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Open Linguistics

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Gender Agreement in Online Versus Classroom Students of First-Semester Spanish

Ana María Díaz Collazos / David Vásquez Hurtado
Published Online: 2017-12-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0033


The goal of this paper is to compare the learning outcomes of beginning online students (n=14) of Spanish with classroom students engaged in a hybrid or blended course (n=19). All students were native speakers of English. Some studies show that online students perform better than classroom students, while other studies show no significant differences. All previous studies use general measurements of proficiency or scoring instead of examining particular differences within specific linguistic elements. This paper focuses on gender agreement and gathers acquisitionist research on the matter to weight the factors that affect its learning in online and classroom students. We extracted 2777 tokens from writing tasks and performed multivariate analysis using Rbrul (Johnson) to test gender accuracy against delivery mode and linguistic factors such as animacy, morphological endings and gender assignment of the noun, as well as the grammatical category of the agreeing word. Results suggest that the delivery mode does not play a role in the overall performance of online versus classroom students. However, classroom students perform better with animate nouns, while online students do so in a non-significant manner. Physical presence of people may favor the learning of gender agreement with animate referents.

Keywords : acquisition of Spanish gender agreement; computer assisted language learning and pedagogy; animacy and semantic gender


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About the article

Received: 2016-10-09

Accepted: 2017-12-06

Published Online: 2017-12-29

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 656–672, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0033.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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