Noticing and Learning: Relationship Patterns

Eva Kartchava, Ahlem Ammar


The goal of this study was to empirically investigate the noticeability of three corrective feedback (CF) techniques (recasts, prompts, and a mixture of the two) and to determine whether such noticing predicts second language (L2) development. Four groups of high-beginner college level francophone ESL learners (n = 99) and their teachers participated. Each teacher was assigned to a treatment condition that fit his CF style, and each provided feedback in response to errors with past tense and questions in the past. While the noticing of CF was assessed through immediate recall, learning was measured with picture description and spot-the-differences tasks. Inferential and qualitative analyses of noticing and learning revealed varied conclusions. Statistically, a minimal relationship between noticing and past tense scores was found. However, qualitatively, noticing appeared to predict gains on both targets for some learners, but did not prove to be a universal prerequisite for learning.

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