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Linguistics Project

Linguistics Project: Heritage Language of Gujarati Julie Noble EDU 583: ESL Linguistics Dr. Broady

Linguistics Project Linguistics Project with the Heritage Language of Gujarati

The Linguistics Project for EDU 583 is a study of the parent of an ELL student attending elementary school in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. My subject has a clear accent based on the heritage language of Gujarati, the native language of the Indian state of Gujarat. The project includes a thorough analysis of a spoken and written language sample, a detailed description of the subjects heritage culture and language, and a recommendation plan for classroom teachers on how to help their ELL students close the achievement gap. For this project, I have been working with the parent of previous student, whom I will refer to as P throughout my project (names have been changed or altered to protect identities). Born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, P and her husband moved to the United States as newlyweds in 2002. They moved to the United States to follow a business opportunity that led them to New Jersey. While living in New Jersey, they added a daughter, whom I will call D, and a son, K, to their family. Then, in 2010, another Business opportunity presented itself, and the family moved to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. While living in India, P finished school through grade twelve and then proceeded to study English for three years at a University. Though P has a prominent accent when speaking, her children have very little accent and have excelled in the classroom among their English speaking peers. As a third grader, Ds proficiency level for the WIDA ACCESS English Language Proficiency Test were as follows: Listening- 4.0; Speaking- 6.0; Reading- 4.0; Writing- 4.2. Her overall score in January of 2011 was 4.6. In addition, as a kindergartener, Ks proficiency level for the WIDA ACCESS English Language Proficiency Test were as follows: Listening- K6.0; Speaking- K6.0; Reading- K6.0; Writing- K4.1. His overall score in January of 2011 was 5.8. The children speak English at school and Gujarati at home with their family. Both D and K are

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very kind and very enthusiastic about learning, and their teachers say that they are both excelling in all subjects.

The Republic of India Covering an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, the Republic of India is the 7th largest country in the world, and with over 1,028 million people, the country supports and sustains a whopping 16.7 per cent of the world population (National Portal of India, 2005). Located in South Asia, India is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, and shares land boarders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh. India is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system with six recognized national parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and more than 40 regional parties (U.S. Department of State, 2011). The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th January 1950 (National Portal of India, 2005). Like the United States, India has a federal form of government. However, the central government in India has greater power in relation to its states, and has adopted a British-style parliamentary system (U.S. Department of State, n.d.). The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President (National Portal of India, 2005). The council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). India has a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his/her

Linguistics Project functions in accordance to the advice (National Portal of India, 2005). The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head (National Portal of India, 2005).

Gujarat, India India is a union of 28 states, each with a unique demography, history and culture, dress, festivals, and language. According to the National Portal of India, the history of Gujarat goes back to 2000 B.C. (National Portal of India, 2005). The first settlers in the State of Gujarat were Gujjars who happened to be an ethnic group of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). After many dynasties reigned and fell, Gujarat came under control of the Maratha Empire in the mid-18th century (National Portal of India, 2005;, 2009). The British East India Company established a factory in Surat in 1614, which formed their first base in India, but it was eclipsed by Bombay after the British acquired it from Portugal in 1668 (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). The Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). Many local rulers made a separate peace treaty with the British, and acknowledged British sovereignty in return for retaining local self-rule (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). Gujarat was placed under the political authority of the Bombay Presidency (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). From 1818 to 1947, most of present-day Gujarat was divided into dozens of princely states, but several districts in central and southern Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, was ruled directly by British officials (National Portal of India,

Linguistics Project 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). Mohandas Gandhi, considered India's "father of the nation", was a Gujarati who led the Indian Independence Movement against the British colonial rule (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). After gaining independence in 1947, the Mahagujarat Conference took place to integrate the entire Gujarati speaking population under one administrative body, and on May 1, 1960, the Bombay State split into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). The term Mahagujarat encompassed the whole Gujarati

speaking area including Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutchh (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). For the first time after the Sultanate, Gujarat was once again autonomous (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). Since then, Gujarat has had 14 different Chief Ministers (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). Narendra Modi has served as Chief Minister of the state since October 7, 2001 (National Portal of India, 2005; Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009).

Religion & Culture Gujarat is a culturally diverse state with a rich heritage and cultural traditions. Festivals and fairs, arts and crafts, folk dances, music, cuisine and lifestyles form a major cultural background of the Gujarati people. The customs and beliefs make the culture more homely and truly blended with values and moral characteristics (Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). As Gujarat stands as Heart of India, Multiculturalism is traced in Gujarat. Shared cultural background making people feel to home ground and more comfortable with other people from their own culture. Culture shock unlike other countries is therefore, a missing point which

Linguistics Project makes people more confident and energetic as they stand for a challenge in global scenario (Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). Faith and Beliefs According to the Official Gujarat State Portal, Gujarat has major multicultural religious faith system with the inception of all-embracing religious faith ranging from caste to caste

(Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). The religion of the majority of Gujarati people is Hinduism, followed by significant percentages of Islam, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 10). People of Gujarat are god fearing, friendly and good natured. They live in harmony and respect each others faith and beliefs. Gujaratis are often found to mingle and enjoy all religious festivals with no caste or creed differences (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 10). Clothing For the younger generation, the western attire is becoming more common, although traditional attire is still worn. Generally, men wear trousers and shirts or t-shirts and younger women wear normal western outfits like skirts, dresses, and jeans (Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). However, older women usually wear traditional saris or salwar kamiz. In addition, traditional dress is often worn by both men and women in rural parts of the country as well as during cultural festivals (Official Gujarat State Portal, 2009). When dressed in traditional attire, women usually hang several keys around their waist and different types of jewelry such as necklace, earrings, bangles, rings and mangalsutra, which is a type of necklace symbolizing Christian marriage in India (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 12). In addition, Hindu women may wear a sindor which is a forehead decoration (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 12). Married women wear a red powder

Linguistics Project called a bindi or tiki in the middle part of their forehead (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 12). Food Most of the people in Gujarat are strict vegetarians. Mainly, the diet of the people of Gujarat consists of rice, cooked vegetables, bread, fruits, milk, ghee, and butter-milk (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 11). People from different areas of Gujarat may use different ingredients when cooking. For example, people from north Gujarat use dry red chili powder, whereas people from south Gujarat use green chili and coriander in their cooking (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 11). Some Gujarati families avoid using garlic and onions in their cooking (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 11).

