Scott M Alvord, Spanish and Portuguese
In October of 2010 I applied for a Mentoring Environment Grant (MEG) with Rob Martinsen. Our project, “The Second Language Acquisition of Spanish Phonology” was awarded the grant of $20,000.00. In order to carry out this project we formed a research group that includes four graduate students (Joshua Tanner, Ixchel Zarco, Ariel Bean, and Brandon Rogers) and three undergraduate students (Alex Aldrich, Debora Taylor and Martha Perez).
To my delight, the students took ownership of the project and were a driving force behind our meetings and data collection. This has been a true mentoring experience. Rob and I met (almost) weekly with the students during the Winter 2011 semester to help them come up with a research design. During spring/summer of 2011 we collected the data for the project and we began analyzing some of the early data.
One early success of our research group was the mentoring experience with the acoustic data analysis. I have trained Brandon Rogers (grad student) on acoustic analysis and he in turn worked closely with Alex Aldrich (an undergraduate student), teaching him how to use the software tools to perform the analysis. This continued throughout the project as the team expanded and more of us worked to analyze the data. For example, on August 5th, 2011, we had a training meeting where Brandon taught the other students how to perform acoustic analysis. Brandon continued his mentoring role with Alexander Aldrich as Alex made the transition from undergraduate to graduate student in the Hispanic Linguistics MA program. Over the last year Brandon, now a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, helped Alex with acoustic analysis as he prepared his conference presentation based on his early thesis work.
The outcomes of this project are listed below. To date, one paper has been accepted for publication and another is in the review process. The research group gave three conference presentations and students presented 4 posters at a different conference. Three graduate students successfully defended their theses based on work that they did on this project and a fourth student, Alexander Aldrich, should defend his thesis during the Winter 2014 semester. Two of the graduate students are now working on PhDs and all three undergraduate students were admitted last year to the Hispanic Linguistics MA program.
Papers accepted for publication:
Martinsen, Rob A., Scott M. Alvord, & Joshua Tanner. 2014. Perceived Foreign accent: Extended Stays Abroad, Level of Instruction and Motivation. Foreign Language Annals (ms. pp. 15)
Papers submitted for publication:
Rogers, Brandon M. A. & Scott M. Alvord. Under Review. The Gradience of Spirantization: Factors Affecting Native English-Speaker Production of Spanish [β, ð, ɣ]. Submitted to Spanish in Context.
Acquisition of L2 Phonology: Reduction of L2 Spanish /a/ by L1 English Speakers Who Have Lived Abroad. 2013 Paper presented by Alexander Aldrich at the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF). Provo, UT, 31 Oct. – 2 Nov.
Factors Influencing the Acquisition of Spanish Rhotics. 2012. Paper co-presented with Ixchel Zarco, Rob A. Martinsen, Joshua Tanner, and Brandon Rogers at the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) conference. Boston, MA, 24-27 March.
Factors Influencing the Acquisition of Pronunciation: Culture, Motivation, and Level of Instruction. 2012. Paper co-presented with Joshua Tanner, Rob A. Martinsen, Ixchel Zarco, and Brandon Rogers at the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) conference. Boston, MA, 24-27 March.
Leaving the dark to find the light: English light and dark /l/ transfer to L2 Spanish. 2012. Poster presented by Ariel Bean at the Conference on Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology. Columbia, SC, 16-18 February.
Spirantization of L2 Spanish /b,d,g/: Factors influencing a gradient phenomenon. 2012. Poster presented by Brandon M. A. Rogers at the Conference on Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology. Columbia, SC, 16-18 February.
Factors affecting VOT in L2 Spanish voiceless stops. 2012. Poster presented by Joshua Tanner at the Conference on Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology. Columbia, SC, 16-18 February.
Perception of voiceless stops by L2 learners of Spanish. 2012. Poster presented by Ixchel Zarco at the Conference on Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology. Columbia, SC, 16-18 February.
MA theses completed:
Joshua Tanner (2012): “Cultural Sensitivity and the Acquisition of Spanish Pronunciation”
Ixchel Zarco (2013): “Factores que Influyen en la Adquisición de los Sonidos Róticos del Español como Segunda Lengua: Sensibilidad Cultural, Motivación, Nivel de Instrucción, Tipo de Discurso, Tiempo de Residencia en el Extranjero y Contexto Fonético”
Ariel Bean (2012): “Leaving the Dark to Find the Light: English Light and Dark /l/ Transfer to L2 Spanish”
MA theses in progress:
Alexander Aldrich (expected defense, 2014): “Acquisition of L2 Phonology: Centralization of L2 Spanish /a/ in Adult L1 English- Speaking Learners Who Have Spent Extensive Time Living Abroad”