A clear validation of the pedagogical efficacy of linguistically- and metalinguistically-
The research focussed on the voiced ~ voiceless alternation in fricatives in English inflectional and derivational word-
A group of true beginner (fewer than 3 weeks’ English learning experience) L1 Quechua teenagers (n = 31) was selected to undergo the intervention. Three weeks of instruction (in Quechua) followed in basic phonetics, with a focus on the voiced ~ voiceless distinction, after which three further weeks of instruction (again in Quechua) was given in basic morphology, focussing on lexicalist and non-
On completing Hamlet and acting out the final scene with real swords, an immediate post-
Is Hamlet from Denmark?
[yes] [no] [don’t know]
What is the plural of ‘wife’ in English?
[Hamlets] [wives] [Denmarks]
Did you enjoy underlining words in the text of Hamlet?
[yes] [no] [don’t know]
Is ‘use’ in the sentence ‘I have no use for Hamlet’ a noun or a verb?
[verb] [don’t know] [noun]
How did you work out the answer to question 4?
[Denmark] [Hamlet] [presence/
In order to maintain motivation and focus throughout the test, students were allowed to phone a friend, go 50/50 or ask the test administrator up to 5 times. 89% of answers were correct.
After 6 months, students were asked to participate in a role play about a dirty knife in a restaurant. The role play contained 5 instances of ‘knife’ and 5 instances of ‘knives’. 29 students produced the appropriate form 8 or more out of 10 times, 1 student 7 times, and 1 student 0 times due to replying in Quechua.2
These startling results will shortly be published in the journal International Journal of Voicing in Fricatives and Second Language Acquisition. However, the buzz around the findings is already being felt in the industry with language schools across Peru adopting pedagogies based on or derived from this approach.
1 The play Hamlet was selected as the final scene involves a knife fight (actually a sword fight, but hey, details) with more than one knife (see previous parenthetical comment). This thematic connection to a prototype in the study adds cognitive resonance for the participants, thus contributing to a more holistic experience.
2 Although this student did bring a knife to the role play.
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