Frequency of Input

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

Authors

  • Justin P. White Florida Atlantic University
  • Alessia Martini University of North Carolina

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/isla.36273

Keywords:

Second Language Acquisition, Accusative Clitics, Italian, Structured Input, Processing Instruction

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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Author Biographies

Justin P. White, Florida Atlantic University

Dr Justin P. White is an Associate Professor of Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition and Spanish, Director of the Spanish Basic Language Program at Florida Atlantic University. His primary research interests include input processing (how learners process language data to which they are exposed and how certain types of instruction can facilitate learners' correct processing), interactive tasks, and hybrid languageprogram design. He has published in Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Hispania, International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, among others. He is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Article of the Year Award for Hispania - the publication of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). He previously held the position of Vice-chair for Research for the Special Interest Group of the American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and is currently an executive committee member of the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL). 

Alessia Martini, University of North Carolina

Alessia Martini is a faculty member in the department of Italian at Sewanee - The University of the South. She specialises in modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture, Italian cinema, and Italian American studies, with a particular focus on theories of space and place, and the 'American Myth' in Italian culture. She is also interested in second language acquisition and language pedagogy, and she has taught Italian as a foreign language at different levels in multiple countries.

References

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Published

2020-11-13

How to Cite

White, J. P., & Martini, A. (2020). Frequency of Input: An Analysis at the Macro and Micro-levels of Learning Italian. Instructed Second Language Acquisition, 3(1), 3–27. https://doi.org/10.1558/isla.36273

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Section

Articles