Students of Spanish and the Spanish preterit and imperfect verb forms

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Sherman, Richard Word, 1941-

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A questionnaire was administered to a selected group of students of Spanish at The University of Texas. The responses to this questionnaire were studied to determine the students’ motivations, attitudes, and cognitive strategies concerning the Spanish preterit and imperfect verb forms. It was found that the students felt that these Spanish verb forms are important in Spanish study and that they are a difficult portion of Spanish study. Also, most of the students surveyed used rule-based cognitive strategies concerning the study of these verb forms, in that a large percentage of the students’ strategies are to study their textbook and to memorize grammar rules. Generally, the students felt that the Spanish preterit is less difficult than the Spanish imperfect and that more drills, work sheets, and instructor-supplied examples would be beneficial to their learning processes. Those students with lower self-reported grades concerning the Spanish preterit and imperfect are more likely to have been informed that the Spanish preterit and imperfect are difficult areas of Spanish study.