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ERIC Number: EJ989706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Investigating the Pedagogical Potential of Recasts for L2 Vowel Acquisition
Saito, Kazuya; Lyster, Roy
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v46 n2 p387-398 Jun 2012
Whereas second language (L2) education research has extensively examined how different types of interactional feedback can be facilitative of L2 development in meaning-oriented classrooms, most of these primary studies have focused on recasts (i.e., teachers' reformulations of students' errors). Some researchers have claimed that recasts serve an ideal pedagogical function, arguably because they enable teachers to implicitly draw students' attention to the accurate use of language without interrupting the flow of classroom discourse. However, classroom studies have shown that recasts may not be so effective when they target morphosyntactic errors. Nonetheless, several observational studies have found that recasts can be quite salient to learners when their targets are L2 pronunciation errors, because inaccurate pronunciation has "more potential to seriously interfere with understanding" than do morphosyntactic inaccuracies. Students' high awareness of pronunciation-focused recasts suggests that recasts might be relatively facilitative of L2 pronunciation development. The development of intelligible (but not native-like) language is essential for successful L2 communication, yet little research attention has been directed toward the role of pronunciation teaching in this regard. Given that communicative focus on form plays a key role in leading to students' linguistic development not only at a controlled but also a spontaneous level, pronunciation-focused recasts can be a theoretically and pedagogically interesting way to promote their awareness of correct pronunciation in meaning-oriented classrooms. Saito and Lyster (2011) took a first step toward examining the acquisitional value of pronunciation-focused recasts by conducting a quasi-experimental study with a pre- and posttest design. Participants were adult native speakers of Japanese (NJs) learning English. NJs were involved with a series of form-focused tasks whereby they were guided to notice and practice one of two pronunciation features (either the alveolar approximant /r/ or the low front vowel /ae/), and teachers consistently provided recasts in response to their pronunciation errors. Saito and Lyster report the results of the former group (focusing on /r/), revealing that pronunciation-focused recasts can be facilitative of L2 pronunciation development with medium-to-large effects, particularly within familiar lexical items that appeared during the instructional treatment. This study reports the results of the latter group (focusing on /ae/) and further examines the pedagogical potential and limitations of pronunciation-focused recasts from various perspectives. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Montreal)