Helping learners develop autonomy in acquiring multiword expressions

Frank Boers, Thuy Bui, Julie Deconinck, Hélène Stengers, Averil Coxhead

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Second language (L2) learners stand to gain substantially from mastering a wide range of multiword expressions (MWEs), and several studies have examined the benefits of language courses that regularly draw learners’ attention to MWEs. However, most of these studies focused on the learners’ retention of the MWEs included in the course materials and did not examine a potential broader and longer term effect. In the present study, upper-intermediate students of English (N = 54) attended extracurricular classes over the course of 11 weeks (40 minutes per week) in which they either extracted MWEs from texts or engaged only in content-related activities. Outside the context of the experiment, the students occasionally wrote essays as part of their regular L2 curriculum. One of these essays was collected before the intervention, another shortly afterward, and a third 5 months later. Three coders independently identified MWEs in these essays. Both postcourse essays written by the students who had focused on MWEs were found to be richer in MWEs than those written by the comparison group. The difference was only in part due to a greater use of items encountered in the course texts, suggesting a broader and longer term effect on the students’ autonomous acquisition of MWEs.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)222-241
Aantal pagina's20
TijdschriftThe Modern Language Journal
Volume107
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusPublished - mrt 2023

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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