Education Education in India is matter of prime concern for the government of India. The University Grants Commission (UGC) coordinates, determines, and maintains the standards of education at various levels. Ancient Indian education used Gurukula as a system of dispersing knowledge. In this system, the adolescent boys stayed in the house of the teacher (guru) to gain knowledge over a stipulated time-period. The Brahmacharya (celibacy) state was observed until a certain age, while women and lower caste people had no access to education in the Middle Ages. The reform oppressed segments of the society and educational reforms gained eminence in the nineteenth century (Maps of India, 2012). After India gained Independence, the mission of the government was to provide education for all people (Maps of India, 2012). Therefore, discriminations were removed by the 86th Constitutional Amendments, and education has been made mandatory for children between

Linguistics Project the ages of six and fourteen (Maps of India, 2012). The significant gap between the rate of

urban and rural literacy is being bridged and the UGC was set up in the year 1953 to regulate the processes of educational development in the country (Maps of India, 2012). However, due to lack of accessibility, and widespread poverty, the efforts of upgrading the standards of Indian Education are not meeting with success in all Indian states (Maps of India, 2012). Though, illiteracy is a problem in India, Indias higher education has recently gained world recognition. Until recently, it was believed that premier education is not available in India, but the current development in the educational sector has led to the belief that quality education is indeed obtainable (Maps of India, 2012). Research done in the past has highlighted loopholes in the curriculum and methodologies, but these criticisms had acted upon and amendments were made including changes in the syllabus, introduction of new courses and dynamic methodologies. Modern infrastructures and teachers with adequate training are facilitating cutting-edge delivery of content. As a result, India is now attracting students from South Africa, China, Canada, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, UK and USA (Maps of India, 2012). In Gujarat, both private and government schools operate, as well as schools run by several municipal corporations and trusts in the city of Ahmedabad (Maps of India, 2012). The Gujarat State Secondary and Higher Secondary Board are in charge of the schools run by the state government (Maps of India, 2012). However, most of the private schools in Gujarat are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) board (, 2012). Gujarati is the main language of instruction in the state-run schools, while the schools run by other boards use English the main language of study (Maps of India, 2012). Today, the government of Gujarat

Linguistics Project also gives special importance to the education of women. The Educational Institutions Resource Book reports that Gujarat has been known as one of the most important hubs of education and culture. According to the Census, the literacy rate in the state of Gujarat for the year 2011 is 79.31%. This surely is an improvement in comparison to the year 2001, when the rate was 69.14%. This 10.17% rise signifies the amount of work that has been put in towards making education accessible to every inhabitant of Gujarat (Maps of India, 2001). Cultural Helps for Teachers with Gujarati Students

Teachers should be aware that in the Indian culture, sustained eye contact is not generally the norm, especially a woman looking at a man (Kwintessential, 2000). Though in some parts of India, it is still considered inappropriate and rude, direct eye contact is becoming more acceptable in many parts of the country (Kwintessential, 2000). When working with an Indian child or meeting with Indian parents, this should be considered. In addition, teachers should be aware that when communicating, Indians will often tell you what you want to hear in order to be polite (Landers & Grossman, n.d.). Because Indians do not like to express 'no,' Indians will offer the response that they think the person would want to hear rather than disappoint someone (Kwintessential, 2000). With this in mind, teachers need to realize that this behavior should not be considered dishonest. In the Indian culture, it would be considered terribly rude if he or she did not attempt to give a person what had been asked
(Kwintessential, 2000).

Another cultural aspect of dealing with Indians involves their concept of time. There is a well-accepted joke among Indians about IST (Indian Standard Time). This basically means that if you have an appointment at noon, you can expect to have your party arrive or for the meeting to begin anywhere from 30 minutes to a day later (Landers & Grossman, n.p.). Therefore, if you

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want them to be at a meeting, it might be a good idea to set the time of the meeting sooner than you actually want to meet.

Other Etiquette Rules and Taboos Greetings Religion, education, and social class all influence greetings in India. Because India is a hierarchical culture, greeting the eldest or most senior person first is expected (Kwintessential, 2000). Shaking hands is common, especially in the large cities among the more educated who are accustomed to dealing with westerners (Kwintessential, 2000). Men may shake hands with other men and women may shake hands with other women; however, there are seldom handshakes between men and women unless initiated by the woman (Landers & Grossman, n.p.). When leaving a group, it is expected that each person will be bid farewell individually (Kwintessential, 2000). Gift Giving Indians believe that giving gifts eases the transition into the next life (Kwintessential, 2000). Gifts of cash are often given to friends and family to celebrate special life events such as birth, marriage, as well as death (Kwintessential, 2000). If invited to an Indian's home for a meal, it is not necessary to bring a gift, although one will not be turned down (Landers & Grossman, n.p.). To be on the safe side avoid insulting your host's religion, stay away from any leather, alcohol, pigskin or dog related gifts. Safe gifts include chocolates or flowers; though dont give frangipani or white flowers as they are for funerals (Landers & Grossman, n.p.). Yellow, green and red are lucky colors, so try to use them to wrap gifts (Kwintessential, 2000). A gift from a man should be said to come from both he and his wife/mother/sister or some other

