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Recasts versus clarification requests: the relevance of linguistic target, proficiency, and communicative ability

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JournalInternational Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Aug 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 23 Sep 2020
Number of pages28
Early online date23/09/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper compares the effects of recasts and clarification requests as two implicit types of corrective feedback (CF) on learning two linguistic structures denoting past aspectual distinction in French, the passé composé and the imparfait. The participants in this classroom-based study are 52 high-school learners of French FL at a pre-intermediate level of proficiency (level B1 of CEFR). A distinctive feature of this study is the use of focused, context constrained communicative tasks in both treatment and tests. The paper specifically highlights the advantages of feedback using recasts for the acquisition of morphosyntactically complex grammatical structures such as is the French passé composé. The study points to the participants’ communicative ability as an essential aspect of language proficiency, which seems to be crucial to bringing about the benefits of recasts. Oral communicative skill in a foreign language classroom is seen as a prerequisite for an appropriate interpretation and recognition of the corrective nature of recasts.

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© 2020, The Author(s).

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