The acquisition of the English future tense by Iranian EFL learners: Processing instruction vs. meaningful output-based instruction

Samaneh Vafaparvar, Shiela Kheirzadeh


This study was designed to investigate the impact of processing instruction and meaningful output-based instruction on the acquisition of English future tense. For this purpose, 33 Iranian female learners were randomly selected and assigned to one of the three groups of processing instruction (PI) (n=10), meaningful output-based instruction (MOBI) (n=10), and control group (n=13). A distinct instructional treatment was conducted for the experimental groups. Besides, a pretest/posttest procedure was administered to assess the effect of instruction. The findings indicated that PI group had significant gains on interpretation tasks compared to MOBI group and control group. For production tasks, MOBI group outperformed PI and control group. It should be noted that for both interpretation and production tasks, both experimental groups improved significantly and outperformed the control group. The statistical analysis conducted on the delayed posttest revealed that PI outperformed MOBI group in both interpretation and production tasks. The results suggest that although MOBI can lead to acquisition, PI exerts a positive effect which sustains over time and might positively influence learners’ interlanguage development.

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