Document Type : Research Paper


Shahid Beheshti University, İran.


This study was inspired by VanPatten and Uludag’s (2011) study on the transferability of training via processing instruction to output tasks and Mori’s (2002) work on the development of talk-in-interaction during a group task. An interview was devised as the pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest to compare four intervention types for teaching the simple past passive: traditional intervention as the comparison group and three task-based groups were processing instruction, consciousness-raising, and input enhancement. The interviews and the interactions during the treatments were also analyzed qualitatively. Task-based instruction (TBI) proved significantly more effective than traditional intervention and processing instruction significantly outperformed all others on both posttests. Furthermore, processing instruction was the only task-based intervention to retain its improvement till the delayed posttest. Qualitatively, processing instruction led to true negotiation of meaning and deep-level learning, consciousness-raising led to massive negotiation over the function of the target structure and deep-level learning, input enhancement led to enormous unfocused interaction about meaning, and traditional intervention just led to interaction about the forms. It was concluded that a well-planned processing instruction is a promising intervention for focusing on language form; however, due to the strong points cited for the other two tasks, their roles should not be ignored.


Alanen, R. (1995). Input enhancement and rule presentation in second language acquisition. In R. Schmidt (Ed.), Attention and awareness in foreign language learning (pp. 259-302). Honolulu: University of Hawaii.
Benati, A. (2005). The effects of processing instruction, traditional instruction, and meaning-output instruction on the acquisition of the English past simple tense. Language Teaching Research, 9, 67-93.
Benati, A., & Lee, J. F. (2008). Grammar acquisition and processing instruction: Secondary and cumulative effects. Bristol UK: Multilingual Matters.
DeKeyser, R. M., & Sokalski, K. J. (1996). The differential role of comprehension and production practice. Language Learning, 46, 613-642.
Dempster, F. N. (1987). Effects of variable encoding and spaced presentation on vocabulary learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 162-170.
Duff, P. (2008). Case study research in applied linguistics. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Dupuy, B., & Krashen, S. D. (1993). Incidental vocabulary acquisition in French as a foreign language. Applied Language Learning, 4, 55-63.
Ellis, R. (1991). Second language acquisition and language pedagogy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Ellis, R. (1995). Interpretation tasks for grammar teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 29, 87-105.
Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ferna´ndez, C. (2008). Reexamining the role of explicit information in processing instruction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 207-305.
Fotos, S. (1994). Integrating grammar instruction and communicative language use through grammar consciousness-raising tasks. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 323-351.
Fotos, S., & Ellis, R. (1991). Communicating about grammar: A task-based approach. TESOL Quarterly, 25, 605-628.
Griffin, G. F. (1992). Aspects of the psychology of second language vocabulary list learning. PhD thesis, Dept. of Psychology, University of Warwick.
Harley, B. (1989). Functional grammar in French immersion: A classroom experiment. Applied Linguistics, 10, 331-359.
Hatch, E., & Lazaraton, A. (1991).  The research manual: design and statistics for applied linguistics. Boston, MA: Heinle and Heinle.
House, J., & Kasper, G. (1981). Politeness markers in English and German. In F. Coulmas (Ed.), Conversational routine (pp. 157-185). The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
Hulstijn, J. H. (1992). Retention of inferred and given word meanings: Experiments in incidental vocabulary learning. In P. Arnaud and H. Bejoint (Eds.), Vocabulary and applied linguistics (pp. 113-25). London: Macmillan.
Izumi, S. (2002). Output, input enhancement, and the noticing hypothesis: An experimental study on ESL relativization. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 541-577.
Johnson, K. (1988). Mistake correction. ELT Journal, 42, 89-101.
Jourdenais, R., Ota, M., Stauffer, S., Boyson, B., & Doughty, C. (1995). Does textual enhancement promote noticing? A think aloud protocol analysis. In R. Schmidt (Ed.), Attention and awareness in foreign language learning (pp. 183-216). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center.
Keating, G. D., & Farley, A. P. (2008). Processing instruction, meaning-based output instruction, and meaning-based drills: Impacts on L2 classroom acquisition of Spanish object pronouns. Hispania, 91, 639-650.
Kim, S. (2001). Structured input and production practice in foreign/second-language learning. Unpublished Ed.D. dissertation, Temple University, Philadelphia.
Koike, D. A., & Pearson, L. (2005). The effect of instruction and feedback in the development of pragmatic competence. System, 33, 481-501.
Laufer, B. and Shmueli, K. (1997). Memorizing new words: Does teaching have anything to do with it? RELC Journal, 28, 89-108.
Lyster, R. (1994). The effect of functional-analytic teaching on aspects of French immersion students’ sociolinguistic competence. Applied Linguistics, 15, 263-287.
Mackey, A., & Gass, S. (2005). Second language research: Methodology and design. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Min, H. T. (2008). EFL vocabulary acquisition and retention: Reading plus vocabulary enhancement activities and narrow reading. Language Learning, 58, 73-115.
Mori, J. (2002). Task design, plan, and development of talk-in-interaction: An analysis of a small group activity in a Japanese language classroom. Applied linguistics, 23, 323-347.
Nicholas, H., Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (2001). Recasts as feedback to language learners. Language Learning, 51, 719-758.
Pitts, M., White, H., & Krashen, S. (1989). Acquiring second language vocabulary through reading: A replication of the Clockwork Orange study using second language acquirers. Reading in a Foreign Language, 5, 271-275.
Qin, J. (2008). The effect of processing instruction and dictogloss tasks on the acquisition of English passive voice. Language Teaching Research, 12, 61-82.
Salaberry, M. R. (1997). The role of input and output practice in second language acquisition. Canadian Modern Language Review, 53, 422-451.
Sanz, C., & Morgan-Short, K. (2004). Positive evidence vs. explicit rule presentation and explicit negative feedback: A computer assisted study. Language Learning, 54, 35-78.
Sheen, R. (1992). Problem solving brought to task.  RELC Journal, 23, 44-59.
Storch, N. (1999). Are two heads better than one? Pair work and grammatical accuracy. System, 27, 363-374.
Swain, M. (1998). Focus on form through conscious reflection. In C. Doughty and J. Williams (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp. 64-81). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tanaka, S., & Kawade, S. (1982). Politeness strategies and second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 5, 18-33.
Tateyama, Y. (2001). Explicit and implicit teaching of pragmatic routines. In K. Rose and G. Kasper (Eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching (pp. 200-222). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Trahey, M., and White, L. (1993). Positive evidence and preemption in the second language classroom. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 5, 181-204.
Truscott, J., & Sharwood Smith, M. (2004). Acquisition by processing: A modular perspective on language development. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 7, 1-20.
VanPatten, B., & Cadierno, T. (1993). Explicit instruction and input processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 225-243.
VanPatten, B., & Uludag, O. (2011). Transfer of training and processing instruction: From input to output. System, 39, 44-53.
Witten, C. (2000). Using video to teach for sociolinguistic competence in the foreign language classroom. Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, 5(1) 143-175.