An investigation of Anglicized Spanish as a communication strategy in the beginning Spanish classroom

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University of Alabama Libraries

Considering the recent increase in Spanish use in the United States, particularly as reflected in the media, beginning Spanish students are entering their classrooms with knowledge of phrases such as "hasta la vista" and "numero uno," regardless of their amount of previous formal Spanish study. The present research focuses on beginning Spanish students' use of such phrases, which have been termed `Anglicized Spanish' since they are words or phrases which have been foreignized in order to be perceived as Spanish-like and are popularly used by monolingual English speakers in a variety of contexts. This research study therefore investigates how these phrases, as well as other Anglicized Spanish forms, are used or considered acceptable for use by beginning Spanish students. Specifically, this study examines the lexical, morphological, syntactic, and orthographic strategies students are using in order to form Anglicized Spanish. After establishing some of the possible strategies used to create Anglicized Spanish, the investigation turns to examining how students' levels of motivation and attitudes toward Spanish and its speakers correspond to their acceptance of Anglicized Spanish forms. Two courses from each of the three introductory level Spanish courses, or SP 101, 102, and 103, participated in the research and were given questionnaires in order to assess their motivations, attitudes, and acceptance of Anglicized Spanish forms. One course from SP 101, 102, and 103 formed the experimental group and participated in four lessons that focused on Anglicized Spanish forms while the remaining three courses formed the control group and continued their formal Spanish study without receiving treatment. It was found that those students who utilized Anglicized Spanish when writing were generally more motivated than their peers who chose to switch to English when writing. Finally, the study additionally proposed a possible method of addressing Anglicized Spanish forms in the beginning Spanish classroom by having students focus on Anglicized Spanish forms. A one-way ANOVA was used in order to compare the control and experimental groups' acceptance of Anglicized Spanish forms. The findings suggest that only those students at more advanced levels of beginning Spanish study benefit from a focus on Anglicized Spanish forms.

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