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DOCUMENT RESUMEFL 023 852ED 397 641AUTHORTITLEKubota, MikioThe Effects of Instruction Plus Feedback on JapaneseUniversity Students of EFL: A Pilot Study.PUB DATENOTEPUB TYPEJOURNAL CIT96EDRS PRICEDESCRIPTORSMFOI/PCO2 Plus Postage.Classroom Research; College Students: *English(Second Language); *Feedback; Grammar; HigherEducation; Japanese; Language Processing; LanguageTests; Learning Processes; Metalinguistics;Motivation; *Second Language Instruction; SecondLanguage Learning; Teacher Student Relationship;TestingIDENTIFIERS*Japaaftse People39p.Journal Articles (080)Bulletin of Chofu Gakuen Women's Junior College; v18p59-95 1996ABSTRACTThis ?aper investigates what types ofinstruction-feedback combinations may contribute to the learning ofEnglish grammar for 120 Japanese university students. Students weregiven tests on grammaticality judgment and correction, using Englishergative verbs in three trials of a post-instruction test. Subjectswere divided into six groups according to type of instruction andfeedback they received. Overall findings indicate that students withoutput instruction plus explicit metalinguistic informationoutperformed Post-test 1 over those with output instruction and nofeedback. In the grammaticality judgment test, the effect of inputinstruction held over 1 week (post-test 2), but output instructionhad only an immediate (post-test 1) influence on the formulations ofgrammatical knowledge. Finally, input instruction combined witheither explicit metalinguistic information or positive evidence wasnot found to have significantly more gains in grammatical knowledgethan output instruction. Educators should keep in mind that providingexplicit metalinuistic information is a very effective way ofaltering grammatical knowledge of learners when they are engaged inoutput and that the effect of treatment may continue longer for inputinstruction than for output instruction. The test is appended.(Contains 18 references.) ********************************Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be madefrom the original ******************************

The effects of instruction plus feedbackon Japanese university students of EFL :a pilot studyMikio KubotaU.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONOffice of Educational Research and ImprovementEDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATIONCENTER (ERIC)111(This docum ent has been repioduced asPERMISSION TO REPRODUCE ANDDISSEMINATE THIS MATERIALHAS BEEN GRANTED BYreceived from the person or organizationoriginating it.0 Minor changes have been made toimprove reproduction quality.Points of view or opinions stated in thisdocument do not necessarily representofficial OERI position or policy.TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCESINFORMATION CENTER (ERIC)otkil-ivx05ckofCrk kikevllAiOni en/5, vol Ir.CO lit 28 -R #00*tit 8 IP 3kturarn 2OAN,JA. BEST COPY AVAILABLE2.11.4,1)jayColleiC

59The effects of instruction plus feedbackon Japanese university students of EFL :a pilot studyMikio KubotaAbstractThe main purpose of the current classroom research is toinvestigate what types of instruction-feedback combinations maycontribute to the learning of grammar. The following twoResearch Questions are thus addressed :Research Question (1)What type of instruction com-bined with what type of feedback willhave an effect on the formulation ofgrammatical knowledge ?Research Question (2)If there is an effect for treatment,will the effect hold over the three posttest sessions for learners receiving inputinstruction and output instruction ?A total of 120 Japanese university students of EFL (English asa Foreign Language) participated in the whole investigation.They were given two kinds of tests (grammaticality judgmenttest and correction test) on English ergative verbs in Post-tests 1(immediately), 2 (one week after treatment) , and 3 (one monthafter treatment). All the subjects were divided into 6 groups (4experimental groups and 2 control groups) , according to the typeof treatment (instruction feedback) they received :