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female relative (Landers & Grossman, n.p.). Gifts are not opened in the presence of the giver; instead, wait until giver leaves if it is wrapped. Yellow, green and red are lucky colors, so try to use them to wrap gifts (Kwintessential, 2000). A gift from a man should be said to come from both he and his wife/mother/sister or some other female relative (Landers & Grossman, n.p.). In addition, if giving money to an Indian as a gift make sure it is an odd number, such as $11 instead of $10, as it is considered lucky (Kwintessential, 2000). Dining Indians entertain in their homes, as well as restaurants, private clubs, or other public venues, depending upon the occasion and circumstances (Kwintessential, 2000). Although Indians are not always punctual themselves, they expect foreigners to arrive close to the appointed time (Kwintessential, 2000). Indians expect visitors to take off their shoes before entering the house (Kwintessential, 2000). Other tips for visiting westerners include, dressing modestly and conservatively, and politely turn down the first offer of tea, coffee, or snacks, as you will be asked again and again (Kwintessential, 2000). In addition, it is polite to always use the right hand to eat as the left hand is considered unclean, and to always leave a small amount of food on the plate because finishing all of the food means that the guest is still hungry
(Kwintessential, 2000).

Languages of India India is considered to be the home to 398 languages (Map of India, n.d.). Of those languages, eleven have been reported extinct and only twenty-two languages of these languages are recognized as official languages of India under the Constitution (Map of India, n.d.). However, there is not a single language that is spoken across India as a whole (Map of India,

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n.d.). The different states of India have different official languages, though some of them are not recognized by the central government (Kiwintessenital, 2000). Some states have more than one official language (Kiwintessenital, 2000). Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people (Map of India, n.d.) Though Hindi is spoken by the majority of North Indians, it's not a popular means of communication in southern part of India. Similarly south Indian languages are not understood by the people of northern India (Map of India, n.d.).

The Gujarati Language The Gujarati language is native to the Indian state of Gujarat, and is the states chief language (Ager, 1998; Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 6; UCLA, 2005). There are about 46 million speakers of Gujarati worldwide, making it the 23rd most spoken native language in the world (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 6). According to the 2001 Census, a total of 84.5% of the population in Gujarat reported Gujarati as their first language, 5% were speakers of native tribal languages, 4.7% Hindi, 2% Sindhi, 1.5% Marathi, and 1% were speakers of Urdu language (Census of India, 2001). When separated by religion, 90% of Hindus in Gujarat speak Gujarati as their first language, while the other 10% speak Hindi and other languages (Census of India, 2001). Gujarati language history can be traced back at least to the twelfth century (Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 6; UCLA, 2005). As a result of continual invasion and conquest over the course of its history, the language has been influenced by a number of languages, among them Persian (Farsi), Arabic, Hindi/Urdu, Portuguese, and English (UCLA, 2005). There are four major dialects of the Gujarati language including Standard Gujarati (as spoken in the area extending from Baroda to the Gujarat capital Ahmedabad), Surati, Kathiawari,

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and Patani (UCLA, 2005). All four dialects seem to vary primary in vocabulary (UCLA, 2005). According to the UCLA Language Materials Project (2005), the tendency seems to be that the northern Gujarati dialects tend to borrow heavily from Arabic and Persian, while the southern dialects borrow more from Hindi, English, and Portuguese. Nonetheless, all dialects make use of a fair number of loan words from each of these languages. Gujarati is a modern Indo-Aryan language with a syllabic alphabet that consists of symbols for consonants and vowels (Ager, 1998; Cantero, Davis, and Hammer, 2010, p. 15). The Gujarati writing system is similar in many ways to the Devanagari script, but does not contain the line at the top of the letters that is characteristic of Devanagari (UCLA, 2005). The Gujarati script is written from left to right, and is phonetically written (Ager, 1998). According to Simon Ager, Gujarati is a segmental writing system in which consonantvowel sequences are written as a unit: each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is required. Vowels can be written as independent letters, or by using a variety of diacritical marks which are written above, below, before or after the consonant they belong to (Ager, 1998). With a total of 47 characters and several diacritics, the letters of the alphabet are traditionally divided into three groups: vowels, stops, and other consonants (UCLA, 2005). According to the UCLA Language Materials Project (2005), Gujarati phoneme inventory consists of eight vowels and twenty-four consonants, depending on the analysis. In addition, two diphthongs are attested. As in many Indic languages, a number of retroflex articulations are employed. As a result, Gujarati has fairly extensive stop and nasal series. Five stop consonants are attested and there are four varieties of nasal articulations. Gujarati is an agglutinative language. Agglutinative languages combine many morphemes into one word (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 169). The morpheme that signals

Linguistics Project plural cannot be changed and does not change form when combined with other morphemes (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 169). Meaning is determined by way of affixation and suffixation, rather than by independent freestanding morphemes (UCLA, 2005). Within the


Gujarati language, nouns inflect for number (singular, plural), and gender (masculine, feminine, neutral) (UCLA, 2005). Verbs agree with their subjects and similarly inflect for tense, mood, voice (active, passive), person, number, and gender (UCLA, 2005). In addition, adjectives inflect for gender, number, and case, and therefore agree with the nouns they modify (UCLA, 2005). On the other hand, adverbs do not inflect (UCLA, 2005). In regards to syntax, Gujarati structure follows a Subject-Object-Verb word order. According to the UCLA Language Materials Project (2005), postpositions are attested, but prepositions are not. With respect to the structure of the noun phrase, adjectives, non-adjectival modifiers, and relative clauses precede the nouns they modify. Inside the verb phrase, indirect objects precede direct objects and negative, modal-auxiliary, and interrogative elements precede the main verb. In addition, the syllable structure of the language is CCVCC. Within a syllable, consonant clusters are tolerated, but typically occur before the syllables vowel. Within the word, consonant clusters in initial and medial positions occur freely (UCLA, 2005). Stress typically falls on the second to last syllable of a word (UCLA, 2005).

