Effects of Instruction on Adolescent Beginners’ Acquisition of Request Modification



This quasiexperimental study examined the effects of different focus-on-form techniques, and the durability of such effects, on adolescent beginners’ acquisition of request supportive moves. Three treatments were implemented: (1) the incidental group was exposed to input and involved in meaningful output activities; (2) the implicit group was aided by visual enhancement of the input; and (3) the explicit group was aided with metapragmatic information. Discourse completion test results show that, when learners are provided with pertinent input and chances for output, visual enhancement can boost their pragmatic development, while metapragmatic information might hinder such development. Only the input-output activities (i.e., the incidental treatment) could produce durable effects in every aspect of the target features. The explicit treatment did produce durable effects in the acquisition of overall supportive moves. The effects of the visual enhancement were not durable. These results are discussed in terms of an interaction between the learner profile (young beginning learners), treatment characteristics, and the nature of target features.