Corrective feedback and the acquisition of complex linguistic targets

Pili-Moss, Diana (2014) Corrective feedback and the acquisition of complex linguistic targets. In: American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference, 2014-03-222014-03-25.

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(Quasi-) experimental studies and meta-analyses conducted in the framework of interactional SLA in the last decade widely recognized the effectiveness of corrective feedback (CF) for the acquisition of lexical and grammatical language targets in classroom instruction. However, the question of which CF strategies work best and for which specific purposes remains open, with studies reporting mixed results (Li 2010; Loewen and Philp 2006; Ellis 2007; Lyster and Saito 2010; Mackey and Goo 2007; Russel and Spada 2006; Goo and Mackey 2013). The present study investigates the potential effectiveness of recasts and prompts (with no metalinguistic explanation) for the acquisition of morphological accuracy in the oral production of the Italian passato prossimo, a compound past tense including an auxiliary and a past participle. The participants, thirty-seven Intermediate adult learners of Italian, were randomly assigned to the two experimental conditions and a control group (no feedback). The pre-/post-/delayed post-test design included three treatment sessions, during which CF was provided in the form of three class discussions of 90 minutes each, administered during three consecutive weeks. The test tasks included two oral picture descriptions (with and without written cues) and a timed grammaticality judgment test. A fine-grained coding scheme was adopted in order to detect different types of auxiliary and agreement errors in the verbal form and control for potential gains at different levels. In line with findings reported in Lyster and Izquierdo (2009) and McDonough (2007), the t-test results showed no significant pre/post-test differences between the experimental conditions when the overall accuracy of the target was considered. However, significant asymmetries emerged when variables as auxiliary selection, auxiliary agreement and participle agreement were analyzed separately, suggesting that different feedback strategies may facilitate the acquisition of specific features of the target.

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American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference
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14 Jul 2020 11:15
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22 Nov 2022 14:45