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Effects of Frequency in Classroom Second Language Learning

Quasi-experiment and Stimulated-recall Analysis


Tomoko Tode

The view of exemplar-based second language learning emphasizes the importance of frequency in learning grammar. According to this view, type frequency rather than token frequency contributes to learning generalized knowledge beyond item-based constructions. This book investigates how frequency in experiencing exemplars affects the learning of the English primary verb be by junior high school students in Japan. The study consists of a quasi-experiment and stimulated-recall analysis of the data. The quasi-experiment compares three kinds of output practice: practice with increased type frequency, practice with increased token frequency, and practice without increased frequency. The experiment also explores how the frequency effects relate to the extent of explicit knowledge about the target structures. In the stimulated-recall analysis, learners engaging in the type frequency practice and those engaging in the token frequency practice are compared in terms of thought processes employed while practicing. The book discusses how frequency promotes classroom second language learning by taking the role of awareness of form-meaning connections into consideration.
Contents: Usage-based model of language – Connectionism – ACT-R theory – The roles of type frequency and token frequency in learning grammar – The roles of explicit instruction and explicit knowledge in second language learning – Implicit learning and explicit learning – Processing instruction – Structured output practice – Form-meaning connections – Repeated noticing – Strengthening of association – Problems with learning the English primary verb be.