The Roles of Explicit Information and Grammatical Sensitivity in Processing Instruction: Nominative-Accusative Case Marking and Word Order in German L2
Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012
© 2012 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Inc.
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 45, Issue 1, pages 92–109, Spring 2012
How to Cite
VanPatten, B. and Borst, S. (2012), The Roles of Explicit Information and Grammatical Sensitivity in Processing Instruction: Nominative-Accusative Case Marking and Word Order in German L2. Foreign Language Annals, 45: 92–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2012.01169.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 25 FEB 2011
- explicit information;
- processing instruction
In this study, we examine explicit information and aptitude within processing instruction. Forty-six learners of German in their third semester of study were divided into two groups: those who received explicit information prior to treatment (+EI) and those who did not (−EI). Participants also took the grammatical sensitivity portion of the Modern Language Aptitude Test. Treatment consisted of structured input activities in which learners heard a sentence and indicated comprehension by selecting between two drawings. The processing problem was the First-Noun Principle, and the target structure was nominative-accusative case marking on masculine nouns in object-verb-subject and subject-verb-object sentences. Treatment was delivered via computer (SuperLab 4.0). The measurement taken was trials to criterion: how long it took participants to begin processing sentences correctly. Results revealed that the +EI group began processing sentences correctly before the −EI group. As for aptitude, grammatical sensitivity correlated weakly with the scores in the +EI group, but not in the −EI group.