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ERIC Number: EJ860996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0272-2631
More on the Effects of Explicit Information in Instructed SLA: A Partial Replication and a Response to Fernandez (2008)
Henry, Nicholas; Culmana, Hillah; VanPattena, Bill
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v31 n4 p559-575 Dec 2009
The role of explicit information (EI) as an independent variable in instructed SLA is largely underresearched. Using the framework of processing instruction, however, a series of offline studies has found no effect for EI (e.g., Benati, 2004; Sanz & Morgan-Short, 2004; VanPatten & Oikkenon, 1996). Fernandez (2008) presented two online experiments with mixed results. She found an effect for EI with processing instruction on one target structure (subjunctive in Spanish) but not the other structures (object pronouns and word order in Spanish). Thus, the effects of EI could be related to the target structure or to a processing problem, or both. The present study is a conceptual replication of one of Fernandez's experiments. The target was German accusative case markings on articles with both subject (S)- verb (V)- object (O) and OVS word orders. As shown by Jackson (2007) and LoCoco (1987), learners of German as a second language misinterpret OVS sentences as SVO, ignoring case markings as a cue of who does what to whom. Thus, the goal of the instructional intervention was to push learners to process case markings and word order correctly. The treatment consisted of structured input items (Farley, 2005; Lee & VanPatten, 2003) under two conditions: +/-EI. Following Fernandez, the treatment was conducted via computer using e-Prime, and learners' responses were recorded as they made their way through the items. Whereas Fernandez did not find an effect for EI for word order and object pronouns in Spanish, we found an effect for word order and case markings in German: (a) Twice as many learners in the +EI group reached criterion (began to process input strings correctly) compared with the -EI group, and (b) learners in the +EI group began processing word order and case markings sooner than in the -EI group. Even though the processing problem was the same in both Fernandez's and our experiments, we attribute the difference in results to the interaction of particular structures with the processing problem and call for additional research on the role of EI not just in processing instruction but in all formal interventions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A