7 AMERICA DIALECT Figure 3 Language learning theories The interaction between

7 america dialect figure 3 language learning theories

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AMERICA DIALECT Figure 3: Language learning theories The interaction between SLA and linguistics is part of a shift in the study of second language acquisition as an interdisciplinary whole that incorporates cognitive psychology, education and sociology to name a few that describe in detail the detailed process of learning a language ( Barman, 2012). Therefore, in challenging the boundaries of research in this area factors such as aptitude, native language, age, and sociolinguistic context have been studied in relation to second language acquisition. An experiment that was conducted by Edwards and his colleagues simply tested whether there was a direct influence of AAE on the children’s speed and accuracy while pronouncing words in SAE. The black kids were required to read out loud contrastive words that the pronunciation was different in both dialects and non-contrastive words that their pronunciations was the same in both dialects ( Edwards et al…, 2014). The experiment focused to understand the influence of dialect on the learning acquisitions of African American children that interact in both dialects. Edwards and his colleagues focused on possible importance of dialect differences to early reading achievement. These scholars aimed at not only observing kids learning 8
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AMERICA DIALECT acquisition but they also focused on behavioral effects of dialect-related differences of black kids in decoding. To work towards the objectives of Edwards and his colleagues study, the method of research included segmenting various students of English as a 2 nd language and exposing them to tape recording of monologues to see how much of the Spoken English they could comprehend. The research groups included middle class, working-class and lower-middle-class learners. The students were picked from public universities and had a relatively decent exposure to New Yorkese and African-American English. The tape recordings were monologues made in the three dialects spoken in New York mentioned ( Edwards et al…, 2014). The students were tested on their ability to comprehend the three dialects, the dialect variance and speaker judgments, where the students were asked to characterize the voices in the monologue based on the dialect. From the Edwards and his colleagues’ research, the results illustrated that African- American English for all groups possessed a great intelligibility problem for English Second Language learners in New York City. The results of the working class was enough despite their considerable exposure to African-American English showed that they still found it challenging to comprehend as compared to the other dialects ( Edwards et al…, 2014). This was in line with what Eisenstein found in his study that intelligibility problems experienced by the students caused barriers when interacting with native speakers such that they were unable to communicate their intent most of the times. Cited from an older study, the theory of isolation particularly for the working class from the native English-speaking community due to the stereotypes associated with dialects in New York was highlighted ( Eisenstein, 2013). The learners in this study
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