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Linguistics Project Why is home language important for ESL development?


Because culture is such an important aspect of language teaching and learning, teachers need to be aware that the use of language is reflective of the culture in which a child is being raised. The culture in which individuals are raised is the most important determinant of how they view and interpret the world. Members of different cultural groups see and interpret events differently based on their beliefs, values, and experiences. These factors affect the meanings they assign to the world around them. Among the first steps to helping a child be successful in their education in the United States is encouraging the culturally and linguistically diverse families to continue to embrace their home culture, traditions, as well as their home language. What appears evident is that native language impacts on second language learners understanding of a second culture, worldviews, beliefs, assumptions, and presuppositions of their own culture (DeCapua and Wintergerst, 2004, p.28). Therefore, the role of a teacher is to help students become aware that their individual cultures influence how they see the world, and that this perception differs for everyone. This understanding can help students become more tolerant of others views of the world. ESL students who turn against or otherwise neglect their home language can often suffer from problems of feeling a loss of identity or alienation from their parents and from their grandparents or other family members in their home country. It is imperative that we show ELLs that their language is valued and that their culture is important. Within the classroom, teachers can help their students see their home language and culture as valuable by giving them opportunities to use their language, such as making books available that show their culture and language, as well as giving them choices of listening to websites and other media in their home

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language instead of English. In addition, giving ESL students opportunities to share information about their home culture would not only build confidence for the ESL student, but also provide cultural knowledge for his or her peers. Encouraging the continual use of ones home language is important because ESL students are able to learn English more quickly and effectively if they maintain and develop their proficiency in their mother tongue (Krashen, 2004, n.p.). Research has shown that many skills acquired in the first language can be transferred to the second language. According to Freeman and Freeman, whether students are reading in Spanish, Chinese, Farsi, or English, they use the same processes. ELLs who already read in their first language bring important knowledge and skills to reading in English (2004, p. 20).For example, if a child has developed good reading skills in Gujarati, he or she is likely to be able to apply these skills when reading English. The ability to read in L1 can profoundly benefit reading in L2 are not only beneficial because reading skills transfer from language one to language two, but also because reading provides knowledge of the world that makes second-language texts more comprehensible. In addition, the pleasure of the reading habit itself transfers to the second language. As a result, children will learn English much more effectively if they continue to develop their first language at the same time.

Linguistics Project P.s Writing Sample


Linguistics Project Analysis of Ps Writing Sample In this writing sample, P is writing to inform me about India. India is one of the Asian countries. Himalaya is north of India and that the mountains make good looking India beautiful. In second sentence, P writes that make good looking India instead of writing that the Himalaya, or Himalayas make India beautiful. This demonstrates how a native Gujarati speaker would say this sentence. She has translated it from Gujarati to English in her mind. Himalaya is the worlds second or third highest mountain range. In the third sentence, she writes Himalaya is second or third highest mountain. Himalaya is short for the Himalaya Mountains, and in her sentence, she does not use the determiner the. According to Freeman and Freeman (2004), "In English every singular common noun has to be preceded by a determiner or quantifier" (p. 177). This missing determiner is a common mistake throughout Ps writing. Snow isIt snows all time there like the Arctic.


When she writes, Snow is all the time she is writing the word snow as a noun, instead of as a verb. Therefore, the action of snow should be written as It snows. In addition, she again does not use the determiner the before the word Artic. The Ssea-shore is the eastern, southern, and western border of the India so it makes the county more pretty beautiful. In the last sentence of the paragraph, P again does not use the as a determiner before the word seashore. She also writes directions to describe the location of the seashore, which should be written as eastern, southern, and western. Though directions, such as north and northern, can be written as adjectives, most uses of north as an adjective corresponds to a static location:

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north pole, north face, north side, a direct reference to the north as an orientation or a place. On the other hand, northern seems to be used as a direction, an area relative to something else, such as northern Kentucky. At the end of the sentence, P writes so it makes more pretty. This fragment is missing the subject the country. In addition, the adjective beautiful would be best to take the place of the phrase more pretty. *Ideas for the teacher to help her fix the problem areas: Explain that in English instead of saying that make good looking India one should say that the Himalayas make India beautiful. To help P add determiners into her writing, a mini-lesson could be taught about the different determiners in the English language and a practice exercise could be used to help her identify the determiners within sentences. Teach a mini-lesson on adjectives in comparisons. This website is a great way to practice:

India is a nice country. There is are very kind people in India. In the sentence, There is very kind people the subject and verb do not agree in number. This sentence has a plural subject (people) and singular subject (is). *Ideas for teachers to help fix subject-verb agreement: Teach a mini-lesson on subject-verb agreement. This website is a great way to practice:

Its cultures, dresses, foods, festivals, and languages are different from other countries.

Linguistics Project In this sentence, P is missing the word and to indicate the end of her list.


Every state in India has whatever states as many different languages as and many different foods, dresses and festivals. In English, the sentence P has written is very confusing. It seems she has written this how a native Gujarati speaker would say this sentence, and she has translated it from Gujarati to English in her head.

Hindi is our national language. The Peacoke peacock is the national bird. Because the language and bird belong to the nation as a whole, the word national should be used. In addition, the word peacock has been misspelled and P has not use the determiner the before the word peacock or in from of the word national.

