Effects of Output and Note-Taking on Noticing and Interlanguage Development

Eun Young Kang


Recent literature in second language acquisition (SLA) suggests that opportunities for output production contribute to targetlike acquisition. In the course of second language (L2) production, learners are prompted to notice the gaps and/or holes in their knowledge, and thus give extra attention to such discrepancies in subsequent input (Swain, 1995). Given that whether these gaps and/or holes are indeed noticed by the learners is crucial for successful intake, researchers have resorted to approaches such as note-taking and think-aloud as measures of noticing. This study investigates the role of written output in helping learners notice linguistic forms provided in subsequent input. In particular, it examines note-taking as a way to facilitate noticing. Twenty-three advanced English as a Second Language (ESL) learners were randomly assigned to two groups ─ a note-taking group and a non-note-taking group ─ and were asked to complete a three-stage writing task: (i) to give a written description to a picture, (ii) to compare the description to a model text, and (iii) to rewrite the description. This was immediately followed by a retrospective questionnaire designed to shed light on the “noticing process.” The results suggest that written output has a positive effect on learners‟ ability to notice linguistic forms that they have previously found problematic in subsequent input, and that note-taking apparently helps learners better use the linguistic forms included in subsequent input in their own rewriting.

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