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TEACHING STRATEGIES OF GRAMMATICAL GENDER IN L2 HINDI/URDU

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore teaching and learning strategies for grammatical gender in the L2 Hindi/Urdu classroom and to determine if heritage learners have the advantage of an implicit knowledge of grammatical gender over non-native learners. In Hindi/Urdu, unlike other languages, there are no articles coupled with nouns reflecting their gender and the specific markers for masculine –aa and feminine –ii are not always consistent. This study employed the psycholinguistic approach known as ‘chunking,’ coupling nouns with adjectives ending in –aa for masculine and –ii for feminine. The paper presents a pilot study that used two groups. Each group had ten participants, five heritage and five non-native learners. One group received a list of nouns with explicit masculine and feminine labels. Another group received the same nouns coupled with marked adjectives. After a week, both groups were given a grammaticality judgment task. The results show that the group that received the nouns coupled with adjectives performed better than the other group and that there was no significant difference between the scores of the heritage and non-native participants.

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Ranjan, R., (2013) “TEACHING STRATEGIES OF GRAMMATICAL GENDER IN L2 HINDI/URDU”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 20, p.1-19.

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Rajiv Ranjan (University of Iowa)

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