Processing instruction on the Spanish passive with transfer-of-training effects to anaphoric and cataphoric reference contexts

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Abstract

Transfer-of-training effects with processing instruction have recently been reported in the literature. That is, L2 learners receive processing instruction on one particular linguistic item and, as a consequence of instruction, learners' performance improves not only on the particular linguistic item but on other linguistic items as well. The present study examines processing instruction on the Spanish passive, the word order of which places the patient in the grammatical role of subject in sentence initial position and the agent as the object of a preposition in sentence final position. The purpose of the study is to determine whether learners transfer the training they receive on processing the word order of passive sentences to their processing of sentences with anaphoric reference, specifically, accusative case pronouns for which the word order is OproVS and to sentences with gender-cued, null subject cataphoric reference. Results show that all learners benefitted from instruction on processing the passive but that only some learners transferred the training to anaphoric and cataphoric reference contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-223
Number of pages21
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • L2 Spanish
  • anaphoric reference
  • cataphoric reference
  • passive
  • processing instruction
  • transfer-of-training effects

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