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ERIC Number: EJ926097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
An Intensive Look at Intensity and Language Learning
Collins, Laura; White, Joanna
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v45 n1 p106-133 Mar 2011
In this longitudinal study we investigated whether different distributions of instructional time would have differential effects on the acquisition of English by young (aged 11-12 years) French-speaking learners. Eleven classes of Grade 6 students (N = 230) in two versions of a similar intensive English as a second language program were followed throughout their intensive experience. In one program, the 400 hours of instruction were concentrated in a 5-month block; in the other, the 400 hours were experienced in a series of intensive exposures across the full 10-month academic year. Language development was compared across the two contexts four times via a battery of comprehension and production measures. Overall, the findings showed substantial progress over time for both groups, with no clear learning advantage for either concentrating or distributing the intensive experience. These results are consistent with research comparing the effects of massed and distributed conditions on the learning of complex skills in other domains. The practical implications of the findings for the organization of instructional time for second language learning, as well as directions for future research in which variables such as age, proficiency, and learning targets are manipulated, are discussed. (Contains 9 footnotes, 9 tables, and 9 figures.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A