Concurrent Verbalizations, Pedagogical Conditions, and Reactivity: Two CALL Studies


  • This is one in a series of reports on The Latin Project, developed by Sanz, Bowden, and Stafford at Georgetown University to investigate the relationship among individual differences and pedagogical variables in the acquisition of nonprimary languages. This publication reports findings from Lado's and Lin's PhD qualifying papers and includes data gathered by an excellent group of graduate students: Mariona Anfruns, Chris Barley, Kaylea Mayer, Almitra Medina, Amy Pogoriler, Lara Rivera, Rebecca Sachs, and Iñigo Yanguas. We acknowledge Georgetown's GSAS and FLL funding to Sanz and the invaluable assistance provided by Dr. RuSan Chen, senior statistician, and Bill Garr, senior programmer. We also thank Robert DeKeyser and our three reviewers for their insightful comments; any errors are undoubtedly ours. An early version of this article was presented as part of a SLRF'05 panel on the Latin Project.

concerning this article should be addressed to Cristina Sanz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Box 571039, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057-1039. Internet:


The article summarizes results from two experimental studies on reactivity. In the first experiment, 24 college-age participants received a computerized treatment that delivered a grammar lesson, practice, and feedback on assignment of semantic functions in Latin. Verbalizations did not induce reactivity on accuracy, but they slowed down posttest performance. The second experiment (N= 24), which did not include a grammar lesson, showed that thinking aloud had a facilitating effect. Our results suggest that reactivity depends not only on the task and on the nature of the assessment tool but also on the nature of the dependent variables (i.e., latency vs. accuracy). In contrast to previous SLA studies (with the exception of Sachs and Polio, 2007), our study advises researchers to exercise caution when implementing verbal protocols in their designs.