Task type and reactivity of verbal reports in SLA: A first look at a L2 task other than reading

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Despite the frequency with which verbal reports are used in SLA to gather data on learners' cognitive processes (e.g., Bowles, 2003, 2004; Mackey, Gass, & McDonough, 2000; Rosa & Leow, 2004a, 2004b), only two studies (Bowles & Leow, 2005; Leow & Morgan-Short, 2004) have investigated verbal reports' reactivity (i.e., whether they alter cognitive processes) during second language (L2) reading. This is the first study to investigate the reactivity of verbal reports on a L2 problem-solving task. First-semester learners of Spanish were assigned to one of six experimental conditions, which differed in terms of the type of verbalization (i.e., metalinguistic, nonmetalinguistic, or silent) and the type of feedback (i.e., implicit vs. explicit). Results show that metalinguistic verbalization significantly increased time on task and also hindered participants' ability to produce exemplars of the target structure seen during the experimental task. However, neither type of verbalization significantly affected participants' ability to produce novel exemplars of the target structure, and there was no interaction between verbalization and feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-387
Number of pages29
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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