A closer look at the output hypothesis: The effect of pushed output on noticing and inductive learning of the spanish future tense
Focus of the study: The goal of this paper is to empirically test the impact of noticing function of the output hypothesis on language learning by comparing differential effects of exposure to textually-enhanced input and pushed-output. In this regard, this paper is very similar to Izumi’s (2002) study in design; however, this study differs from the former study by focusing a salient feature in Spanish: future tense. The study investigates whether output production, textually-enhanced input or combination of these two is more effective in promoting learners to notice and learn the future tense in Spanish.
Instructional settings and participants: This study is a replication of Izumi (2002) in terms of methods used. The only difference is the target structure selected. While Izumi focused on relativization in English, this study focused on a visually salient feature in Spanish: 3rd person inflection in future tense. Participants in this study were beginning level students from four different Spanish classes at a university. There were 55 participants in total. Participants formed three experimental and a control group. The experimental groups were: output group, textual-enhancement group, combination of output and textual-enhancement. The control group did not receive any treatment, just took the pretest and posttests.
Instrumentation and procedure: A cloze test and a grammaticality-judgment test were used in this study to measure learning of future tense form for third-person. The former included 15 items where students were asked to fill with appropriate conjugated verb form in future tense. The latter included 10-questions and asked students to correct the sentence if they consider it ungrammatical. The treatment included two 30-minute sessions on two separate days. Output treatments were carried out over a period of one week, which was composed of 5 stages: Step 1: first input phase, Step 2: first text reconstruction task in the second language, Step 3: second input phase, Step 4: second text reconstruction task in the second language, Step 5: written recall summary of the input passage in English.
Results and discussion: The results in general confirmed the noticing function of the output hypothesis. It was found that the output-production group noticed the future tense forms in the subsequent input more than non-output group and this led to inductive learning of the future tense forms, indicating the impact of noticing in language learning as a result of pushed output. Similar to previous research, only textual-enhancement group did not show any effect on learning of future tense forms in Spanish.