CLL lecture: L2 research methodology. 19 October 2004 Florencia Franceschina. Exercise : Investigating the effects of instruction A teacher has drilled her students in the structure called 'indirect questions': Do you know where my book is? Do you know what time it is?
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19 October 2004
Exercise: Investigating the effects of instruction
A teacher has drilled her students in the structure called 'indirect questions':
As a direct result of the drills, all students in the class were able to produce the structure correctly in class. After class, a student came up to the teacher and asked:
In other words, only minutes after the class, in spontaneous speech, the student used the structure practised in class incorrectly.
2. Had the lesson been a waste of time?
3. How would you find out?
4. What can you conclude from this example?
G&S (2001: 13)
One can only ever observe performance, and infer competence from it.
How can one be confident that particular performance samples are a reflection of competence of the type we are targeting?
1. Select tasks in a careful and principled way
2. Whenever possible, elicit more than one type of performance measure and then triangulate.
Some types of language are usually very hard to find (at least in enough quantities)
Solution: Be as inventive as possible!
Devise a task to elicit many examples of questions in children in a way that is as natural as possible.
What do you want to find out about learner language?
What design and data are appropriate
for your RQ?
What types of learners will you be working with?
The above will restrict your choice of tasks.
Your answers to these questions will determine the type of data/analysis that will be appropriate for your study.
What type of linguistic analysis is required?
This will determine the basic units of analysis that are appropriate.
A common mistake is to assume that accuracy (i.e., target-like behaviour) is the only relevant criterion in interlanguage analysis
However, other criteria can also be informative, such as
Exercise: Classifying tasks and data
Gass, S. and L. Selinker 2001: Second language acquisition. An introductory course. (2nd edition) Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. (Chapter 2)