Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Steve Bird

Abstract

English Language Learners (ELLs) are consistently found to overuse, misunderstand, and misuse connectives in the English language (Bolton et al., 2002; Chen, 2006; Hinkel, 2002; Ozono & Ito, 2003; Zhang, 2000) and current research has not investigated whether this misunderstanding effects the memory of claims. The primary goal of the present study was to examine whether knowledge of truth-functional connectives is related to conjunctive bias in ELL students. Using a within-subjects design, the effects of instruction in truth-functional connectives on conjunctive bias in nine ELL students were investigated. Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVA) revealed an elimination of conjunctive bias following explicit instruction in truth functions. Further tests were also conducted to validate instruments for measuring conjunctive bias, the understanding of truth functions, and to evaluate conjunctive bias and the understanding of truth functions among 29 ELL’s. The findings have significant pedagogical implications related to the justification of including instruction in truth functions in language curriculum.


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