The Maze Task: Using a Computerized Psycholinguistic Experimental Technique in Examining Methodologies for Second Language Learning
AuthorEnkin, Elizabeth Bella
Second Language Acquisition
Second Language Learning
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Foreign Language Learning
AdvisorForster, Kenneth I.
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.
EmbargoRelease after 19-Jun-2014
AbstractThe maze task is a psycholinguistic tool that is used in experimentally measuring online sentence processing time (Forster et al., 2009). It asks subjects to "weave" their way through sentences, choosing the correct grammatical alternative from two choices. This task can also offer insight into the processing strategies of L2 learners. Thus, whether or not this task can be used as an effective training program for beginning L2 learners is the topic of this current investigation. The maze task is therefore transformed into the "story maze", which contextualizes sentences for learners. Because the task provides immediate feedback regarding the precise location of an error, learners can efficiently tune their L2 processing strategies, which echoes VanPatten (2004) and his objective with processing instruction. In effect, connections made in the classroom through explicit instruction can be reinforced and strengthened through implicit maze task training. Using L2 Spanish learners, the efficacy of training types is tested in order to investigate whether the maze task can assist learners in altering their processing strategies of complex, L2 structures that are not found in the L1. Furthermore, the task's generalizing capability with respect to building the implicit and explicit knowledge bases is examined. Lastly, because the task speaks to students' identity as learners in a technologically advanced world, the likability of this task is evaluated through qualitative data, and pedagogical implications are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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