The Effects of Instruction and Study Abroad on the Use of the Historical Present in Advanced Spanish Learners

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2011

Project Description/Abstract

Students in foreign language classes often focus primarily on grammatical rules and less on how the language is used by native speakers. This project examines the use of the historical present (the use of the present tense when narrating past events) in the speech of advanced Spanish speakers, and compares it to how monolingual Spanish speakers use the historical present. It also considers the participants’ biographical information, such as any experiences studying abroad, the textbooks they used to learn Spanish, and the methodologies they were exposed to in the classroom. The lack of current research comparing these variables, as well as the need to see what effects classroom instruction may have on the use of the historical present in advanced learners, motivated the present research. The data for this project were elicited via an oral interview with the participants in a private setting.

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