Grammar Acquisition and Processing Instruction: Secondary and Cumulative Effects

Author: Alessandro Benati, James F. Lee

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Research on Processing Instruction has so far investigated the primary effects of Processing Instruction. In this book the results of a series of experimental studies investigating possible secondary and cumulative effects of Processing Instruction on the acquisition of French, Italian and English as a second language will be presented. The results of the three experiments have demonstrated that Processing Instruction not only provides learners the direct or primary benefit of learning to process and produce the morphological form on which they received instruction, but also a secondary benefit in that they transferred that training to processing and producing another morphological form on which they had received no instruction.

Will learners who receive training on one type of processing strategy for one specific form appropriately transfer the use of that strategy to other forms without further instruction in PI? Benati and Lee take research on Processing Instruction to new heights by examining secondary and cumulative effects of PI and structured input activities. The book provides a thorough review of input processing theory and empirical research on PI before launching into new and unique research that examines transfer-of-training effects. Benati and Lee present innovative directions for research on input processing making this volume a most valuable contribution to SLA scholars and graduate students.

The results presented in this book not only move forward the research agenda of PI, but they provide fascinating data that are sure to cause significant discussion in the field. This book will be of interest to a wide variety of readers and will challenge the field of instructed SLA in important ways.

Graduate students will find this volume a gold mine of ideas for research topics because Benati and Lee not only encourage follow-up studies but also provide an array of new areas of investigation.

Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Volume 32, 2010

Alessandro G. Benati is Head of Languages Department at the University of Greenwich in the UK. He has researched and taught in the area of second language acquisition and processing instruction. He is co-author with James Lee of the following books: Delivering Processing Instruction in classrooms and in Virtual Contexts; Second Language Processing: An analysis of Theory, Problems and Possible Solutions.

James F. Lee is Head of Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Task and Communicating in Language Classrooms.




1 A Theory of Input Processing: How Learners Work with Input

2 Processing Instruction: Research and Practice in Assessing Primary Effects

3 From Processing Instruction on the Acquisition of Italian Noun-Adjective Agreement to Secondary Transfer-of-Training Effects on Italian Future Tense Verb Morphology

4 From Processing Instruction on the Acquisition of English Past Tense to Secondary Transfer-of-Training Effects on English Third Person Singular Present Tense (with Scott Dean Houghton)

5 From Processing Instruction on the Acquisition of French Imparfait to Secondary Transfer-of-Training Effects on French Subjunctive and to Cumulative Transfer-of-Training Effects with French Causative Constructions (with Cecile Laval)

Chapter 6: Final Comments

Appendix (Sample Materials)



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