The Ssecond day after the Diwali Festival is our new year. We have all kinds of festivals., Like like Diwali, Holi, Kite-flying day, and Navratri. We do different things on during each festival. Like For example, on Diwali we use fire-crackers, on Kite-flying day we fly kites, on Holi we do color on face to paint on each others faces. Same way Wwe have so many different kinds of to many festivals. In this last paragraph about the national festivals of Gujarat, the word like is used as an adverb to begin a sentence fragment. In both cases, she could have replaced the word like with more formal phrases including such as, for example, or for instance. When describing the different festivals, P writes, on Holi we do color on face to each other. She is describing face

Linguistics Project painting, but has again written this how a native Gujarati speaker would say this sentence, and she has translated directly from the Gujarati language.


Analysis of Language Sample I met with P at her home in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. I arrived soon after her two children got off the bus from school. She seemed happy to see me and was excited that I had brought her a gift of yellow flowers. She was very welcoming and was eager to tell me all about India. Though we talked for well over an hour, the audio sample I wanted to share included topics such as her schooling in India and a little bit about arranged marriage. Though her accent is significant, one can tell that she has studied English and is eager to learn more. For ease of reading, Ps words are in red, my words are in blue, and my analysis appears in black and is separated by parentheses. Following the interview, I have suggestions for the teachers use to help students like P improve his or her language learning.

March 7, 1012 (About 5 minutes into our conversation) How far in school did you go? How far? Its 30 minutes, but I was walking In India, they dont have, like, school buses, er, like school provides school buses work or we can [cannot interpret] but I was walking. (She did not fully understand my question, and answered with the distance she had to go to get to school. I confused her by using the words, How far So, I tried asking the same question in a different way) How many years did you go to school?

Linguistics Project How many years? I finished twelve and two years college. Oh, okay! What did you study in college? English [she laughs] I am from Gujaratis Gujarat, right? So, I know only my language. I didnt know English, so I study about English. Did you know you were going to come to the United States?


No, I didnt know. I just learn I know English is everywhere, so its good thing to learn. So, that why I try to learn English. When did you meet you husband??? My husband?... Ummm [daughter says something]Yeah No When? I donno. When we met him, we dont meet each other. My mom It was an arranged marriage? Oh, wow! Yeah, [she laughs]my mom and his mom. They fix our marriage and we marry like that. Wow! Would you do that for them? [I ask as I motion towards her daughter and son who are standing near us as we sit at the kitchen table] Huh? (She, again, did not fully understand my question. So, I tried asking the same question in a different way) Would you have them in an arranged marriage? Yeah No, arranged marriage? Would you arrange Dridi with a man or would she get to choose? No, es (She laughs, nervously this time, because she still does not understand what I am asking. She turns to her daughter to help translate)

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No, I dont want to do like that. I dont want to for Driti. She study, she grow up here, right? And here, here its not like that. So, whatever she wants, I want to do. Recommendations for the teacher One major aspect of the interview that I noticed during the interview was the fact that even when she was struggling to find the correct English word to match what she wanted to convey, P did not ask for clarification if she was not clearly understanding. If she is going to be a competent communicator those are huge aspects. Teaching students how to ask questions so that they can communicate in the new language is one way teachers can aid in language acquisition. Useful phrases to teach students would include; Please repeat. I dont understand. Could you explain again? Could you show me? As the student learns to respond to a native speaker with these phrases, he or she can help make the input from others more comprehensible and will continue to gain new language abilities (M. Sergesketter, personal communication, 2012). Another observation is in relation to Ps accent. When speaking, she doesnt differentiate between /v/ and /w/. Instead, she uses a frictionless approximant [] for words with either sound, possibly in free variation with [v] and/or [w]. So wet and vet are homophones (Fisher, 2009). To help correct this, word studies could be used with the beginning sounds of "v" and "w". By giving a student a specific word to say for the beginning sound of w (such as wagon) would also help them check themselves as they use this unfamiliar phoneme. Overall, P was a wonderful person with whom to work. She was eager to meet with me and share about her culture and language. It was obvious to me that she has worked hard to learn English and is excited to continue to learn and improve her language skills. With her schooling background as a college educated adult, one can easily see the influence her level of education and knowledge in her L1 has influenced her ability to learn and succeed in learning L2. Tomas

Linguistics Project and Collier (1997) indicated that the number of years of formal schooling in the ELLs home language, including schooling in the home country, is a strong predictor for academic


achievement in English (Sousa, 2011, p.45). In addition, I believe Ps background has positively influenced her childrens level of proficiency and success in school due to the fact that she works with them at home on their homework in English, as well as works with them to learn Gujarati.

Recommendations for classroom teachers to close the Achievement Gap for ELLs Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) along with other professional teachers organizations consider it vital for classroom teachers to understand the applications of language components and the many aspects of learning a language. Best practices for language learners need to be implemented through differentiation or accommodations in all classrooms containing culturally and linguistically diverse students. The responsibility for educating language minority students does not merely lie with the ESL or bilingual teacher any longer; educating language minority students is the responsibility of all teachers (Lacina, Levine, and Sowa, 2006, p.65). Therefore, in order to teach reading, phonemic awareness, English morphology and syntax, along with all of the other content area subjects, Educators must understand the Natural Approach of learning a language. When students are acquiring a language, be it first or second, research shows it is learned in a natural order. [S]ome aspects of language appear in the speech of language learners before other features. For example, babies acquiring English first produce sounds with vowels (usually the low, back ah sound) and later add consonants beginning with consonants formed with the lips, like p and mSounds like r come laterOther parts of language also appear in a natural order. Statements come before

