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Interaction, noticing and second language acquisition : an examination of learners' noticing of recasts in task-based interaction

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Philp, Jenefer (1998) Interaction, noticing and second language acquisition : an examination of learners' noticing of recasts in task-based interaction. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This dissertation concerns learners' perception and use of implicit feedback in the context of interaction. Recent studies have provided empirical evidence for the positive effects of interaction on second language development, however there is little understanding of how learners process and internalise second language data.
In seeking to understand how interaction promotes interlanguage development, noticing has been posited as a crucial factor. If second language (L2) input is to be used by the learner it must be noticed. Interaction is argued to promote noticing of L2 form in a very specific context, that is, when learners perceive a mismatch between the L2 form and their own interlanguage grammar.
The foci of this dissertation are, in the context of oral interaction:
1.to operationalise noticing;
2.to examine both whether learners notice recasts of their non-target-like utterances and what factors constrain noticing of recasts;
3.to examine whether noticing of recasts can lead to interlanguage restructuring.
Whereas previous SLA research has used retrospective methods for accessing noticing of oral input, the current study sought to examine noticing in the context of task-based interaction at the same time that feedback was being given.
The study specifically examined what learners noticed about morphosyntactic modifications made to their production of question forms through recasts. In five sessions of dyadic interaction, 33 ESL learners received recasts of their non-target-like questions from their native speaker interlocutors. Noticing was defined as: "detection with awareness and rehearsal in short term memory" (Robinson, 1995, p. 318), and operationalised as the learner's ability to immediately recall the recast in response to an unexpected sound cue. Subsequent use of recasts was measured through analysis of learners' interlanguage production over six weeks.
Research questions addressed (a) constraints on noticing of recasts and (b) use of recasts. The results suggest that recasts were noticed by learners, supporting the claim that interactional modifications may draw learners' attention to anomalies between their interlanguage production and target language input. However, recasts were not always noticed, constrained both by the limitations of short-term memory capacity and processing biases of the learner. The results also support the claim that noticing may lead to interlanguage restructuring, under certain conditions. Where data matched the processing biases of the learner and where there were repeated opportunities to hear and to produce interlanguage forms, learners noticed and later incorporated recasts of their non-target-like production.
This study contributes to both theory and practice within second language acquisition research. It proposes a potential means of measuring noticing of recasts in the context of interaction and contributes to a further understanding of second language acquisition processes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Language and languages, Second language acquisition
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1998 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D. )--University of Tasmania, 1999. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 03:11
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:55
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