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Title:Grammar instruction and input processing: The acquisition of Spanish "ser" and "estar"
Author(s):Cheng, An-Chung
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):VanPatten, Bill
Department / Program:Education, Language and Literature
Language, Modern
Discipline:Education, Language and Literature
Language, Modern
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Language, Modern
Abstract:This study examined the effects of two types of instruction on the acquisition of the Spanish copulas ser and estar by adult English-speaking learners of Spanish in a classroom setting. It compared traditional production-oriented instruction, processing instruction (VanPatten and Cadierno, 1993), and no-instruction. The traditional instruction was characterized by explanation of grammar rules followed by written and oral practice. The processing instruction involved grammar explanation and comprehension practice using structured input that induces learners to alter existing processing strategies so as to make correct meaning-and-form connections.
Previous studies on the acquisition of clitic direct object pronouns (VanPatten and Cadierno, 1993, VanPatten and Sanz, 1995) and past tense verb morphology (Cadierno, 1992) suggested that students' strategies for processing input can be changed through processing instruction that subsequently enhances the acquisition of the target grammar features. However, it was not clear whether explicit instruction in the Spanish ser and estar, which do not have an obvious one-to-one form-and-meaning connection, would have as great an impact on students' developing system. It was not known whether processing instruction of a form with less communicative value, such as the Spanish ser and estar, would raise the learners' consciousness and alter their processing strategies.
The results demonstrated that students receiving processing instruction outperformed those receiving no instruction not only in comprehension tasks but also in production tasks, whereas those receiving traditional instruction performed better than those receiving no-instruction only in production tasks. This study, therefore, supports previous research showing that processing instruction can help learners both engage in a more efficient process while mapping form and meaning and restructure their developing system of the target forms. Moreover, the results illustrate that mental representation can be accessed during output production. The results of the study may help point the way toward a pedagogical approach suited to best encourage linguistic competence in the classroom.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Cheng, An-Chung
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543553
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543553

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