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Kenneth Fordyce: The Differential Effects of Explicit and Implicit Instruction on the Learning of Epistemic Stance Forms by Japanese EFL Learners

Date: 23 May 2012 Time: 3.30-5.00 pm

Venue: Bowland North 25

The Second Language Learning and Teaching Research (SLLAT) group are pleased to host the following talk:

The Differential Effects of Explicit and Implicit Instruction on the Learning of Epistemic Stance Forms by Japanese EFL Learners

Kenneth Fordyce (Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh)

This study compared the effects of explicit and implicit pedagogical interventions with intact classes on the interlanguage pragmatic development of Japanese EFL learners. The intervention focused on epistemic stance, which previous studies have shown to be a difficult aspect of L2 acquisition. Free spoken and written response data was collected just before (pretest), soon after (posttest), and five months after (delayed posttest) the interventions. This presentation will focus in particular on the relative effects of the two interventions on learners' acquisition of different epistemic forms (e.g., may, seem, probably) and categories of epistemic stance forms (e.g., modal verbs, cognitive verbs, modal adverbs). Few studies on instructed SLA have investigated the differential effects of explicit and implicit instruction on different form-function mappings.

The learners' production data was analyzed at the individual level in order to trace which epistemic stance forms were used in the post-test and/or delayed post-test which had not been used in the pre-test. Across the explicit (n = 37) and implicit (n = 44) groups, patterns of gains relating to specific epistemic forms and categories of forms could be identified. The main findings were as follows: for most target forms, explicit instruction had greater effects than implicit instruction, and effects were stronger in the case of writing than speaking. However, there was some variation between forms, In particular, unambiguous form-function mappings (e.g., look and seem) responded better to both types of instruction than forms with low contingency (e.g., I suppose, could, perhaps). These findings suggest that the degree of contingency of form-function mappings plays an important role in determining their salience. In turn, it would appear that the required degree of explicitness of instruction relates to the level of salience of targeted pragmalinguistic forms. This presentation will also explore the pedagogical implications of these findings.

Event website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/groups/sllat/index.htm

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Who can attend: Anyone

 

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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United Kingdom

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