60Group Al : input instruction explicit metalinguistic informationGroup A2 : input instruction positive evidenceGroup B1 : output instruction explicit metalinguistic informationGroup B2 : output instruction positive evidenceGroup Cl : input instruction no feedbackGroup C2 : output instruction no feedbackThe overall findings resulting from Tests (A) and (B) in thisresearch demonstrate that :(1) Group B1 outperformed Group C2 in Post-test 1, (2) In thegrammaticality judgment test the effect of input instruction heldover one week, but output instruction had only an immediateinfluence on the formulations of grammatical knowledge, (3)input instruction combined with either explicit metalinguisticinformation or positive evidence was not found to have significantly more gains in grammatical knowledge than output instruction.The pedagogical implications are that teachers should keep inmind that providing explicit metalinguistic information is a veryeffective way of altering grammatical knowledge of learnerswhen they are engaged in output, and that the effect of treatmentmay continue longer for input instruction than for output instruction.Keywordsinput processing, processing instruction, positive feedback,negative feedback, metalinguistic informationIntroductionCommunication-oriented approaches to ESL/EFL classroomshave become increasingly popular. One can see the swing of thependulum with regard to the importance of grammar teaching. It1.

The effects of instruction plus feedback on Japaneseuniversity students of EFL : a pilot study61seems that recent trends re-emphasize grammar teaching andvocabulary teaching. VanPatten (1993 : 436) sketched a model ofsecond language acquisition and use, as shown in Figure 1. Threesets of processes were described. The first process, called 'inputprocessing,' involves the conversion of input to intake, which isreferred to as the subset of input that is comprehended andattended to in some way. Input is required as "raw data" foracquisition, and input processing is the first step in getting relevant data to the developing system in some way. The second setof processes are accommodation and restructuring that mediatethe incorporation of intake into the developing system. The thirdset monitoring, access, retrieval, speech accommodation(modifying one's speech for a particular interlocutor) , etc.involves making use of the developing system to create output.Figure 1: A model of second language acquisition and useinput processinginput ss, retrieval,speech accommodation, etc. developing system outputTraditional approaches to explicit grammar instruction maycontain grammatical explanations followed by output practices,which actually work on processes involved in accessing thedeveloping system, as illustrated in Figure 2. The learner is askedto produce when the developing system has not yet had therelevant intake data (VanPatten 1993 : 436).

62Figure 2 : Traditional grammar instructioninput intake developing system outputfocused praciceInput-based approaches to explicit grammar instruction mayinvolve consciousness-raising activities where the instruction isaimed at developing explicit rather than implicit knowledge. Thelearners are not expected to produce the target structure, only tounderstand it by formulating some kind of cognitive representation of how it works (Ellis 1994 : 643). VanPatten (1993 : 438)proposed 'processing instruction,' whose purpose is to directlearners' attention to relevant features of grammar in the inputand to encourage correct form-meaning mappings that in turnresult in better intake, as shown in Figure 3. The input is purposefully prepared, manipulated, or structured in the sense that not free-flowing and spontaneous unlike the input involved incommunicative interactions. In the same sense, Ellis (1995 : 88)used 'interpretation tasks,' a comprehension-based approach togrammar teaching.Figure 3 : Input-based grammar instructioninput intake developing system outputprocessing mechanismsfocused practiceInput-based grammar instruction involves grammatical explanations like traditional instruction unlike traditional instruction,it focuses practice on correctly intepreting incoming utterancesand on perceiving and processing those elements in the input that

( 7NNrn'rrfcrVrrg.r2w7?77.--7----,--7--The effects of instruction plus feedback on Japaneseuniversity students of EFL : a pilot study63might otherwise be missed, and input-based grammar instructionalso centers on activities involving structured input (VanPatten1993 : 438) .VanPatten (1993 : 437) described two processing stragegies forsecond language input processing.(1) a word order strategy :It seems that both first and second language learners universally tend to process the preverbal N or NP as the subject (agent)of the verb (action) and the postverbal N or NP as the object.,2) a learner's attention on content words and elements of highcommunicative value :Learners attend to meaning before anything else and as aconsequence, they prefer to attend to lexical items for semanticinformation rather than grammatical markers that encode thesame information.Following are the guidelines that input-based grammar instruction is based on (VanPatten 1993 : 438-439) :1. Teach only one thing at a time.2. Keep meaning in focus.The learner should not be able tr) successfully complete theactivity unless he/she has understood the content of each utterance.3. Learners must "do something" with the input.e.g., checking boxes, surveying, answering True/False ques-tions, making one-word response, making a multiple-choice,writing a person's or object's name.4. Use both oral and written input.A judicious combination of oral and written structured inputprovides for the widest net possible in directing learners' attention.5. Move from sentences to connected discourse.Connected discourse should come later in a lesson rather thanat the beginning, because it may (a) not allow sufficient process-

