Comparing linguistic symmetries: Teachers and students analyze Spanish and English in the classroom

Fernando Rodríguez-Valls

Abstract


This article analyzes the impact of a teaching methodology of English based on the investigation and comparative analysis conducted by students and teachers of sentences constructed in Spanish and spoken in English. Second-generation Hispanic students 'born in the US' who are learning English in the public schools of California; utilize the grammar of two languages on a daily basis. Yet, the activities utilized to teach and evaluate these students oftentimes do not analyze in an explicit way sentences that mix two languages. The model described in this article was implemented during the 2005-2006 school year with 29 Hispanic students enrolled in fourth grade in a public school of Los Angeles. The outcomes of this project suggest that students, who, guided by the teachers, analyze the connections between the two languages using a comparative method, not only perform extremely well in the state exams but also develop a vision of these two languages as codes with linguistic symmetries that create a communal block of knowledge.

Keywords


linguistic experimentation; linguistic transfers; communal block of knowledge; linguistic symmetries



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v17n19.2009

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