S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) Theses (Master's Degree_영어영문학과)
The Role of Implicit Teaching for Second Language Learners with Low Working Memory Capacity
암시적 교육법이 작업기억력이 낮은 제2언어 학습자에게 미치는 역할
- 인문대학 영어영문학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- Second Language Acquisition; working memory capacity; implicit teaching; English phrasal verbs; syntactic alterations; Korean learners
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 영어영문학과, 2015. 2. 송미정.
- The purpose of this study is to verify the relationship between working memory capacity and implicit teaching of complex structures such as English phrasal verb construction. After being theorized byBaddeley, Thomson, & Buchanan (1975), working memory has been hypothesized as one of the major individual differences which affect language acquisition. Many experimental studies have discovered a strong relationship between working memory capacity and learners’ achievement in an explicit teaching condition
learners with high working memory capacity were likely to surpass those with low working memory capacity. Implicit teaching conditions, on the other hand, may provide an appropriate learning environment for those learners with limited cognitive capacity, since the activation of working memory has been suggested to relate to conscious or explicit process. Hence, this study investigated whether an implicit teaching methodcan provide an opportunity for learners with low working memory capacity to gain the same achievement as those with high working memory capacity.
Based on their working memory capacity measured by a reading span task, twenty four Korean college students were divided into three groups: high, mid, and low. All of them received two implicit teaching treatments of English phrasal verb structures over one week. These treatments were a modified version of Robinson (1996)’s and required learners to memorize the sentences containing the syntactic variations of phrasal verbs. In order to compare learners’ achievement, pretest and immediate posttest were administered, and they assessed learners’ vocabulary and grammaticality judgment both in timed and untimed conditions. Lastly, a short interview was conducted to investigate whether learners had noticed the goal or target grammar of the experiment and whether the treatments were too demanding for them.
The results suggested that the high and low groups gained the same achievement, whereas their errors conformed to different patterns from each other. Statistical analyses indicate that the differences between the pretest and immediate posttest were statistically different, which implies that the implicit treatment resulted in both groups’ increased knowledge of the phrasal verb structure. Error patterns, however, exhibited a marked difference between these two groups
the high working memory capacity group tended to overgeneralize the phrasal verb alterations while the low working memory capacity group preferred one of the possible syntactic variations over the other.
Several theoretical and pedagogical implications can be drawn from the results. First, the present study provided positive evidence of the efficacy of implicit teaching of young adults. Second, many of the current frameworks of SLA also require modification with regard to way of teaching and its correlation with working memory capacity. Third, instructors should take care of various factors in order to ascertain that their implicit teaching can result in implicit learning of the target structure. Last but not least, high and low working memory capacity learners should be provided with different types of grammatical guidance respectively because their test scores, identical as they are, do not predict different developmental patterns affected by learners’ cognitive resources.