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Title:The processing of grammatical structures via written input: L2 reading and the input-to-intake phenomenon
Author(s):Shook, David John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lee, James F.
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Language, Modern
Education, Reading
Abstract:Research has shown that second language learners have a limited capacity for processing the input to which they are exposed. This is reflected at all stages of the language-learning process, not only at the level of the input-to-intake process, but also in the intake-to-acquisition and acquisition-to-use processes (VanPatten, 1989). The present study focused on the input-to-intake phenomenon: can L2 learner-readers process grammatical information presented via written input as intake? Three research questions were addressed: (1) What effect does explicitly drawing attention to grammatical items in the input have on L2 learner-readers' intake? (2) What effect does the type of grammatical item in the input have on L2 learner-readers' intake? (3) What effect does target-language experience have on L2 learner-readers' intake?
Reading passages were designed which varied the amount of attention drawn to the grammatical structures. The two structures examined were the Spanish present perfect and the relative pronouns que/quien(es). The subjects were first- and second-year students of Spanish. Multiple tasks were designed in order to assess the processing of input into intake: recognition and production tasks, half passage-dependent and half passage-independent. A pretest-posttest design and the utilization of gain scores allowed the comparison of the processing of the grammatical information found in the reading passages.
Results indicated: (1) Only when L2 learner-readers have their attention explicitly drawn to the grammatical items found in written input will they process them as intake. (2) Language learners tend to process the input for more meaningful-structures before processing for less-meaningful ones. (3) First- and second-year subjects exhibit about the same amount of gain in grammatical information; however, there are significant differences between them when carrying out production tasks. (4) The abilities to recognize/produce the grammatical items might depend on both the language experience of the readers and the meaningfulness of the items involved. (5) It is easier to use the information processed in passage-dependent situations than in passage-independent situations.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Shook, David John
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136732
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136732

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