Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Robert C. Lafayette

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to determine whether or not there are differences between native and non-native speakers/instructors of French when they correct second year students' compositions. The research questions this study set forth to answer are: (1) Are there any differences in the number of corrections performed by native and non-native speakers/instructors of university intermediate French classes when they evaluate compositions? (2) Are there any differences between native and non-native speakers/instructors in the categories (verb, noun, spelling, other) where error correction was performed? (3) Are there any differences between native and non-native speakers/instructors when and if they paid attention to content? The data for analysis consisted in the students' compositions already corrected and returned to the students. The subjects of the study were Teaching Assistants at a large university. The methods used were both quantitative and qualitative. In order to answer research questions one and two, a MANOVA was run. The results indicate that there are no significant differences between native and non-native speakers in the number of errors corrected. There were also no significant differences between native and non-native speakers in the error categories where corrections were performed. No difference was found between native and non-native speakers in their interest for the content of the compositions. The lack of instructor comment pertaining to content was common to both the native and the non-native groups. Conclusions to be drawn from the results of this study are that native speakers of French correct as many mistakes as do non-native speakers. Moreover, it follows that non-native speakers of French are as capable of identifying and correcting students accuracy mistakes. Native and non-native speakers alike show very little interest for compositions' contents. Implications from this research reach several areas such as TA preparation, error correction, the teaching of grammar, classroom instruction and the teaching of writing in the foreign language classroom.

Pages

133

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