Conventional expressions are considered an important area of study informing L2 pragmatics and inter-language pragmatics. This study investigates the differences between native English speakers’ and Korean EFL speakers’ productions of conventional expressions by employing an audio-visual production task (adapted from Bardovi-Harlig, 2009). Results show that EFL students statistically differ from their native speaker counterparts in about half of the scenarios involving the production of conventional expressions. While EFL learner productions were often grammatical and appropriate, they also displayed pragma-linguistically infelicitous utterances (e.g., I’m just looking out.) and more verbosity compared to their NS counterparts. Certain scenes including giving and deflecting thanks delivered less target-like expressions, which may lead to communicative failure in real time interaction. Pedagogical implications of this type of study are also discussed.
This study compared aural and written modes of presentation for the two item types, to explore the effects of question/option presentation mode and item type on EFL learners’ listening comprehension performance and their perception. One hundred and fifteen Korean college students who were divided into three different proficiency groups participated in the study. The participants took a listening test which consisted of dialogue-completion and Q&A multiple-choice items in the aural and written modes, followed by a survey on their perceptions, and a stimulated recall interview. The results showed that the least proficient group was more critically affected by the mode than the other two groups. The least proficient group performed significantly better in the written mode than in the aural mode, while they received similar scores on the two item types. The major factors that caused the discrepancy among the groups were memory capacity in the aural mode and reading ability in the written mode. The implications and suggestions on listening test development are discussed.
L2 learners’ target language use has been examined for various purposes, including assessment of the learners’ proficiency and examination of the process of language learning. That is, target language use in the real life tasks on the level as automatized as that of native speakers represents the goal of L2 learning. More importantly, however, target language use has been proposed as a process that provides the learning opportunities, particularly since 1980s by communicative approach to SLA. Until the learners can communicate effortlessly without being conscious of the form of the language, how learners’ attention and awareness are or should be directed to the language form and meaning has been an important issue among the recent SLA theories, summarized as the interface/non-interface debate. This paper discusses how different major SLA theories view learners’ attention and awareness of language form during language use and how it has been measured for both process and result research. Finally, a recent neurobiolobical SLA model is introduced in terms of its methodological and theoretical contribution to SLA research.
The Interface Hypothesis (Sorace, 2011; Sorace & Filiaci, 2006; Sorace & Serratrice, 2009; Tsimpli & Sorace, 2006, among others) states that the grammar external interface is more vulnerable for advanced L2ers or bilinguals than the grammar internal interface, and L1 discourse influence is one factor responsible for their residual difficulty (Sorace, 2005; Sorace, Serratrice, Filiaci & Baldo, 2009). Their study, however, did not disentangle interface effects from L1 influence and it is unclear whether the residual difficulty of advanced L2ers is due to interface effects or L1 influence. The results of the present study which teases the two factors apart show that L1 influence is stronger than interface effects. The results without L1 influence show that the syntax-discourse interface is more vulnerable than the syntax-morphology interface, supporting the Interface Hypothesis. This study examines two sets of data, cross-sectional and longitudinal, on overpassivization of L2 English unaccusative verbs by Chinese and Korean speakers.
The necessity to adapt theoretical second language pedagogies to a context of instruction has been argued in the literature for a long time. This case study introduces an attempt to realize a context approach (Bax, 2003) to Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) implemented at a Korean military-service academy. Considering the alleged need for studies that investigate learners’ reaction to TBLT in actual English classrooms, an Action Research project was conducted at this institution. Based on the data collected through two surveys of 80 students, interviews with 25 students, video recordings of 10 lessons and the teacher’s observation of the course throughout one semester, this study identifies several challenges for employing TBLT in this EFL context such as the learners’ lack of L2 interactions and attention to feedback. This paper discusses ways to adapt TBLT to the English courses offered at Korean militaryservice academies while cautioning against excessive optimism for the effects of TBLT in some EFL contexts. The findings would contribute to understanding the reality of English classrooms at a Korean college and drawing implications for designing English programs suitable for EFL college students.
Task-based language teaching (TBLT) has propelled much research into how task type, condition, or demand affects L2 learners’ linguistic performance and language learning. To date, however, TBLT has mainly been researched in connection with learners’ production, while its applicability to L2 reading has largely been unattended to. To fill this gap, the present study explored whether and how cognitive complexity of L2 reading tasks would affect L2 English reading comprehension and learning of target L2 constructions contained in the texts. The study employed a pretest, posttest, delayed-posttest design with two treatment sessions. The target features were 17 English unaccusative verbs and ten pseudowords. Participants included 52 Korean college students learning L2 English who were randomly assigned to either - or + complex condition. Reading comprehension was measured with 14 multiple-choice items for each text, and learning of the target constructions was assessed with a grammaticality judgment test and word form and meaning recognition tests. The results of mixed-effects modeling indicated that increased task complexity had limited effects on reading comprehension scores as well as learning of the target unaccusative verbs. Also, task complexity had significant negative effects on vocabulary form recognition scores in the delayed posttest. The results are discussed in relation to models of task-based learning and L2 reading.
The current project investigated the effects of concept-based instruction (CBI) in phrasal verbs learning. CBI was carefully designed on the basis of two important principles of cognitive linguistics (CL): image-schemas and conceptual metaphors. The analysis focused on conceptual development in the participants who were graduate students registered in an ESL speaking course. Specifically, the influence of the image schema and conceptual metaphor was examined with various data sets. This study focuses on one of the datasets, verbalization tasks. They were provided as a homework assignment to familiarize participants with the new way of understanding particles and phrasal verbs and to internalize the relevant image schemas and conceptual metaphors by externalizing their understanding. The analysis showed that the metaphorical and imagistic associations that students made had a strong impact on their subsequent accounts of the meanings of the phrasal verbs. The metaphorical and imagistic performance of some students demonstrated that CBI can fundamentally impact on learner understanding of the semantics of particles and phrasal verbs.