S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Foreign Language Education Research Institute (외국어교육연구소) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research, FLER) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) vol.18 (2015)
The Resetting of the Head Direction Parameter
- Shin, Mi-Kyung
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 외국어교육연구소
- 외국어교육연구, Vol.18, pp. 17-35
- This study aims to investigate the availability of the head direction parameter to Korean learners of English to find out how learners learn the head direction of English phrases in the EFL classroom. 95 intermediate and beginner students in their first year of middle school in Korea completed production and comprehension tasks. The results showed that the head final strategy is used more often than other interlanguage strategies when the head initial strategy is not available, which tends to show that the head parameter is reset through L1 values. In addition, the production task also proved that the acquisition of the VP head direction is accompanied by the acquisition of the NP, PP and AP head directions. In contrast, the participants showed a strong tendency of applying the head final strategy in translating English sentences in comprehension tasks. One possible explanation for this discrepancy between the production and comprehension tasks is that the interference of the Korean head final structure lets students decide the noun before the head is the compliment of the head. The pedagogical implication drawn from this study is that the head direction should be taught to beginners particularly in communicative classrooms.