MA Student Jungna Kim to Present at AAAL 2011

| February 22, 2011

Title of Presentation: Output effect on noticing and acquisition of the passive voice: a replication of the study of Izumi and Bigelow

Abstract

A number of recent studies in cognitive psychology and second language acquisition (SLA) have focused on how best to draw learners’ attention to certain grammatical features in the input.  Based on Schmidt (1990), noticing the target form is a necessary and sufficient condition for second language learners to convert the input they receive into intake for learning. In addition, Swain (1985) argues that learners need to be pushed to produce comprehensible output in order to develop complete grammatical competence. In line with these positions, this study examined the effect of output in terms of the noticing function and acquisition of ability to use the passive voice. This study was a replication of Izumi and Begelow’s (2000), and much of their methodology was imitated in the current study.

The participants were two heterogeneous groups (N=6 in each group) of low intermediate adult ESL learners who were enrolled in the Community English Program (CEP) at the Teachers College of Columbia University. Each group was used as an experimental and a comparison group. The pretest results gained from a t-test suggested that the students in both groups were at an approximately equivalent level. Of the two did only the experimental group perform the target form through a written activity. Grammatical judgment tests were used for both pretests and posttests, and the learners’ noticing was measured by using an obligatory occasion analysis. Statistical measurement was used in order to see the differences between the test scores of within and between groups. In terms of noticing function, the results showed, as in the original study, that the output did not appear to have succeeded in drawing more attention to the target form. In terms of the acquisition, however, the experimental group showed greater improvement than the other group, and this result contradicts the earlier finding.