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Applied Language Learning


The two main components of Processing Instruction (PI) are Explicit Information (EI) and Structured Input (SI). Most researchers have concluded that the SI is more responsible for learner gains than the EI (Benati, 2004a, 2004b; VanPatten & Oikennon, 1996; Wong, 2004). However, some researchers have found that EI does significantly impact learner gains (Cox & Sanz, 2015; Farley, 2004b; Farley & McCollam, 2004; Fernandez, 2008; Henry, Culman, & VanPatten, 2009). The conventional order of PI is EI followed by SI. The present study seeks to ascertain if the order of EI and SI affects learner gains as measured by interpretation and production scores on four assessments tasks. Two instructional interventions were designed to respond to this reseach question. The first treatment group received EI and then SI (traditional order) and the second group practiced with SI before encountering the EI.

The grammatical target of the subjunctive/indicative contrast after the temporal adverb cuando provided a number of acquisitional challenges that were addressed in the EI with five input processing principles. A pretest/posttest/delayed posttest (after five months) design was used to measure learner gains. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to further analyze the scores from these tasks by total, subjunctive, and indicative items. Findings indicated that the order of EI was not statistically significant, but points to explicit feedback as a contributive factor.


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