Term

2013

Capstone

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Abstract

This study investigates how low L1 literacy and the level of context influence adult students' L2 oral processing skills, specifically their ability to recall recasts correctly by addressing the question: To what extent do low-literacy second language learners' noticing and uptake of recasts of oral questions depend on the level of meaningful context associated with the question? It discusses the Noticing Hypothesis (Schmidt, 1990) and Lyster and Mori's counterbalance hypothesis (2006) on recasts as a means of reflecting students' ability to notice and correct grammatical errors in their L2. Students were interviewed and recalls recorded in three NNS-NS tasks: Elicited imitation, Spot-the-Difference, and Story Completion. Results were analyzed between low and moderate literacy groups. The study concluded that low literacy affected oral recall ability in all three tasks, but that the level of context of the recast aided some low literacy participants in achieving higher rates of grammatically correct recall.

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