Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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The effect of input enhancement and elaboration techniques on learning discourse markers: A gender role study

Azin Torkaman, Zohre Mohamadi


This study investigated the comparative effect of input enhancement and elaboration techniques on learning discourse markers (DMs) through reading activities among 120 Iranian male and female intermediate English-as-foreign-language learners. Participants were selected on the basis of their general proficiency and randomly assigned into four experimental groups of male and female input enhancement groups and male and female input elaboration groups and two male and female control groups. The knowledge of DMs was assessed by a researcher-made test through a pre-test/post-test design during 13 sessions of treatment. Results of two-way ANOVA indicated that the input elaboration group (M = 10) significantly outperformed the input enhancement group (M = 9.25) on the post-test (MD = 1.60, p = 0.000). There was no significant difference in the performance of male and female participants in the input elaboration group, whereas female students (M = 9.96) outperformed males in the input enhancement group (8.52). The findings provide teachers with insights to maximise learning opportunities by opting for comprehensible input through input enhancement and elaboration. Results also suggest that teachers need to make principled decisions with respect to the gender of the students. Besides, English teaching practitioners need to attend to the discourse markers, among many other linguistic elements.

AJOL African Journals Online