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questions, positive statements come before negatives, and so on (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 36). Even for children whose first language is not English, this natural order of acquisition holds true no matter which aspect of language learning the researchers are investigating: acquisition of sounds, word parts, or sentence patterns. In addition, Krashens theory of second language acquisition also includes the Natural Order hypothesis, which was based on his analysis of the order of acquisition of morphemes (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 205). The natural order of morpheme acquisition includes: Stage 1: -ing (progressive) Plural To be verbs Stage 2: Auxiliary (progressive: he is going) Article (a, the) Stage 3: Stage 4: Irregular past Regular past Third-singular s (he walks) Possessives According to Freeman and Freeman (2004), the order of acquisition is the same for both children and adults from different language backgrounds [In addition,] the order of acquisition for English as a second language is similar to that of English as a first language (p. 207). In order to make messages comprehensible for ESL Students and to help ELLs move through the steps of language acquisition, teachers should: Speak slowly Use gestures, visuals, and realia (concrete objects to hold or view)

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Avoid idioms, slang, contractions Make connections with their background knowledge Include their culture Use their language when possible to explain It is also important to use the English proficiency level of your student and use WIDAs

Can-Do Descriptors as a reference to create realistic expectations for each ESL student. Teachers should provide activities that are slightly beyond their level to challenge the student, but not be so difficult that lessons are not comprehensible. Knowing the proficiency level reached on the last WIDA ACCESS test given, and incorporating the TESOL language standards into lesson plans will help guide lessons to best aid in the language development of English language learners.

Recommendations for Teaching Phonology When teaching reading to English language learners, one factor to consider is the phonological differences among languages. Because phonemes are the sounds used in a particular language to signal differences in meaning, it is important to understand that each language uses a different catalog of sounds. Phonemes vary across languages; therefore, when testing for phonemic awareness, a teacher needs to remember that a sound in one language is not the same in English. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that ELLs have already developed the phonology of one language, and that knowledge of L1 may influence their perception of English sounds (M. Sergesketter, personal communication, 2012). In order to understand what is being said, speakers of any language must be able to divide up speech into words or parts of words. Native speakers develop phonological awareness

Linguistics Project naturally. An important part of learning a language is being able to understand what is said by


differentiating the speech stream into its component parts. This includes progressing from whole phrases, perceiving words, and then understanding parts of words. It is important to note that ELLs have to learn thirty-nine English sounds or phonemes. Though they will struggle to identify these phonemes in isolation, students will find it easier to communicate these sounds in natural situations. Therefore, the best way to see what they understand is by assessing them orally by asking them what a word begins with, or what sound they hear first. From a sociopsycholinguistic perspectiveawareness of phonemes develops as children acquire oral language. When they are read to, children connect this knowledge of sounds to letters. However, their focus is on making sense of text, and they are not consciously aware of how sounds connect to spellings (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 81). In other words, phonemic awareness comes from reading to children, not from working on activities separately. According to Adams (1990), there are 5 levels of phonemic awareness: 1) hear rhymes and alliteration in nursery rhymes 2) do oddity tasks (picking out a word that starts with a different phoneme from others in a series) 3) blend or spit syllables 4) perform phonemic segmentation (count the number of phonemes in a word like cat) 5) perform phoneme manipulation tasks (adding, deleting, substituting a phoneme) These skills are all characteristics that good readers possess, while "those who lacked phonemic awareness struggled with reading" (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 76). Research shows that children with greater phonemic awareness at a younger age were better readers by third or fourth grade. A document called, Put Reading First, says that phonemic awareness can be taught and

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learned (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p.77). The following are specific activities for teachers and students to work on phonemic awareness: Phoneme isolation (What is the first sound in van?) Phoneme identity (What sound is the same in fix, fall, and fun?) Phoneme categorization (Which word doesnt belong- bus, bur, or rug)? Phoneme blending (Combine individual phonemes to form a word. Phoneme segmentation (Divide a word into its phonemes and say each one.) (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 77) Along with developing phonemic awareness through direct, systematic and explicit teaching, students will benefit from developing graphophonic knowledge. Graphophonics is subconscious knowledge that is aquired as people read (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 139). To develop graphophonic knowledge, children must hear books read to them while looking at the print. This allows them to make connections between oral and written language. Students learn best from seeing the words as they hear them and by being able to follow the words with their finger as they read. Therefore, to acquire graphophonic knowledge, children need to participate in reading and being read authentic books, not books created to mimic phonics patterns. They can also gain this knowledge by playing language games, singing songs, and learning rhymes.

Additional activities to help develop phonemic/graphophemic awareness include: Syllable count say the word (eg. yesterday), then use fingers to count the syllables (yes/ter/day).

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Finish the name /Finish the word - adult to say the first syllable of a two syllable word (eg. zeb...) then ask the pupil to complete it (zebra).

I spy initial sounds (everyday items in the classroom); initial sounds (pictorial choice); initial CV (consonant-vowel) blending (I am thinking of something beginning with ca...); Pairs - matching pictures to initial sounds;

Bingo matching pictures to initial sounds. Sound/picture mapping match picture to sound by drawing lines. Pelmanism matching pictures to initial CV. Missing vowels helps the pupils to become aware that there could be more than one choice of vowels for each word (eg. bt bat, bet, bit, but).

Line-links ask the pupils to draw lines to link initial sounds to rhyme endings (eg. bed/r-ed, m-an/c-an).

