The interaction of working memory capacity and engagement with recasts on different L2 outcome measures: A replication of Révész ()

Javad Alipour , Maryam Mohebi & Ali Roohani
Language Teaching, 2021-12-22


We report on a conceptual replication of Révész (2012) in order to investigate the idea whether learners provided with recasts do engage in different kinds of behavioral engagement as a function of their working memory and if/how this engagement comes to bear on performance on different measures. Engagement with recasts was measured through a coding method categorizing responses to the recasts running the gamut from: (1) no opportunity, (2) opportunity, but did not repeat, (3) repeated the recasted form, (4) negotiated the response, to (5) used the recasted form later in the discourse. Consistent with Révész (2012), though with lower effect sizes, the results showed that recasts were most conducive to gains on an oral task and less so on a written description task, but non-effective on a grammaticality judgment task. Furthermore, it was revealed that learners with a high phonological short-term memory were more prone to recast-induced engagement on an oral production task, whereas those enjoying a higher reading span were considerably less so. We propose that learner engagement be deemed more important in future interaction research.
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