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The Noticing Function of Output in Acquisition of Rhetorical Structure of Contrast Paragraphs of Iranian EFL University Students

Hassan Soleimani (Payame Noor University)/Saeed Ketabi/Mohammad Reza Talebinejad (Isfahan University)


 

Abstract

This article is an attempt to contribute to the growing body of research investigating the noticing function of output (cf. Swain 1995 in Izumi/Bigelow 2000: 239), and more specifically the use of output-fronted activities that might prompt FL learners to notice their linguistic problems to facilitate their gain of rhetorical structure of contrast paragraphs in English. Three groups of EFL learners participated in the study. Two groups (the experimental group and comparison group 1) were required to initially produce a paragraph (output 1), then they received a model contrast paragraph to underline, and finally they were asked to produce a contrast paragraph (output 2). For the experimental group, the topic to write was a contrast topic; whereas, the comparison group were to write on a non-contrast topic. The third group (the preemptive comparison group 2) received the teacher's deductive instruction and explanation of contrast paragraphs in English followed by an output to produce a contrast-related paragraph. The results indicated considerable effect of output-fronted activities on learners' noticing the targeted structures and forms. In addition, the output-first-then-input activities were found to be much more effective than pre-emptive input activities.


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