University of Central Lancashire
Journal of Second Language Teaching & Research
The present investigation compares the acquisition of L2 Spanish discourse markers under explicit and implicit learning conditions. Subjects were fifth-semester Spanish students assigned to an explicit instruction combined with input flood group, an input flood alone group, or a control group. The explicit instruction with input flood group was provided with explicit information about discourse markers. The group then received a flood of written input containing the target forms. Learners were also provided with communicative practice and feedback. The input flood group did not receive explicit instruction on discourse markers. The group received the same flood of input as the other experimental group. The input flood group was presented with communicative practice although there was no feedback. Prior to instruction, a questionnaire was administered to assess learners’ previous knowledge and use of Spanish discourse markers. A speaking task was administered as a pretest, immediate posttest, and delayed posttest. Their results indicated that both experimental treatments had a positive impact on learners’ overall use of discourse markers. No significant differences were found between the two groups on the posttests. Quantitative and qualitative data, however, revealed that the explicit instruction combined with input flood group was more effective than the input flood group in employing new discourse markers to structure their narratives. Taken together, these results confirm the positive impact of instruction on the use of L2 Spanish discourse markers.