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A psycholinguistic exploration of focus of attention in second language learning based on recent research findings from the field of motor skill learning

Kelly-Coll, Clare (2009) A psycholinguistic exploration of focus of attention in second language learning based on recent research findings from the field of motor skill learning. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

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Abstract

Significant findings from motor skill learning research provide evidence that focus of attention (FOA), induced through instruction, impacts on performance and learning (Wulf, 2007). External FOA instructions, which direct focus to the effect of actions, enhance performance compared with internal focus instructions which direct focus towards the body. The objective of this explorative study is to investigate whether FOA as operationalised in the Wulf model can be transferred and replicated in the context of second language learning (SLL). Two cross-linguistic studies were conducted to investigate the effects of focus instructions on two sample populations comprising a total of 140 adult L2 learners of English. The experiments, run on E-Prime, involved grammaticality judgements and vocabulary learning conducted under practice and test conditions. Subjects were assigned to one of three instructional groups: baseline, internal or external-focus and accuracy and response times were analysed. The findings indicate that attentional focus impacts on SLL learning differentially with regard to practice and test conditions, task complexity, number of language trials and learner proficiency. Other results reveal no significant differences between the groups but a significant statistical difference as a function of type of task. This research raises important questions which merit further investigation regarding the possibilities and limitations of transferring empirical research models.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:November 2009
Refereed:No
Supervisor(s):Lechleiter, Heinz
Uncontrolled Keywords:second language learning;
Subjects:Humanities > Linguistics
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:14882
Deposited On:11 Nov 2009 16:22 by Heinz Lechleiter. Last Modified 11 Nov 2009 16:22

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