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Keywords:

  • Russian;
  • classroom praxis;
  • mechanical drills;
  • Processing Instruction;
  • second language acquisition

Abstract

In response to Leaver, Rifkin, and Shekhtman (2004), Wong and VanPatten (2004) challenged instructors of Russian to present evidence for the claim that mechanical drills (Traditional Instruction) were necessary for second language learning, and to demonstrate empirically the claim that Processing Instruction would not be an effective intervention for Russian. The current study compares the effects of the two instructional models for teaching the distinction between directional and locational expressions in Russian. Processing Instruction is found to be more effective than traditional mechanical drills, because learners made significant improvement in interpreting as well as producing locational and destinational sentences, while the Traditional Instruction group improved most only on the production task. The study shows Processing Instruction's robustness for teaching complex form-meaning mappings in Russian.