Rhyme word searches with words and pictures Rhyme families collect rhyming words or pictures Rhyming cloze (oral) using traditional rhymes, action rhymes, songs and jingles. Blends and ends matching initial consonant blends to rhyme endings (eg. bl-ack/tr-ack). Dominoes using blends and ends. Tongue twisters initial sounds and consonant blends Odd word out both oral and written (eg. ring, sing, song, thing). Sense or nonsense have students identify the words that make sense by blending the phonemes

Linguistics Project Recommendations for Teaching Orthography


Although the phonemes of English and other languages will be different, the differences can be minimized when the focus of instruction is constructing meaning. ELLs are able to utilize background knowledge and cues from syntax and semantics to supplement phonological cues in making meaning, thereby allowing them to learn to speak and write English, and study content at the same time. Taking a scientific approach to teaching spelling rules is a good way to get students involved in learning about spelling. Research has shown that when students read and write extensively, they acquire a subconscious knowledge of possible spellings in a language. Most words are spelled the way they sound However, spellings signal meanings, not just sounds. English has many words that sound the name but have different meanings. Alternate ways of spelling a sound allow writers to show meanings through spelling (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 108). In the English language most spellings that strike readers as unusual are the result of retaining forgein spellings of borrowed words (p. 109). Research shows that spelling tests do not accomplish what we expect because students study their list of words during the week, pass the test on Friday, and still misspell the words the next time they write a composition To help students become better spellers, first, they need to be doing writing that they want others to read... Second, students need to understand that the spelling system is logical and does follow rules" (p. 112). Freeman and Freeman go on to state that "many poor spellers think that good spellers just memorize all the words" (p. 112). As it turns out, "it does appear that good spellers develop some sort of visual image of a correct spelling" (p. 112).

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To help students investigate how the spelling system works, teachers can involve them in activities in which they collect words and try to make generalizations about the spellings. In doing this, teachers and students take a scientific approach to spelling. Even if students don't come up with a rule that works every time, the process of collecting words, looking for spelling patterns, and trying to state generalizations helps students become more conscious of correct spellings" (p. 112). Some ideas for teaching spelling include: The silent e rule and the consonant doubling rule are procedural rules, rules that involve changes in spelling when adding a suffix to a root word (p. 120). The silent e rule can be taught by: o Help students visualize complex words as being made up of a root and a prefix or suffix (p. 120). o Have student collect examples of silent e words. o Question students why some words have a silent e. The consonant doubling rule can be taught by: o Pair students together to discuss a list of words and why you double a final consonant before adding a suffix. o Tell students final consonants are never double before a suffix that starts with a consonant (p. 125). Other orthography investigations could be made on these spellings and punctuation problems: The spellings of /k/ (c, k, ck, ch, q, que, kh, x, cc, cq, kk) Spelling rules for silent e

Linguistics Project Words that double final consonants/Words that dont double final consonants Words with ch or tch at the end The letter c followed by a, o, u/The letter k followed by i,e When do we use a period (.)? When do we use a question mark (?)? When do we use an exclamation mark (!)? How do quotation marks work in English? For intermediate proficiency level students; the use of hyphens, commas, colons, etc.


Recommendations for Teaching Morphology Morphology is the study of words and a morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit or part of a word (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 166-167). Words are made up of free and bound morphemes, and linguists analyze words by their structure; simple words have one free morpheme, complex words combine free and bound morphemes (p. 168). Being able to find meaningful parts and understanding what the meaning of a word is crucial to vocabulary comprehension and building. Once learners start figuring out that you can take a verb and make it into a noun (ex. Bake = baker, bakery, etc.) then their vocabulary can really expand. Students acquire many more words during reading than through the direct instruction of vocabulary. The repeated exposure to a word is necessary for a person to develop full understanding of a word. Traditionally, part of learning vocabulary has been to memorize suffixes, prefixes, root words, and base words. However, these are all difficult concepts for ELLs to understand. Although some linguistic investigations can help to learn words and word parts, applying structural analysis while reading is not best practice for an ELL. Big words are made up of little

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words, smaller words have different meanings, spellings change when some suffixes or prefixes are added, borrowed words from other languages skew the interpretation, and the meaningful parts of the words are hard for ELLs to decipher. Overall, it is very difficult to put meanings of the different suffixes, prefixes, and base words together to understand the meaning of a word. Many times this process is much more difficult than just learning the definition of a word. According to Freeman & Freeman (2004), teachers who take a sociopsycholinguistic view recognize the importance of building background knowledge for reading (p. 196). After building background knowledge numerous encounters with a word in many different contexts should be provided as students who encounter a word in a variety of activities and different contexts develop a more accurate understanding of its meaning and use (p. 197). In essence, students need to see a word in context to develop a sense of how the word is used, not just learn a definition (p. 197). Because the context of textbooks is not equally familiar to all children, prereading activities are recommended. These activities include: discussion of the content of a story, provision of background information, building a common experience, and explanation of difficult lexical items. The focus is then on building background, not just learning words. A good approach to helping students build concepts and vocabulary needed to read texts is frontloading. "Frontloading involves learning about something, talking about it, wondering about it, and then reading and writing about it" (p. 198). Frontloading is different than preteaching in the fact that frontloading is designed to help students build background knowledge instead of only focusing on the words themselves. Students acquire vocabulary as they read; therefore, reading is obviously very important in vocabulary development. Students acquire many more words through reading than they could possibly learn as the result of direct

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teaching of vocabulary (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p.199). In fact, students acquire words ten times faster from than learning words though intensive vocabulary instruction (p. 201). In addition to frontloading, it is imperative for teachers to scaffold instruction to help students gain understanding of content. Since ELLs are learning language and content at the same time, teachers can use a number of strategies to help students comprehend academic texts. They can activate or build background knowledge, preview texts, and teach ways to use graphic organizers to represent key ideas. Teachers can also involve students in extensive readingIf students are reading content area texts, they will acquire academic English (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 209). Teachers must be able to help students acquire the specific vocabulary used by the textbook to explain a concept or to define a technical term. This type of vocabulary is called content-specific vocabulary, while another less noticeable but equally important type of vocabulary in academic texts is called general academic vocabulary. These are the words used across several different content areas to clarify academic language, such as: therefore, hypothesis, experiment, and thus. These are the words used to express ideas and are much harder to define, but are just as important for ELLs to understand. In addition to frontloading, here are some other activities to help students learn new vocabulary include: Use Graphic Organizers - help organize thoughts and vocabulary (K/W/L Chart, Story Maps, Word Web, etc.) Silent Reading Time - students acquire vocabulary as they read Buddy Reading pair ELLs with a native English speaker in order to provide another model for language learning

