Effect of Spanish-language training module on technical vocabulary acquisition

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Claire Wofford (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
K. Leigh Morrow-Odom

Abstract: This project created a module to be offered to Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)students interested in working with Spanish-speaking clients consisting of activities coveringterminology and vocabulary relevant to the different areas of speech-language pathology inSpanish. In order to facilitate technical vocabulary acquisition, the module was designed usingvocabulary-learning strategies from studies that have investigated effective means of acquiringsecond language (L2) vocabulary, including use of multiple strategies in combination andcombination of intentional and incidental learning (Fan, 2003; Hummel, 2010; Lawson &Hogben, 1996; Read, 2004). Participants were assessed in comprehension and production of theterms in four types of activities, including direct translations, cloze exercises using vocabularyterms in context, listening comprehension, and production of terms in context. All activitieswere completed through Blackboard at the student’s own pace over the course of one semester.Data were collected on the effectiveness of the module in a pre-test/post-test comparison ofscores, as well as Likert scale measurements of confidence, preparedness, and professionalidentity before and after module completion. Training activities replicated the tasks completedin the pre-test and post-test. Intermediate understanding of Spanish was required to participate in the module as evidenced by college-level coursework and cultural or personal experiences withthe Spanish language. Upon completion of the module, students received a certificate todesignate their participation in the course.The study revealed changes in scores that represented significant gains made by allparticipants, as hypothesized and demonstrated in a paired t-test performed on totaled scores (M= 22.4167, SD =11.4692, t(5) = 4.788, p = 0.005). The reported outcomes in confidence andpreparedness also supported the alternate hypothesis as demonstrated in a Wilcoxon signed rankanalysis (Z = -2.232, p < .05; Z = -2.226, p < .05). However, changes in professional identity didnot change as result of the training module (z = -1.414, p > .05).Participation in the module suggested overall positive results via gains made on the posttestand exit survey comments. Participants’ reports of increased feelings of confidence andpreparedness after module training coincided with findings in earlier research (Bender, Lawson,Harlan, & Lopez, 2004; Kritikos, 2003; Mazor, Hampers, Chande, & Krug, 2002). Participantsdid not report changes in professional identity with possible explanations being student status orthe view of Spanish-language proficiency as a clinical tool, rather than defining professionalquality. Limitations of the study included a small sample size and lack of a face-to-facecomponent.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
bilingual, Spanish, speech-language pathology, training program
Speech therapy -- Terminology -- Computer-assisted instruction
Spanish language -- Vocabulary -- Computer-assisted instruction

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