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Acquisition of Italian grammatical gender: L2 learners


This study investigated the sensitivity to gender cues exhibited by L2 learners of Italian. The participants were 64 students in first- and second-year Italian classes at the university level. Three tests were given to ascertain the students' ability to assign gender based on morphophonological, syntactic, and semantic cues. Results showed that the students were sensitive to cues in the word-final phonemes that reliably indicate gender, and implicational scaling demonstrated a clear order of difficulty among these endings. The students exhibited a low degree of awareness of the gender associations of certain derivational suffixes. When dealing with more than one cue, the students had no difficulty assigning gender when the cues were in accord, while coping with conflicting cues was more problematic. Nonetheless, in the majority of the cases, the students were able to use syntactic cues to override contradictory cues in the noun endings. While as a group, the students were reliant on a syntactic strategy, the implicational scaling performed on the results revealed the presence of subgroups following different strategies, i.e., morphophonological or semantic. Clear scales of difficulty among the various combinations of cue types also emerged.

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2004 selected papers from the NFLRC symposium: Distance Education, Distributed Learning and Language Instruction


These eight papers were presented at the Distance Education, Distributed Learning, and Language Instruction Symposium held July 27-30, 2004 at the University of Hawai'i National Foreign Language Resource Center. The Symposium brought together educators to present and discuss innovative models of distance and distributed learning programs in foreign languages and in foreign language teacher education.

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Asian Festival in Columbus, OH


This is one of the outreach activities supported by the NEALRC. Two days is hardly enough time to soak in the flavor of the earth's largest landmass. But the organizers of the annual Asian Festival sure give it their best shot. More than 100,000 people are expected to find their way to Franklin Park over Memorial Day weekend for a showcase of the culture of 15 participating nations, ranging from Pakistan and Laos to Burma and Japan. The entertainment slate, which features performers of Asian decent from Ohio and around the United States and Canada, is heavy on dance: Columbus-based troupes include the Adity Performers, who'll present Bangladeshi folk and classical dance and the Filipinas Dance Group. Chinese puppet shows, Japanese tea ceremonies, numerous martial arts demonstrations, cultural art displays -- including painting, doll making, kite painting and palm reading -- fill out a very busy schedule. There's a special focus on children at the festival, with various games, craft activities and a petting zoo. And don't forget about the food: Dig into sushi, Tandoori chicken and ginger-garlic fried shrimp among other delights all weekend long.

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In 1990, the Department of Education established the first Language Resource Centers (LRCs) at U.S. universities in response to the growing national need for expertise and competence in foreign languages. Now, twenty-five years later, Title VI of the Higher Education Act supports sixteen LRCs, creating a national network of resources to promote and improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages.

LRCs create language learning and teaching materials, offer professional development opportunities for language instructors, and conduct and disseminate research on foreign language learning. All LRCs engage in efforts that enable U.S. citizens to better work, serve, and lead.

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Each LRC has a unique story and mission, but all LRC work is organized around eight basic areas:
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