Speeding up acquisition of <i>his</i> and <i>her</i>: Explicit L1/L2 contrasts help

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This paper reviews three pedagogical intervention studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of providing pre-adolescent and adolescent learners in communicatively-oriented classrooms with explicit metalinguistic information and opportunities to use it. The studies, which target the possessive determiners (PDs), <i>his </i>and <i>her</i>, follow a pretest/posttest design and were carried out in intact treatment and comparison classes. Measures consist of grammaticality judgement, metalinguistic comment, and oral picture description tasks. A number of issues are discussed in the context of older children’s second language learning in a classroom setting. These include implementing age-appropriate instruction that takes into account learners’ cognitive and linguistic readiness for form-focused instruction, their learning style and motivation, and the context of instruction.


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