Input-based tasks and the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar: A process-product study

Shintani, Natsuko (2012) Input-based tasks and the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar: A process-product study. In: 2nd International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (FLTAL’12), 4-6 May 2012, Sarajevo.

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The viability of task-based language teaching (TBLT) for primary school learners in Japan is a controversial issue. Some teachers and teacher educators are doubtful about using tasks because primary school children have very limited productive ability in English. However, as Ellis (2009) pointed out, tasks can be ‘input-based’ as well as output-based. Such tasks require learners to demonstrate their understanding of the L2 and can also provide opportunities for learning new language. The study investigated the use of input-based tasks with young, beginner Japanese learners of English by examining both learning outcomes (i.e. acquisition) and the interactions that resulted from implementing the tasks. The participants were 15 learners aged six with no experience of learning a L2. The target features were 36 vocabulary items (24 nouns and 12 adjectives) and plural -s. The input-based instruction consisted of three listen-and-do tasks, which were repeated nine times over a five week period. The analysis of the process features found that even though production was not required by the tasks, the learners contributed actively. The tasks resulted in naturalistic conversation, negotiation of meaning, and ‘focus on form’, all of which have been claimed to facilitate acquisition. The learners improved significantly in both receptive and productive knowledge of the vocabulary items and in receptive knowledge of plural -s over time and also outperformed a control group. The study shows that tasks can be successfully designed and implemented in the Japanese EFL classroom with young beginner learners. Listen-and-do tasks can create contexts for the incidental acquisition of both vocabulary and grammar and are effective in promoting the development of interactional competence in English.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Task-based language teaching, input-based tasks, young learners, EFL, process-product study
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: Mr. Fatih Ozturk
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2012 14:21
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 14:21

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