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Title:Task, mode and the effects of input-based explicit instruction
Author(s):Sanz Alcala, Cristina
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):VanPatten, Bill
Department / Program:Spanish
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Tests and Measurements
Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Ten years have gone by since Long published his article entitled "Does instruction make a difference?" (1983). Since then, a number of studies have been published that provide evidence in favor of the positive effects of instruction and the limitations of those effects on different aspects of SLA. Experimental research has mainly concentrated on what to teach. However, psycholinguistic-based studies such as VanPatten (1991) and VanPatten and Cadierno (1993) represent an attempt to answer the question on how instruction can make a difference in L2 knowledge. The experimental study presented here seeks to investigate where the difference is made, more specifically, what kind of knowledge is gained and how this knowledge can be put to use.
In this experiment, 44 native speakers of English learning Spanish in a formal context where tested with the help of multiple assessment tasks. The tasks differ in the amount of production they required, and consist of a sentence completion, a structured interview and a video retelling. All tasks were performed in the written and the oral modes. The type of instruction investigated, Processing Instruction (VanPatten 1991) had as its goal the manipulation of a well known strategy (first-noun strategy) used by learners when processing input. The data were scored for use of pre-verbal object pronouns in Spanish and were submitted to different 2-way ANOVAs with repeated measures on the following variables: instructional effects (pre-test vs. post-test), mode (written vs. oral), and elicitation task (sentence completion vs. question-answer vs. video clip narration).
The results show a positive effect for instruction across all three task types and differential effects according to the elicitation technique and the mode of production, which are explained based on the differences in processing demands made on the subject; i.e., production of long chunks of speech requires automatic access to knowledge, while completing a sentence in the written mode can be done using controlled access to knowledge.
The outcome of this study has implications for SLA theory, research methodology and teaching pedagogy, which are all discussed in the last chapter.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Sanz Alcala, Cristina
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503309
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503309

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