64ing time, or (b) result in noise. By starting with sentences,learners have better opportunities to perceive and process thegrammatical item in focus.6. Keep the psycholinguistic processing mechanisms in mind.Learners' focal attention during processing is directed towardthe relevant grammatical items and not elsewhere in the sentence.The first research of processing instruction was conducted byVan Patten and Cadierno (1993a). They examined Spanish directobject pronouns in three second-year university level classes.Traditional grammar instruction group (n 15) :presentations and explanations of direct object pronounsmechanical to meaningful to communicative exercisesin which producing sentences was the focus.Processing instruction group (n 17) :presentations, and explanations of object pronouns thatincluded a cautionary note not to rely on word order tounderstand sentences structured input activities thatinvolved interpreting and responding to input. (N.B. : noproduction activities were involved)Control group (n 17) :no explicit instruction received.The Pre-test and three Post-tests, using a split-block design,were given to the subjects as the means of assessing the effect ofinstruction. All tests consisted of both interpretation tasks andwritten production tasks. The comprehension task for all testsconsisted of 15 aural sentences, and asked the subjects to matcheach sentence they heard with one of two pictures. The production task, including 5 items, asked the subjects to complete asentence according to visual clues.The results of ANOVA and post-hoc Scheffe tests show :(1) the processing group did significantly better than the tradi-tional group and the control group on the raw scores of the

The effects of instruction plus feedback on Japaneseuniversity students of EFL : a pilot study65interpretation task, and the processing group outperformed thetraditional and control groups on the gain scores in the three Posttests of the interpretation task.(2) the traditional group was not superior to the processinggroup but rather to the control group on the raw scores of theproduction task, and the processing group did significanitly betterthan the control group on the gain scores in Post-tests 1 and 3 ofthe production task.Thus, it can be stated that processing instruction had an impacton the developing system and what the subjects could access forproduction, whereas traditional instruction had an effect on whatthe subjects could access for production, but it had little impact onthe developing system.VanPatten and Cadierno (1993b) replicated VanPatten andCadierno (1993a) , including more subjects per experimental cell.The acquisition of Spanish syntactic items (direct ollject pronouns) by second-level university students learning Spanish as aForeign Language in America was investigated. There were threegroups compared :Traditional grammar instruction group (n 26) :presentations and explanations of direct object pronouns--. mechanical to meaningful to communicative exercisesin which producing sentences was requested.Processing instruction group (n 27) :presentations, and explanations of object pronouns thatincluded a cautionary note not to rely on word order tounderstand sentences structured input activities thatinvolved interpreting and responding to input. (N.B. : noproduction activities were involved)Control group (n 27) :no explicit instruction received.The differences between the two experimental groups were that(a) the processing group was told that language learners often

66misinterpret NVN sequences, and (b) the traditional group didnot practice interpreting sentences, and the processing group didnot practice producing sentences.A sentence-level aural comprehension test and a sentence-levelwritten production test were given to the subjects in the Pre-testand three Post-tests, where a split block design was used. The Pre-test was used to eliminate subjects from the study who hadalready demonstrated correct interpretation of object pronounsand the ability to correctly produce object pronouns in a sentence.The comprehension test, which was biased toward the processinggroup, included interpreting 10 sentences with preverbal objectpronouns and postverbal subject pronouns, via pictures. Theproduction test, was biased toward the traditional group,asked the subjects to complete five sentences brIsed on visualrepresentations. Thus, the test was considered balanced.The results of ANOVA and post-hoc Scheffé tests demonstrated :(1) the processing group scored significantly better than thecontrol group on the raw scores of both the comprehension andproduction tasks.(2) the traditional group significantly outperformed the controlgroup only on the raw scores of the production task.These results imply that processing instruction and thestructured input had an effect on how learners process input, andthus caused a change in the developing system, and had an effecton production, while the traditional instruction resulted in somesort of learned language knowledge that did not make its wayinto the developing system and was not tapped for acquisitionduring comprehension. Therefore, these results parallel those inVanPatten and Cadierno (1993a)The third study of processing instruction was made by Cadierno (1992/1995). She replicated VanPatten and Cadierno (1993a,1993b) , only changing the linguistic items under study, where the.0

