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|Title:||The Role of Chinese EFL Learners' Sensitivity to English Lexical Stress Patterns in Grammatical Category Assignments|
Department of English, NTNU
This study investigated whether Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) learners, in the absence of ostensive instruction, were sensitive to English suprasegmental patterns (i.e. , stress) and exploited the patterns to solve the problem of grammatical category assignment in lexical learning. 60 sixth graders and 40 college students participated in a multi-trial English noun-verb stress alternation task, in which the alternation of stress between nouns and verbs was exemplified in carrier sentences over four learning trials in two conditions. In the consistent condition, the stress pattern of nouns and verbs matched English and was consistent across the exemplars. In the independent condition, there was no predictable relationship between stress pattern and grammatical categories. Results showed that Chinese EFL college students extracted the alternation pattern from the experimental input and assigned a pseudoword to a noun or a verb accordingly; sixth graders demonstrated some emerging sensitivity to the correlation between stress pattern and grammatical categories, but their sensitivity was not robust in all analyses. Neither college students nor sixth graders generalized their stress sensitivity to new pseudowords. The findings suggest that exploiting suprasegmental cues to grammatical assignment in English is a slow and protracted process among Chinese EFL learners and can hardly be mastered in the absence of direct and explicit instruction.
|Appears in Collections:||英語教學|
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