Differential role of language analytic ability in two distinct learning conditions

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The paper examines whether the role of language analytic ability in L2 acquisition may change relative to different types of corrective feedback provided in a communicative language classroom. Two groups of high school students in New Zealand (n=18 in each group), learning French as a foreign language, were subjected to different learning conditions while working on three communicative tasks over two weeks. In one group learners were asked to self-correct following the teacher’s request for clarification whenever they committed an error in the production of the target structures, whereas the other group received recasts as a type of input-based corrective feedback. The target structures were the French passé composé and imparfait, past tense structures. Along with language tests, the participants completed a test designed to measure language analytic ability (Ottó 2004). Correlations between gain scores of accurate production and analytic ability were different for the two groups. Analytic ability was significantly correlated with oral and written production gains for the group that received clarification requests, whereas the learners who received recasts had to rely on their analytic ability only to retain long-term gains of passé composé in oral production. Lack of correlation with gains for the recasts group suggests that recasts assisted all learners irrespective of their ability, whereas strong correlation of analytic ability with gains in the clarification requests group means that these students learned no more than their analytic ability would predict.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeasured Language
Subtitle of host publicationQuantitative Studies of Acquisition, Assessment, and Variation
EditorsJeffrey Connor-Linton, Luke Wander Amoroso
Place of PublicationWashington D.C.
PublisherGeorgetown University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781626160385
ISBN (Print)9781626160378
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameGeorgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics Series
PublisherGeorgetown Univeristy Press

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