This study addresses one of the functions of output proposed by Swain (1993, 1995, 1998).
In particular, the activity of producing the target language may, under certain circumstances,
prompt L2 learners to recognize some of their linguistic problems and bring to their attention
something they need to discover about their L2. Two research questions were posed: (a) Does
output promote noticing of linguistic form? and (b) Does output result in improved performance
on the target form? In treatment phase 1, participants reconstructed a short passage after being
exposed to it, followed by a second exposure to the same input material and a second
reconstruction opportunity. In phase 2, participants wrote on given topics, followed by the
presentation of a model written by a native speaker. Participants wrote a second time on the same
topic. To test the noticing function of output, participants underlined parts of the sentences they
thought were “particularly necessary” for subsequent (re)production. The control
group was exposed to the same input materials but was not required to produce any output.
Although phase 1 tasks resulted in noticing and immediate incorporation of the target form, the
posttest performance failed to reveal their effects. In contrast, phase 2 tasks resulted in
improvement on posttest 2. The results are discussed in terms of the efficacy of output in
promoting noticing and learning and the conditions that may be required for output to be useful