A Comparative Study of Effectiveness of Explicit and Communicative Instruction on Taiwanese EFL Secondary School Students’ Morphophonological Awareness of Derived Words

Feng-lan Kuo, Yihsiang Kuo, Ting-wan Chiu


This study compared effectiveness of two types of instruction on Taiwanese EFL senior high school students’ oral production of derived words: communicative versus explicit. Participants included three intact classes of twelfth graders in a private senior high school. One class received explicit instruction, another communicative instruction. The third class received conventional instruction and served as the control group. Three groups received one 25-minute lesson on oral production of English derived words per week for a total of six weeks. Instruments included oral derived words tasks in isolation and in sentential context, and two versions of the treatment questionnaire. Results show that both Explicit and Communicative Groups significantly outperformed Control Group in the posttest of oral production of derived words in isolation, with neutral suffixes, with nominals, and at levels 5-6. Communicative Group also significantly surpassed Control Group in the derived words with non-neutral suffixes and beyond level 6. However, there was no significant difference among three groups in oral production of English derived words in sentential context, with adjectives, and at levels 3-4. Based on the results of this study, language instructors are suggested to first explicitly teach learners how to orally produce English derived words and then use communicative activities to enhance learners’ interest and motivation. Future studies are recommended to compare effects of explicit and communicative instruction on learners with varying proficiency levels and/or with longer periods of practice or exposure.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v5n2p323


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