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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: Effects of Form-Focused Practice and Feedback on Chinese EFL Learners' Acquisition of Regular and Irregular Past Tense Forms
Author: Yingli Yang
Institution: University of International Business and Economics
Author: Roy Lyster
Institution: McGill University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: Conducted in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) classrooms at the university level in China, this quasi-experimental study compared the effects of three different corrective feedback treatments on 72 Chinese learners’ use of regular and irregular English past tense. Three classes were randomly assigned to a prompt group, a recast group, or a control group and then participated in form-focused production activities that elicited the target forms. In the two feedback groups, teachers consistently provided one type of feedback (i.e., either recasts or prompts) in response to learners’ errors during the activities, whereas in the control group, the teacher provided feedback only on content. Pretests, immediate posttests, and delayed posttests administered 2 weeks after the treatment assessed participants’ acquisition of regular and irregular past tense forms in both oral and written production. Comparisons of group means across testing sessions using a repeated-measures ANOVA consistently revealed large effects for time. Post hoc within-group analyses of the eight immediate- and delayed-posttest measures revealed significant gains by the prompt group on all eight measures, the recast group on four, and the control group on three. The effects of prompts were larger than those of recasts for increasing accuracy in the use of regular past tense forms, whereas prompts and recasts had similar effects on improving accuracy in the use of irregular past tense forms.

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This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 32, Issue 2.

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