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Unlearning the boundary-crossing constraint: Processing Instruction and the acquisition of motion event construal

Laws, J. ORCID:, Attwood, A. and Treffers-Daller, J. ORCID: (2022) Unlearning the boundary-crossing constraint: Processing Instruction and the acquisition of motion event construal. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 60 (4). pp. 1089-1118. ISSN 1613-4141

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1515/iral-2020-0147


This study explores the effects of instruction on the acquisition of motion event construal among learners of English as a second language. The challenge for learners with Verb-framed first languages is that they need to 'unlearn' the boundary-crossing constraint and conflate manner and motion in the main verb, as in "she ran into the bank", however, there is little research on how this domain can be taught. We evaluate performance on story-telling productive tasks using three experimental treatments involving 1) an input-only approach based on the principles of Processing Instruction, 2) combined input and output training and 3) explicit information only about the target construction. The findings show that boundary-crossing constructions expressing manner can be taught and learning effects generalised to non-boundary-crossing structures not included in the training material. The effectiveness of input-only instruction persists over a two-week period, and compares positively with that of an input+output teaching package.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:96659
Uncontrolled Keywords:Input processing, motion event construal, boundary crossing, instructed SLA, transfer
Publisher:De Gruyter


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