Two professional linguistics journals recently published articles written by Dr. Manuel Morales, Spanish Professor at Maranatha.
The first, titled “The Influence of Mental Imagery on the Preterite and Imperfect in Spanish,” was published in Vida Hispanica. The article discussed the acquisition of certain elements of Spanish grammar. The second, “Second Language Acquisition of Spanish by Morpheme Type: The 4-M Model,” was published in The Southern Journal of Linguistics. This article dealt with a preliminary study of speech errors in students learning Spanish. Both articles were sent to the respective journals this summer. Morales coauthored them with Dr. Daniel Smith, a sociolinguist and associate professor at Clemson University (Clemson, SC).
The two articles are revised portions of Morales’ thesis, which he completed in 2003. Morales said he was able to do this because, while compiling his thesis, “I worked in areas that nobody else did.” The thesis focused on the hardest grammatical issues in second language acquisition.
“(The) reason I do that is because I want to help my students,” Morales said. “That has always been my point.”
Because Morales’ thesis was innovative, it has remained relevant, allowing him to publish portions more recently. Two articles were published in 2008.
Morales is currently researching material for an article he expects to finish next May. The longitudinal study (many observations of the same variables over a long time period) will examine Spanish students at Maranatha as well as English students from Peru and Spain, tracking the progress and strategies used by the students to overcome grammatical difficulties. The Modern Language Journal has already expressed interest in publishing an article about this study, Morales said.
–By Brynn Fitzsimmons