Instruction and exposure: how do they contribute to second language acquisition?

Date
1998
Authors
Shresta, T. B.
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Source Title
Foreign Language Annals
Print ISSN
0015-718X
Electronic ISSN
1944-9720
Publisher
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
231 - 239
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Abstract

Adults have access to two distinct approaches to develop their second language competence. These are instruction and exposure (Krashen 1982). Both approaches contribute to second language acquisition in their unique ways. This article describes how they contributed to the development of oral proficiency in English as a second language in mutually ex-clusive learning situations in Nepal. There were 58 randomly selected subjects in the study, who came from two distinct groups. The first group was composed of people who had learned English mainly through formal classroom instruction with grammar-based approaches. The second group was composed of people who had learned English mainly through informal contact with English-speaking people. English speech samples were collected through personal interviews and presentations based on visual materials. These oral responses were judged holistically by five independent judges. They were also analyzed by means of grammar and fluency-related errors. Data were analyzed using t-tests and correlation procedures. The main finding was that both instruction and exposure contributed to second language acquisition in their own unique ways. The former seemed to promote accuracy and the latter fluency. For communication purposes, however, fluency seemed to be more critical than accuracy.

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