The Role of Noticing in L2 Learners’ Production of Intonation Patterns

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor

2 M.A. in TEFL

Abstract

This study was an attempt to explore the role that the increased perceptual saliency of L2 input features or output flaws and hereby promoting L2 learners’ noticing (through planned instructional activities) can play in the learners’ use of correct English intonation patterns. The participants were 80 Iranian EFL students attending four intact classes, two low-intermediate and two upper-intermediate levels, in a language institute in Shahrekord. The classes at each level were assigned to control and experimental groups. The experimental groups received the noticing-enhancing instruction while listening to native speakers' English audio-recorded on a CD and through in-class intonation assessment tasks, repeated activation of intonation patterns in both L2 input and output, metalinguistic explanations, picture descriptions, and interactive role-playings. An English native-speaker instructor was then hired to rate the learners’ audio-recorded data at both pretest and posttest times. The results of the statistical data analysis demonstrated that both the ‘noticing groups’ achieved significant improvement from their pretests to their posttests. Complementary gain score analysis indicated that the attainment of the lower-level group was relatively more than that of the higher-level group, perhaps due to the fact that they initially had more room for improvement. It is finally discussed that selective attention, or noticing, can influence the processing of the commonly neglected aspects of L2 input and thus leads to more learning. The findings also suggest that L2 practitioners include in their pedagogy activities that aim to increase the prominence or saliency of such intrinsic features of L2 input and communication in order to make them available for processing and internalization.

Keywords


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