Studies in Second Language Acquisition


Instruction and the Development of Questions in L2 Classrooms

Nina Spadaa1 and Patsy M. Lightbowna2

a1 McGill University

a2 Concordia University


This paper is a report on a quasi-experimental study designed to investigate contributions of form-focused instruction and corrective feedback to the development of interrogative constructions in the oral performance of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) learners. The subjects were young francophone learners of English (age 10–12) receiving intensive ESL instruction. Their accuracy and developmental progress in the use of interrogative structures was measured prior to a 2-week period of instructional treatment. Immediate and delayed posttests were administered after the instruction. The language produced by the instructors while teaching interrogative structures was examined in relation to the learners' oral performance. Similar analyses were carried out with a comparison group. The results support the hypothesis that form-focused instruction and corrective feedback provided within the context of communicative interaction can contribute positively to second language development in both the short and long term.