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Nov 24, 2015 01:30
In this section Bardovi Harling study (1995) will be taken into account for the elaboration of a teaching strategy based on the difference between L1 and L2 past tense acquisition.
1) The Positive Evidence
The low rate of appropriateness in the usage of past tense, due to an undergeneralization in their mental lexicon indicates that this is an area that needs clear explicit instruction. It seems learners have formed a limited target grammar and need to expand their knowledge on the possibility of tense in English. To this aim, teacher may use the positive evidence. The positive evidence is an input that shows to learners how some sentences structures or tenses that they believed ungrammatical, are part of English grammar. This input has the scope of make students notice the difference between their own projection of English grammar and the effective English grammar so that they can revise their mental representation and expand their grammar knowledge
2) The Notice
The Notice is a very important in classroom instruction context because the positive evidence can be unnoticed by the learner while through this technique the new input will be underlined, analyzed, and thus acquired.
Many studies, prior to this, have demonstrated the effectiveness of an approach based on the increase of learner`s awareness (Sharwood, Smith 1981; Rutherford, 1987) and pointed out to the important of explicit instructions in the classroom. Such an input enhancement doesn`t only provide a new formal morphology accuracy but also help learners in form-meaning association process.
3) An example of an instructional plan
An authentic material contained the positive evidence of past tense with activity verb (such as run, play, move) and stative verbs (stay, feel, like) are presented to the learners. Then for each point that presents a positive evidence of a new usage of past tense there should be a noticing exercise. A notice exercise can be divided in two parts: in the first one the students is asked to underline or circle the verb in the past tense while in the second part he has to do an exercise like the one presented by Bardovi-Harlig in her study (1995):
Kerwin [the narrator] used the following verbs in the past progressive. He also used them in the simple past. Find the simple past forms, write them beside the past progressive and write the line where you found them. Look at the way the past progressive and the simple past are used. Can you tell a difference in meaning?
Past Progressive Simple Past Line was walking (lines 1-2) ______________________________________________________
was doing (lines 55-56) ______________________________________________________
Through these exercise the learners will be helped to do the correct association between form and meaning in order to amply his knowledge on tense/aspect combination. Another important activity will include the correct use of adverb of frequency in past and progressive sentences and a brief class discussion over their use that enhances learners` awareness and accuracy.