Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2016
Although previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of recasts on second language (L2) morphology and lexis (e.g., Li, 2010; Mackey & Goo, 2007), few studies have examined their effect on learners’ phonological development (although see Saito, 2015; Saito & Lyster, 2012). The current study investigates the impact of recasts on the development of lexical stress, defined as the placement of emphasis on a particular syllable within a word by making it louder and longer, in oral synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) and face-to-face (FTF) interaction. Using a pretest-posttest design, intermediate learners of English were randomly assigned to one of four groups: FTF recast, SCMC recast, FTF control, or SCMC control. Pre- and posttests consisted of sentence-reading and information-exchange tasks, while the treatment was an interactive role-play task. Syllable duration, intensity, and pitch were used to analyze learners’ development of stress placement. The statistical analyses of the acoustic correlates did not yield significant differences. However, the observed patterns suggest that there is need for further investigation to understand the relationship between recasts and development of lexical stress.
We would like to thank Laura Gurzynski-Weiss, Avizia Yim Long, and Megan Elisabeth Solon for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this article. We are also grateful to Alison Mackey and Jenifer Philp for their insightful guidance on the research on which this article is based, and to Sam Kirkham for his assistance with analysis. Finally, we would like to thank the anonymous SSLA reviewers for their valuable suggestions and feedback. Any remaining errors are our own.
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