Corrective Feedback to Second Language Learners of American Sign Language

Autor/a: GIL, Leslie; COLLINS, Laura
Año: 2022
Editorial: Sign Language Studies, 22(4), 668-702
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




This study examined the corrective feedback Deaf teachers used to target handshape, movement, and place-of-articulation errors in introductory American Sign Language (ASL) classes for hearing students. Although feedback is underresearched in bimodal second language (M2-L2) pedagogy, there is some evidence that teacher practices may differ from those observed in spoken L2 classes, notably in the more frequent use of direct corrections. Willoughby et al.'s (2015) study of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) reports that the teachers' preference for this type of correction stemmed from beliefs about the challenges of learning signed language phonology. Spoken L2 research suggests that a reliance on this type of feedback may limit students' opportunities to learn from their errors, as the nontarget form is corrected for the student and is not often followed by student "repair" of the original error (Panova and Lyster 2002). As student response to teacher feedback was not examined in Willoughby et al.'s (2015) study, we do not know if M2-L2 students show similar behavior. The current study was designed to address this issue, examining both teacher feedback practices and student responses to feedback.

Four sections of ASL 101, taught by two different teachers at two different universities, were observed for over thirty hours. An observation grid developed for the study, based on Lyster and Ranta's (1997) feedback categories, captured the linguistic target, feedback strategy, and student response to feedback. Semistructured interviews (adapted from Willoughby et al. 2015) probed teachers' perspectives on ASL acquisition and pedagogy. The results confirmed that direct correction was the most common feedback type (>60%). The findings also revealed that, in contrast with spoken language contexts, student repetition of the reformulation was frequent (>90%), influenced by both teachers' encouragement of this behavior. Factors associated with greater teacher focus on movement and handshape errors, and the contribution of M2-L2 contexts to understanding feedback in second language acquisition are discussed.