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Classroom input to accelerate feature reassembly of English generics

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2018) Special Issue: Second Language Teaching and Generative Linguistics

Journal: Instructed Second Language Acquisition

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/isla.35606


This is an experimental study on the effect of explicit and implicit classroom input on the acquisition of English generics by L1-Najdi Arabic speakers. Following a feature-based contrastive analysis, acquisition difficulties are predicted with indefinite singular and bare plural contexts. The experiment included fifty-four students divided into two experimental groups and one uninstructed control group. One experimental group received implicit input by using genre analysis of texts reinforced with generic NPs, and the other group received explicit grammatical 'focus on form' on generics. Two instruments were used: a forced choice task and a sentence repetition task conducted as pre-tests, posttests and delayed post-tests. The results showed significant increase in the total scores of both experimental groups, but long-term effect was only found with the explicit group. The forced choice task showed significant improvement in the explicit group's accuracy on generic indefinite singular and bare plural contexts and long-term improvement on the bare plural. The explicit group's results on the repetition task show temporary improvement in the generic indefinite singular post-test. In general, the results suggest that explicit input is more effective than implicit input. Implications on acquisition difficulties and instruction are discussed.

Author: May Abumelha

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