Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 129/130 (2000) ► pp. 225–274
The Role of Input in Second Language Acquisition
More Comprehensible Input Supported by Grammar Instruction or More Grammar Instruction?
The present study investigates the combined effects of different amounts of comprehension-based and form-focused instruction on skill-based proficiency and knowledge of grammatical structures of beginner-level efl students. Specifically, the study addresses the following research questions : 1) Does a basically comprehension-based program of instruction supported by form-focused instruction help beginner-level efl learners improve/develop their listening, reading and writing abilities more than a basically form- focused program of instruction? 2) Does a basically form-focused program of instruction help beginner-level efl learners improve their knowledge of grammatical structures more than a basically comprehension-based program of instruction?One experimental and one control group, each containing 20 lycee prep level Turkish efl students, participated in the study. The subjects in the experimental and control groups were randomly selected from among lycee prep classes in two different schools. The experimental group enrolled in a program of comprehension-based instruction supported by form- focused instruction; whereas, the control group enrolled in a basically form-focused program of instruction. Both the experimental and control groups had 29 hours of efl instruction per week for 36 weeks.Different instruments were used to see the effects of these two different types of instruction on their reading, listening, writing skills and knowledge of grammatical structures. At the end of the fourth month, both groups were given the listening, reading and writing components of the Key English Test (ket) and the grammar component of the Oxford Placement Test. At the end of the eighth month, they were given the Preliminary English Test (pet) and another version of the grammar component of the Oxford Placement Test.The results indicated that the program of comprehension-based efl instruction supported by form-focused instruction was more effective than a basically form-focused program of instruction in helping beginner-level students develop their listening, reading, and writing skills as well as their knowledge of grammatical structures.
Published online: 01 January 2000