Date of Graduation

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

International and Multicultural Education

Program

International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Betty Taylor

Second Advisor

Brian Gerrard

Third Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Abstract

To help students achieve their potential, input/feedback must be sequenced by the level of complexity that immediately follows the student's actual developmental level. I assert that effective input/feedback has to follow a set of suggested but not directly expressed rules that represent basic criteria for the development of communicative competence. This study made these criteria explicit, and converted them into ready-for-use input/feedback specifications. Such specifications allow instructors to provide effective remedies to treat particular interlanguage errors. Thus, it is important that instructors understand how to sequence input/feedback to target students differentially in response to their different proficiency levels.

The study was based on the pretest-posttest control-group design with 15 participants in each of the experimental and control groups. The intervention treatment for the experimental group was provided through sequenced inputs (SI) whereas the control group did not receive a treatment.

The posttest findings revealed that the intensity of speech inaccuracy in the experimental group showed a statistically significant difference compared to the control group in word-order errors and lexical-choice errors. However, there was no significant difference in the intensity of disfluency (total pausing time, length of run, and speech rates) before and after the intervention between the experimental and control groups. These results suggest SI could be used as one instructional methodology to develop communicative competence.

Insights gleaned from the data analysis are made accessible in the form of (a) capsulated text typology providing familiarity with various input contexts, and (b) an analogical-reasoning method indicating trends of how certain interlanguage errors are often treated, based on gaining insights into possible treatments from existing facts in the same or dissimilar contexts. The key contributions from this work are (a) an empirical data set of input/feedback specifications to target students differentially in response to their actual developmental levels, (b) an insightful comparison of SI feedback on the basis of detailed text-typology criteria, (c) documentation of SI feedback correlated with detailed text-typology criteria, and (d) documented input feedback insights.