Instructed Second Language Acquisition, Vol 3, No 1 (2019)

Frequency of Input: An Analysis at the Macro and Micro-levels of Learning Italian

Justin P. White, Alessia Martini
Issued Date: 15 Apr 2019

Abstract


The present paper examines the effect of input at the macro- and micro-levels on beginning level language learners of Italian. At the macro-level, learners are exposed to Structured Input activities targeting Italian accusative clitics to determine their effect on learners' default processing strategies. At the microlevel, the effect of the number of target item tokens in the input is measured and subsequently compared: 40 and 80 tokens. This study included pre-test, immediate post-test and delayed post-test measures on interpretation and production to examine the effect of Structured Input activities. Findings reveal that Structured Input activities at varying token frequencies may affect learners' processing related to this target form as evidenced by their gains in interpretation, as well as their adoption of a 'second noun strategy' in which they overextend their altered processing strategy. As such, we discuss the theoretical and pedagogical ramifications of these findings.

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DOI: 10.1558/isla.36273

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