CALICO Journal, Vol 24, No 1 (2007)

Toward an Understanding of Incidental Input Enhancement in Computerized L2 Environments

Carolyn Gascoigne
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014

Abstract


Computers, computer programs, and other novel and vivid technological applications to language learning can unintentionally redirect attentional resources and therefore increase the salience of unplanned as well as targeted features. Incidental activities such as keyboarding (Henry, 1992), manipulation of a mouse (Meunier, 1996), and other technical moves have the potential to produce unintended consequences, either facilitative or debilitative, on the SLA process. Following a review of the role of attention to form, in general, and input enhancement, in particular, this study examines the complementary effect of keyboarding as a medium of incidental input enhancement on the SLA endeavor. Indeed, keyboarding in an L2 can be particularly difficult because the insertion of diacritical marks can require "practice in the use of an unfamiliar keyboard layout, and may often involve the use of special key combinations" (Henry, 1992, p. 55). Here, the effect on recall of the additional steps and key combinations needed to insert an accent in a computerized environment is compared to that of pen-and-paper application of diacritics.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v24i1.147-162

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