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Input Generation by Young Second Language Learners

Ruth L. Cathcart-Strong
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 20, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 515-530
DOI: 10.2307/3586297
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3586297
Page Count: 16
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Input Generation by Young Second Language Learners
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Abstract

The purpose of the study reported in this article was to determine the effectiveness of various types of communicative acts (e.g., requests for information, calls for attention, intention statements, and so on) for eliciting native-speaker input. The study examined some of the spontaneous communicative acts of a group of young second language learners and their native-speaker interlocutors' responses in three play situations. Results showed that while the response rate to some types of utterances was predictable (e.g., to requests for information), others (e.g., calls for attention) did not generate the expected feedback. In addition, there was an unexpectedly high response rate to other communicative acts, such as statements of intention. These findings are discussed as evidence of superordinate strategies in child discourse. The implications of such behavior for language learning and teaching are discussed, and classroom applications are suggested.

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