The effects of instruction plus feedback on Japaneseuniversity students of EFL : a pilot study67past tense verb morphology in Spanish was targeted for a total of61 university students enrolled in 9 classes of a third-semesterbasic Spanish course. The same patterns of the effects of instruction were obtained in her study as well : processing instructionhad a significant effect on how learners perceive and produce pasttense forms in Spanish, while traditional instruction had -n effectonly on production of past tense forms. Cadierno (1995 : 189-190)pointed out several methodological objections against her study :(1) similarity of the interpretation task to some of the activitiesin the processing instructional treatment, (2) obscuring possiblequalitative differences on the production task, (3) no measure ofspontaneous production included in the study, (4) no post-testthat covered more than one month after the instructional treatment, (5) variation of activity typesi.e., the activities in process-ing instruction were mostly meaningful and communicative,whereas traditional instruction included not only mechanical, butalso more meaningful and communicative activities, and (6) onlyone linguistic item investigated in the study.The result common to these three studies (VanPatten andCadierno 1993a, 1993b ; Cadierno 1992/1995) demonstrate thatprocessing instruction seems to be more effective than traditionalinstruction in the case of Spanish linguistic items. This result doesnot advocate the elimination of output practice in FL teaching, asCadierno (1995 : 190) mentioned. Cadierno (1995 : 191) suggestedthat explicit instruction should involve a move from an inputbased approach that seeks to make changes in the developingsystem to an output-based approach that contains the provision ofopportunities for output practices in order to develop learners'abilities in accessing their developing system for fluent production. Furthermore, the desirability of having a combined formmeaning focused instruction was suggested in Cadierno (1995 :191) . This was in line with Long's (1991 : 45-46) "focus on form"approach where "the students' attention is drawn to linguistic

68elements as they arise incidentally in lessons whose overridingfocus is on meaning and communication" (Cadierno 1995 : 191) , asopposed to a "focus on forms" approach where "instruction seeksto isolate linguistic torms in order to teach and test them one ata time" (Ellis 1994 : 639) as in regular grammar lessons.Sanz (1993) suggested that processing instruction translatesinto improved performance in less controlled communicativetasks. Learners asked to narrate short video clips after receivingprocessing instruction in object pronouns demonstrated a markedimprovement in their ability to use object pronouns in connecteddiscourse that was not sentence focused and was "less controlled"by the experimenter.Tuz (1994) compared comprehension-based instruction withproduction-based instruction by using three groups of Japanesejunior college students of EFL with regard to psychological verbs(e.g., frighten, amuse). The comprehension-based instruction(Group C) and production-based instruction (Group P) startedequally at the presentation stage. The teacher spoke aloud thecorrect sentence corresponding to what was represented by eachpicuture while the subjects looked at pictures and listened. At theexercise stage, in the comprehension-based instruction, the sub-jects were first asked to match the picture with the sentencerepeated by the teacher, and they were given correct answers onthe OHP after each sentence. Second, they were required to matchwritten sentences with pictures, and were corrected by the teacherafter the task. The final exercise was a grammaticality judgmenttask. The answers were then corrected. On the contrary, in theproduction-based instruction the subjects were asked to chorallyproduce the utterance corresponding to each picture. They werecorrected by the teacher as a group after each attempt. The nextexercise requested the subjects to write a sentence about thepicture (answer : Sometimes),using the present tense verb given by the teacher. The final12

The effects of instruction plus feedback on Japaneseuniversity students of EFL : a pilot study69exercise involved filling in the blank with the correct noun. Thecorrect answers were provided by the teacher. The contro

ED 397 641 FL 023 852 AUTHOR Kubota, Mikio TITLE The Effects of Instruction Plus Feedback on Japanese. University Students of EFL: A Pilot Study. PUB DATE. 96. NOTE. 39p. PUB TYPE Journal Articles (080) JOURNAL CIT Bulletin of Chofu Gakuen Women's Junior College; v18 p59-95 1996. EDRS PRICE MFOI/PCO2 Plus Postage.

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