better than CG target language learning environment, language partner meeting 5 hours per week
tag questions: not high error rate Difference between L1 and L2 is not always a negative factor
Conclusion • • • • • • •
Target language learning environment is important Similarities between English and Chinese mood system do not always play a positive role Differences do not always produce side-effects on language learners English to Chinese translation: certain Chinese modal particles adopted Chinese to English translation: verb-centered, variations of forms, inflection TV shows or drama can function as a good tool Language partners meeting helps to lessen negative effects from L1
1.advantages and disadvantages of the Chinese language summer program in China 2.how to improve Chinese programs abroad 12
Related references •
Borgonovo, Claudia; Bruhn de Garavito, Joyce; Prevost, Philippe. (2005). Acquisition of Mood Distinctions in L2 Spanish. Proceedings of the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development29.1: 97-108.
Caruana, Sandro. (2001). Italian as a Second Language in Malta-Input from Communications Media and the Acquisition of the Tense-Mood-Aspect System. Studi italiani di linguistica teorica e applicata30.1: 81-113.
Gudmestad, Aarnes (2012).Acquiring a Variable Structure: An Interlanguage Analysis of Second Language Mood Use in Spanish. Language Learning. 62(2): 373-402.
Montrul Silvina, Perpinan Silvia. (2011). Assessing Differences and Similarities between Instructed Heritage Language Learners and L2 Learners in Their Knowledge of Spanish TenseAspect and Mood (TAM) Morphology. Heritage Language Journal, 8(1), 90-133.
Perez-Leroux, Ana Teresa. (1998). The Acquisition of Mood Selection in Spanish Relative Clauses. Journal of Child Language25(3): 585-604.
Sanchez-Naranjo, Jeannette; Perez-Leroux, Ana T. (2010). In the wrong mood at the right time: Children's acquisition of the Spanish subjunctive in temporal clauses. The Canadian Journal of Linguistics/La Revue canadienne de Linguistique55.2: 227-255.