Structured Input vs. Structured Output Task’s Effects on the Acquisition of the English Causative Forms: Discourse-Level. Structured Input vs. Structured Output Task’s Effects on the Acquisition of the English Causative Forms: Discourse-Level.
Keywords: Arabic L1, discourse-level instrumentation, first noun principle, processing instruction, young learners, structured input, structured output, causative form
This research paper presents a quasi-experimental empirical study investigating the effects of structured input and structured output tasks on the acquisition of English causative forms. This research is framed on VanPatten’s (1996) input processing theory. The grammatical form chosen for this investigation is affected by a processing strategy called the First Noun Principle. There are three variables included that make this study significant. These variables are having participants that are young learners who speak Arabic as an L1 and using discourse-level instrumentation. These variables make this study significant because the studies that investigated the effectiveness of structured input practice with these variables are in the minority. The study’s main questions are: (i) What are the short-term effects of structured input and structured output on the acquisition of English causative forms as measured with discourse-level interpretation tasks? (ii) What are the short-term effects of structured input and structured output on the learners’ ability to acquire the English causative forms as measured with discourse-level production tasks? Participants were school-age learners (aged 12-13) from an Arabic background with Arabic as an L1 who studied English as a second language in Kuwait. A pre and post-test procedure was adopted in this study. Two instructional groups were created, which are: (i) structured input; (ii) structured output. Discourse-level tasks were used in the study to assess the effectiveness of the two instructional treatments. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. The main findings support the view that discourse-level structured input tasks are a useful pedagogical intervention in helping young L2 learners from an Arabic background with Arabic as an L1 to process, interpret and produce accurate English causative forms. The main findings have theoretical and pedagogical implications for language learning and teaching.