Tokyo JALT:

Formulating grammar rules with high school L2 Spanish learners through inductive consciousness-raising tasks

Date: Friday, June 10th, 2016 Time: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Speaker: Paul D. Toth (Temple University)

Description:
This presentation will discuss the cognitive and social conditions within which high school Spanish learners inductively formulated explicit grammar rules. Recordings of 4 small-group interactions and whole-class follow-up discussions reveal the processes and outcomes of metalinguistic problem solving, assessing the potential for inductive consciousness raising to foster L2 acquisition. Following Ellis (2002, 2003) and Adair-Hauck and Donato (2002a, 2002b), each lesson guided learners inductively through metalinguistic analyses by first presenting a property of the word "se" within a narrative text, and then having learners "co-construct" rules in groups of 2-3 from the patterns they discovered. Results of their analyses were then reported to the class, with the teacher leading them toward a consensus before engaging learners in communication tasks. Classroom research on inductive L2 instruction has shown mixed results for the divergent strategies that have guided learners to formulate explicit rules (e.g., Erlam, 2003; Fotos & Ellis, 1991; Haight, Herron, & Cole, 2007; Takimoto, 2008). In the present study, the results indicate that although inductive consciousness raising successfully led learners to grammar rule formulation in all 3 lessons, the quality of the rules varied greatly according to: (1) the amount of time spent on task within each small group; (2) the distribution of turn taking; and (3) the participants' familiarity with pertinent linguistic concepts.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Paul D. Toth is an associate professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA. His work on instructed L2 Spanish acquisition was twice awarded the ACTFL/MLJ Pimsleur Award for research excellence, in 2002 and 2007. His study of teacher- and learner-led discourse was selected for the 2011 Best of Language Learning volume.

Organization: Tokyo Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Tokyo JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen

Venue: NYU Shinagawa Campus

Location: Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan

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Website: www.tokyojalt.org/

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