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Volume 19 Number 3, Autumn 2022, Pages 740-1140   

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Exploring Web-based Contrastive Instruction to Enhance Deictic Referencing Accuracy in L2 Spoken Performance

    Matt Lucas

Learners whose first language lacks a system for acknowledging countability and associated plural forms may experience problems in English when surrounding sentences are deictically referenced (e.g., that/those; it is/they are). Moreover, noun phrases may be omitted or repeated, resulting in further inaccuracies. This exploratory study (N = 81) sought to establish whether a synthesis of input-based and output-based contrastive instruction delivered through an online medium would improve deictic referencing accuracy in a controlled speaking task among Japanese university EFL learners. The findings revealed that for deictic plural forms, no significant differences were observed between the experimental and control groups. However, for noun phrase omissions and repetitions, the experimental group displayed significant within-group improvements, suggesting partial effectiveness of the treatment. The study reiterates the resistant nature of linguistic features influenced by the underlying concept of countability, yet highlights the rich potential that web-based contrastive instruction may provide in enhancing grammatical accuracy.

Keywords: computer-assisted language learning, cross-linguistic influence, deixis, explicit instruction, spoken accuracy