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Effects of Rule Instruction Versus Stimulus Highlighting: Are They Moderated by Time Pressure in Testing and Training?
Nora Presson and Brian MacWhinney
105-113 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The use of explicit instruction is both common and known to be effective in improving performance on grammatical tasks (Norris & Ortega, 2000). The current study tests whether the benefits of explicit instruction go beyond attentional focusing by comparing practice with grammatical categorization rules to practice with an input enhancement manipulation. 95 novice learners practiced categorizing French nouns by grammatical gender with reliable orthographic cues either highlighted or explicitly presented during practice. To test whether explicit instruction led to less usable representations, learners were tested with (and without) time pressure, and we manipulated time pressure during training to account for familiarization with a deadline. Explicit instruction out-performed attentional focusing both training with and without time pressure, and time pressure during testing did not eliminate the advantage of rule presentation. Therefore, we conclude that explicit instruction is effective even when performing under time pressure, which suggests that the resultant representations are not different enough to make explicit instruction undesirable.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2010 Second Language Research Forum: Reconsidering SLA Research, Dimensions, and Directions
edited by Gisela Granena, Joel Koeth, Sunyoung Lee-Ellis, Anna Lukyanchenko, Goretti Prieto Botana, and Elizabeth Rhoades
Table of contents
Printed edition: $260.00