n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Negotiated output and its efficacy for second language acquisition




Using a control and an experimental group of first-year law students, this study tests the hypothesis that negotiated output / interaction facilitates second language acquisition. Both groups were taught reading, writing and grammar. The only major difference was that whereas the control group was taught through interactively unmodified lessons, the experimental group was taught through interaction-based lessons. A proficiency pre-test on the content that the course was about was administered to both groups at the beginning of the study and a comparable performance post-test at the end. In order to enhance internal validity, both the pretest and post-test were marked by the same evaluator, not the researcher. The results of both tests were compared in order to find out if intervention had had any effect on the subjects' language proficiency. A descriptive comparison of the scores of the two groups indicated that intervention had had an insignificant impact. But a paired t-test showed that there was a significant difference between students' pre-test and post-test scores in essay writing and grammar. The conclusion drawn from these results was that the use of negotiated output can be better facilitated in the teaching of certain language skills than in the teaching of others.


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