Title

Differential effects of recasts and metalinguistic prompts on the acquisition of Chinese wh-questions and classifiers

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of Original Version

1-1-2019

Abstract

Conducted in Chinese-as-a-second-language (CSL) classrooms at the university level in the U.S., this quasi-experimental study compared the differential effects of recasts and metalinguistic prompts on the acquisition of Chinese wh-questions and classifiers. Students in two beginning Chinese classes were randomly assigned to a recast group or a metalinguistic prompts group and received four form-focused treatments over five weeks respectively. Students were tested with an oral production task and a written error correction task before, immediately after, and two weeks after the treatment. Results from mixed-method ANOVAs showed that the metalinguistic prompts group had significant gains in accuracy in all measures, regardless of testing time (posttests or delayed posttests), target forms (wh-questions or classifiers), and testing mode (oral production or written error correction tests). The recast group showed significant gains in the written tests for wh-questions and classifiers, but only achieved significant short-term gains for wh-questions in the oral test. Overall, form-focused instruction, along with metalinguistic prompts, worked better than input-providing corrective feedback (recasts) for both syntactic and lexical features. Overall, these results suggest that the depth of second language (L2) processing, structural complexity, and outcome measures are all key factors that mediate the effectiveness of corrective feedback. Pedagogical recommendations are thus proposed.

Publication Title

Classroom Research on Chinese as a Second Language

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