The effect of supplemental homework tasks involving referential questions on learners' target language linguistic output and accuracy
AuthorItangaza, Mubangu, 1954-
AdvisorSchulz, Renate 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.
AbstractThis study investigated whether training in and use of referential questions had an effect on learners' linguistic output and accuracy. The study had three components. A quasi-experimental design with treatment and control groups examined quantitatively the performance of students on a set of variables, including number of words, number of T-units, clause length, coordination, subordination, grammatical accuracy, error-free T-units, and comprehensibility. A pretest and posttest were administered to a population of 149 students (64 in treatment groups and 85 in control groups) enrolled in three consecutive levels of French as a foreign language at the university of Arizona. Gain scores were computed and statistical tests were conducted on these gain scores for significance. A follow-up study examined the performance of selected high and low achievers within groups and across levels on the same variables. Finally, an attitude questionnaire was administered to the treatment groups at the end of the treatment period. Its purpose was to tap the students' perceptions of the effectiveness and enjoyableness of homework tasks involving referential questions in language learning. Results of the quasi-experimental study indicated that all subjects within groups and across levels significantly increased their performance between the pre- and post-tests on most of the variables examined. No statistically significant differences, however, were found between treatment and control groups. Results of the follow-up study with high and low achievers indicated that only in two areas were the differences between high and low achievers clearly established and consistent across levels: error-free T-units and number of words in error-free T-units. The high achievers outperformed the low achievers in 100% of the cases on those two variables. There was variation on the other variables. Results of the attitude questionnaire indicated that the majority of students felt that referential question assignments were more effective and more beneficial tools of language learning than were fill-in-the blanks-type exercises. However, barely half of students rated referential question assignments as enjoyable.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching