This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Explicit and Implicit Instruction of Discourse Markers to Heritage Speakers of Spanish




Cuartero Marco, Marina

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Foreign Language and Literature


The controversy of using Explicit and Implicit Instruction is widely discussed in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). SLA research generally addresses more salient linguistic elements, than less noticeable ones, e.g. Discourse Markers (DMs). Although Heritage Speakers (HS) learn the heritage language from a natural environment, research has found that HS may also benefit from formal instruction. The purpose of this pilot study is to determine whether Explicit or Implicit Instruction enhances the retention and production of DMs by HS of Spanish. Six HS of Spanish were exposed to two different types of instruction (Explicit-Implicit) on DMs and tested on accuracy and retention of DMs through an Oral Interview and a Forced Choice Task. Preliminary results on a small sample of HS suggest that Explicit Instruction may be beneficial for HS. However, this pilot study is worth replicating with a larger HS sample.