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Websites that are helpful in the study of morphology of the English language are:

Recommendations for Teaching Syntax Syntax is about how words are sequenced to convey meaning. This meaning can be changed by rearranging the same words in a different order. The goal of teaching English syntax to students is to help students enhance their understanding of the structure of English. Studies show that traditional approaches to teaching grammar have not been effective in improving students speech or writing. Exercises and drills have been designed to teach surface-structure patterns with little attention to meaning. Through these lessons, students simply learn to imitate the patterns, but often fail to comprehend the underlining rules that are needed to produce the language correctly (Freeman & Freeman, 2004, p. 216-221). Therefore modern linguistics approaches the study of grammar in a different manner so that students can produce language by using the subconscious rules of the theory of syntax. Language can be unclear if we use certain sentence structures in the English language. In English, every sentence can be written as a series of phrases that include a noun phrase (NP), and auxiliary verb (AUX) and a verb phrase (VP) (Sousa, 2011, p.16). The noun phrase can also contain an adjective, a prepositional phrase. As children learn the English language, they learn how to order these words and how to rearrange words correctly in a sentence so that it sounds right and make sense (Sousa, 2011, p.16). As students read, they acquire this syntactic knowledge so that they begin to understand when a sentence or parts of the words are not in the

Linguistics Project right order. Although native English speaking students may not be able to explain the rules behind this order or use of words, when they hear a sentence, they can tell if it is right. Some syntax rules can be learned, others have to be practiced and used to have comprehension. Practical ways to help students practice syntax include: Cloze Sentences To practice the correct sentence structure, students can fill in the blank with a content vocabulary word. Sentence Puzzle Have students cut the sentences apart and put them back together. Start with telling sentences with a noun phrase (NP), auxiliary (AUX), verb phrase (VP), then move to asking questions. Diagraming Simple Sentences - draw the diagram then decide where to put the subject, verb, and descriptive words. Showing how the sentence is made up of different phrases will help in figuring out meaning. Targeted mini-lessons based on students writing this provides students with the opportunity to apply this knowledge as they edit their writing Oral sentence completion ask the student to complete open-ended sentences (e.g. The cat jumped into...').


Tell me describe objects or pictures orally for others to guess. The student must give sentence clues (e.g. 'It is red. It is very long.').

Sort a sentence using known words. The student should recognize that the word with the capital letter starts the sentence and the word with the full stop ends the sentence.

Written sentence completion have the student write endings for open-ended sentences (e.g. Mom went to...).

Linguistics Project Reorganize simple words into complete sentences using given subject/verb/object sentences (e.g. The girl/was drawing/a picture). Cloze Activity choice of nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. Now and then (verb tenses) ask the student to choose sentences that can be placed on the 'now' or 'then' boards (e.g. The boy ran to school. The boy is running to school).


Did you know? ask the student to write some simple sentence information facts. Verb change ask the student to change a verb that has been repeated in a passage.

Pronoun change ask the children to identify pronouns with people in in a text.

By implementing these strategies, as well as involving parents, and creating an inviting classroom atmosphere we will go far in helping to close the achievement gap for ESL students. As educators, we must realize that language, whether oral or written, cannot be learned as a result of direct teaching, but through authentic learning. Taken as a whole, understanding the essential linguistics for teaching reading, spelling, phonics, and grammar, is the key for teachers to be successful in guiding ELLs to successful English language proficiency.

Linguistics Project References Ager, Simon. (1998). Omniglot: the online encyclopedia of writing system & languages. Retrieved from Cantero, J., Davis, C. and Hammer, B. (2010). Gujarati language manual. Texas State University. Retrieved from

39 .pdf Census of India. (2011). Government of India: ministry of home affairs. Retrieved from DeCupua, A. and Wintergerst, A. (2004). Crossing cultures in the language classroom. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Educational Institutions Resource Book (2001). Education in Gujarat. Retrieved f rom Fischer, S.G. (2009). Indian Languages. Retrieved from Freeman D. and Freeman Y. (2004). Essential linguistics: what you need to know to teach reading, ESL, spelling, phonics, grammar. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Freeman D. and Freeman Y. (2004). Keys for helping English language learners develop reading proficiency. Retrieved from Gujarat: Official State Portal. (2009). Retrieved from Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading: insights from the research. Heinemann, Portsmouth.

Linguistics Project Kwintessential. (2000). India: language, culture, customs, and etiquette. Retrieved from


Lancina, J., Levine, L. and Sowa, P. (2006). Helping English language learners succeed in PreK Elementary schools: collaborative partnerships between ESL and classroom teachers. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. Landers, M. and Grossman, L. (n.d.). Culture crossing: a community built guide to cross-cultural etiquette & understanding India. Retrieved from Maps of India. (2012) Gujarati. Retrieved from National Portal of India. (n.d.). Government of India. Retrieved from Sousa, David A. (2011). How the ELL brain works. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Teacher Report 2011 for ACCESS for ELLs English Language Proficiency Test. (2011). UCLA language materials project: teaching resources for less commonly taught (2005). Gujarati. Retrieved from U.S. Department of State. (2011). Background note: India. Retrieved from