La producción de los actos asertivos y directivos durante la adquisición de una segunda lengua
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In a globalizing world where possibilities are endless, it is important to be capable of speaking a second language. Learning to correctly speak a second language forms the main target of second language education. The possibilities of ICT now change this field of education. Digital media provide the possibility to converse with people all over the world. This increases the opportunities to improve second language education and with that the intercultural competence of the second language learners. This master thesis is a study concerning the production of assertive and directive speech acts by second language learners with the goal to assess the contribution of a native speaker in a digital environment to the process of second language acquisition. It is part of the NIFLAR-project which aims at incorporating digital learning environments in second language education making it more authentic, relevant and rewarding. This investigation focuses on six Dutch students from Utrecht University who are learning Spanish on level B1 and realize conversations led by tasks in two learning environment: four in a traditional classroom without presence of a native speaker and two in the digital setting of video web communication with the presence of a native speaker from the University of Valencia. This investigation analyzes the role of a native speaker and of the digital environment on the development process of the production of assertive and directive speech acts by second language learners Furthermore analyzes the influence of interculturality concerning the cultural rules of politeness on this process. This analysis is linked with existing academic theories of foreign language acquisition. The results of this investigation demonstrate that cultural differences concerning politeness influence the way second language learners produce speech acts, as is shown by the mitigation of their expressions. Nevertheless, this will not have influence on the development process. The results prove that a digital environment with the presence of a native speaker who is capable of fulfilling the task of being a professor and guaranteeing an authentic input contributes more to the development of the production of assertive and directive speech acts than a traditional classroom without the presence of a native speaker. Due to the leading role of the native speaker he/she produces a lot of directives in the form of questions which stimulate the production of assertives by the language learners. Thereby his/her feedback to the students increases their confidence to produce the second language. This investigation has not resulted in a similar conclusion regarding the production of directive speech acts, probably because the second language learners are not stimulated to produce these speech acts due to the leading role of the native speaker.