Teaching speech acts: Input enhancement versus presentation, practice, and production

Author/s:

Rezvani, Ehsan*
University of Isfahan, Iran (rezvani_ehsan_1982@yahoo.com)

Eslami-Rasekh, Abbass
University of Isfahan, Iran (abbasseslamirasekh@yahoo.com)

Vahid Dastjerdi, Hossein
University of Isfahan, Iran (h_vahid@yahoo.com)

Abstract:

The present study aimed at investigating the potentially facilitative effects of an attention-drawing method of teaching—input enhancement—on the acquisition of the speech acts of requests and suggestions by Iranian EFL learners. Moreover, an attempt was made to compare the relative efficacy of input enhancement in this regard with that of a more traditional method of teaching known as the Presentation, Practice, and Production (PPP) method. Ninety homogenous adult Iranian intermediate EFL learners attending a language institute in Isfahan, Iran, were randomly assigned to three groups: Input enhancement Group (IG), PPP Group (PG) and Control Group (CG). A pre-test was given to the three groups to measure the participants’ ability to use requests and suggestions prior to any treatment. Then, all the groups were exposed to short conversations (audio and script) including the speech acts under study. However, while the IG was provided only with typographical enhancement of the requests and suggestions, the researchers applied the PPP method to teach the speech acts in focus to the students in the PG. The students in the CG received a placebo task. The results of the post-test, administered after the treatment, indicated that both input enhancement and PPP exerted a significant effect on the learners’ production of requests and suggestions in English. It was also found that the participants who were taught through PPP outperformed those in the IG; however; the observed difference was not statistically significant. Accordingly, it can be claimed that an implicit and unobtrusive method such as input enhancement can be as effective as a traditional method such as PPP, which requires the execution of extensive mechanical practice and production drills.

Keywords: speech acts; implicit teaching; explicit teaching; input enhancement; PPP

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2014.802

*Corresponding Author