Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students

It is the relaxed approach to grammar proposed by both Krashen and Terrell that has gathered
momentum since the 1980s and garnered attention in more communicative instructional
approaches. Instruction based on the communicative model is more implicit and has a greater
focus on transmitting one's meaning with less attention to structure and function of grammatical
units such as verb conjugation. In a fully communicative classroom there is no explicit
instruction in grammar; rather, it is expected that the students will pick up grammatical form and
function implicitly through the content of the message, language input, and the modeling of the
teacher. Some researchers and practitioners are staunch opponents of grammar explanations in
the classroom, and yet Ikpia (2001) found that fully communicative instructional approaches
were detrimental to students who benefited from direct instruction in grammar. The pendulum
regarding grammar instruction has not clearly swung to one of these two extremes: it is more of
an erratic pattern that encourages teachers to maintain a communicative classroom with some
"relenting" on the inclusion of explicit grammar explanations.
Therefore, one will still find classrooms where teachers continue to employ direct
grammar instruction as a means to facilitate learning as well as classrooms with some
combination of a communicative/grammar-based approach. In fact, Terrell (1991) states that
explicit grammar instruction may help to speed up the language acquisition process hampered by
the low number of hours of instruction in the university classroom, something that limits the
amount of input and interaction that a language learner experiences. He proposes three manners
in which explicit grammar instruction may positively affect language acquisition:
1) as an "advance organizer" to aid in comprehending and segmenting the input; 2) as a
meaning-form focuser that aids the learner in establishing a meaning-form relationship

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Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/. Accessed December 26, 2014.