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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of the methods and underlying principles of three programmes aimed at imparting multiple language comprehension of the romance languages Cuzzetto, Armando Antonio

Abstract

This thesis explores the ability to use Inferencing in multiple or simultaneous Romance language acquisition. Utilizing a semiotic approach, the notion or system of Inferencing as a component in the theoretical bases of the methodologies used in EuRom4, Galatea, and EuroComRom is analyzed. The system (in structuralist terms) to which Inferencing is attributed is identified as the ability to use Inferencing in multiple Romance language acquisition, is validated, and the structuralist presuppositions underlying the theories that lead to the methodologies are described as well as a commentary given of their gains and or shortcomings. The aim of the study is to ascertain to what extent each programme makes use of the process and the notions surrounding it as discussed in Carton’s study “Inferencing: a process in using and learning language,” and to attempt an evaluation of their successes or failure in doing so. In Chapter I intercomprehension is defined and its origins and the reasoning behind recent interest in it are explained. We also examine in this chapter the theoretical bases of the programmes to be studied in the rest of our study as explained by Carton’s paper on Inferencing. Chapter II analyses EuRom4, the first programme in this study that demonstrates some of Carton’s theories. The founders of the programme are discussed and a description of the programmes is given, as is the target audience, methodology, theoretical bases, and empirical data relating to the attainment of the proposed objectives. This same format is followed for Chapters III and IV, with the other two programmes analysed, Galatea and EuroComRom. Chapter V analyses the theoretical bases of the methodologies used in all three programmes using a semiotic approach. The similarities and differences between the programmes are given, as is an evaluation of their effectiveness. This chapter suggests that perhaps a different approach be used, to accommodate what is missing and needs to be done in future regarding this type of pedagogy. The thesis concludes by querying what the future holds for intercomprehension, in which a positive response is suggested for an inevitable change in the status quo of traditional language pedagogy.

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