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Title:Using task-based elicitation to measure effectiveness of counterfactual conditional instruction
Author(s):Fitzpatrick, Shawn
Advisor(s):Davidson, Frederick G.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Discipline:Teaching of English Sec Lang
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):counterfactual conditional
illocutionary act
second conditional
task natural
task naturalness
task-based learning
task-based testing
Abstract:This study investigates the feasibility of using meaning-focused tasks to evaluate the degree to which ESL / EFL learners are able to use counterfactual second conditionals and related grammatical structures to perform certain illocutionary acts. To this end the researcher attempted to create tasks for which the production of the target grammatical structures would be “natural” (Loschcky & Bley-Vroman, 1993, p. 132). For the purpose of this study, “task naturalness” was defined as successful elicitation from a “significant majority” of native speakers. Using a process of “iterative, consensusbased, specification-driven testing” (Davidson & Lynch, 2002, p. 7), two types of tasks were developed: 1) Spoken dyadic role-plays designed to elicit expressions of willingness (e.g., “I’d love to help, but…”) and 2) Written logic puzzles designed to elicit proof-by-contradiction (e.g., “If the light were off, Sherlock would know the answer.”). In general, both task types were successful at eliciting either counterfactual second conditionals or related grammatical structures. This study represents the first step in a long term project to develop instructional materials to teach counterfactual second conditionals and related structures.
Issue Date:2011-01-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Shawn Fitzpatrick
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-14
Date Deposited:2010-12

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