The Efficacy Of Corrective Feedback And Target Form Enhancement In Promoting Acquisition Of The À/Au/En/Aux Distinction In L2 French
AuthorLyddon, Paul Alan
AdvisorAriew, Robert A.
Committee ChairAriew, Robert A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDespite popular theoretical arguments against the usefulness of explicit knowledge in the development of linguistic competence (cf. Krashen, 1982; Schwartz, 1993), empirical studies have suggested that comprehensible input alone may be insufficient in fostering target-like L2 production skills (Swain, 1985; Hammerly, 1987; Klein & Perdue, 1997). As such, many SLA researchers (e.g., Long, 1991; 1996; 2007; Spada, 1997; Lyster, 1998; 2001; 2004) now advocate teacher use of negative feedback during communicative activities to promote learner noticing of errors and internalization of correct forms; yet the efficacy of this practice remains questionable as it not only entails the provision of additional input but generally enhances otherwise non-salient linguistic features as well (Leeman, 2003). Moreover, these potentially confounding variables may be particularly problematic with regard to the acquisition of grammatical structures bearing little informational content such as the à/au/en/aux distinction before French toponyms. In a controlled experiment with a pretest-posttest-delayed posttest design, all French 102 students at the University of Arizona in Fall 2006 were randomly assigned to an interactive, computer-based reading lesson featuring either typographically enhanced or unenhanced target forms and one of four types of corrective feedback: meaning-focused, implicit form-focused, simple explicit form-focused, or explicit form-focused with rule explanation. Statistical analyses of the results on both the short-term and long-term linguistic outcome measures showed continuous improvement in target structure accuracy for learners in all treatment conditions. However, there was no significant advantage for any of the investigated feedback types, nor for target form enhancement, and no interaction between these two variables. This study assessed learners’ pre-treatment performance on the target structures but not their explicit prior knowledge of them. Thus, it is possible that a fine-tuning of the latter through exposure to comprehensible input reduced the magnitude of the learning effects, especially given the proximity of the target prepositions to their objects. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that neither highlighting nor repeated correction and explanation of these particular grammatical items yields any additional benefit and that instructional efforts may better be focused on maximizing beginning learners’ opportunities to process authentic language through meaningful activities.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching