DOI: 10.1075/tblt.16.05ish ISSN: 1877-346X

Chapter 5. Written languaging, language aptitude, and L2 learning through dictogloss tasks

Masako Ishikawa, Andrea Révész

Languaging, learners’ reflections/comments on language use, has been shown to facilitate second language (L2) learning, presumably because it creates opportunities for noticing L2 constructions. If so, it would appear that the extent to which learners can make use of these opportunities might be influenced by their aptitude, as those with greater aptitude may be more prone to learning through noticing. Little research, however, has been conducted to explore this possibility. This study investigated whether learners with varying degrees of language analytic ability differentially benefit from engaging in written languaging when it is integrated into task-based work. The study employed a pretest-posttest-delayed posttest design, with 64 participants assigned to two groups. As part of dictogloss tasks, one group engaged in written languaging when comparing their reconstructed text with the original. The other group received the same treatment but did not have the opportunity to carry out written languaging during the dictogloss procedure. We measured language analytic ability with Part 4 of the MLAT, Part 2 of the LABJ, and the LLAMA_F test. A grammar production test and a grammar recognition test were included to assess development in the knowledge of the target construction, the if-clause of the present counterfactual conditional. Spearman correlations revealed that language analytic ability had stronger relationship to participants’ learning when they did not engage in written languaging than when they did during the dictogloss task. We interpreted this finding as suggesting that written languaging can help mitigate the influence of language analytic ability on L2 learning.