Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


«Ser» y «estar»: Developmental Stages of Acquisition


Modern Languages & Literatures Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Arts and Humanities


Early French immersion programs in Canada applied what some have referred to as a gentle approach to language teaching, one in which students received intensive exposure to the target language over an extended period of several years while the expectations for French usage among the learners developed slowly over time. A focus on form and explicit corrective feedback were limited or nonexistent. This approach to language immersion served as a model for the development of immersion programs in the U.S. This paper examines the acquisition of the Spanish copular verbs «ser» and «estar» among secondary students enrolled in a Spanish immersion program originally established in accordance with the underlying principles of Canadian immersion models. The students in the study had completed a total immersion elementary program of six years and partial immersion middle school program of two years consisting of two contact hours per day in Spanish. Data were gathered from a picture description task that students completed orally. The findings of that oral task have served to underscore the importance of implementing a focus on form component in this program. Recent programmatic modifications and examples of the original and current student oral production will be presented.

Conference Name

Applied Linguistics Perspectives on Content and Language Integrated Learning (ALP-CLIL)

Conference Location

Miraflores de la Sierra, Madrid, Spain

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