The effects of motivation on processing instruction in the acquisition of Modern Standard Arabic gender agreement
Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2018)
The present study investigates the effects of motivation and processing instruction on the acquisition of Modern Standard Arabic gender agreement. The role of individual differences (e.g., age, gender, aptitude, language background and working memory) on the positive effects generated by processing instruction has been investigated in the last few years. However, no previous research has been conducted measuring the possible effects of motivation on L2 learners exposed to processing instruction. In addition, a reasonable question to be addressed within the processing instruction research framework is whether its positive effects can be generalized to the acquistion of Modern Standard Arabic. In this experimental study, forty-one native English school-age learners were assigned to two groups: ‘the high motivated group’ (n=29): and the ‘low motivated group’ (n=12). The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) and the Attitude Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) motivation questionnaires were used to capture different variables that influence motivation in order to create the two different groups (high and low motivated). Both groups received processing instruction which lasted for three hours. Interpretation and production sentence level-tasks were used in a pre-test and post-test design to measure instructional effects. The study also included a delayed post-test administered to the two groups four weeks later. The results indicated that both groups improved equally from pre-tests to post-tests in all assessment measures and they both retained the positive effects of the training in the delayed post-tests. Processing instruction was proved to be the main factor for the improvement in performance no matter the learner’s level of motivation.
Author: Ayah Farhat, Alessandro Benati
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