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Volume 8 Number 2, Summer 2011, Pages 1-210   

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Declarative Knowledge: Does It Mediate the Effect of Recasts and Prompts in an EFL Classroom Setting?

    Afsar Rouhi and Zahra Javan-Amani

The effect of recasts and prompts on L2 accuracy has already been explored intimately in classroom settings. This study, however, investigates the moderating effect of declarative knowledge on recasts and prompts. To this purpose, 48 Iranian learners of English were assigned to four conditions: +declarative knowledge (DK) recasts, -DK recasts, +DK prompts, and -DK prompts. This assignment was made based on the performance of participants on an untimed grammaticality judgment and a metalinguistic knowledge test which were focused on simple present yes/no and wh- question forms. Learners who appeared to be familiar with the forms in focus were assigned to +recasts and +prompts while those who were unfamiliar with the forms were assigned to -recasts and -prompts groups. A story-completion task and a spot-the-difference task were performed by the participating groups to serve as the pre- and post-test of the study. During communicative interaction, the 4 groups involved received corrective feedback (CF) in accordance with the conditions they had already been assigned to. Results revealed that +DK recasts and +DK prompts groups benefited from feedback sessions more than -DK recasts and -DK prompts groups did and the presence of declarative knowledge made recasts more effective than prompts. Also the recasts group outperformed the prompts group in the absence of declarative knowledge.

Keywords: recasts, prompts, declarative knowledge, L2 accuracy