Mohammad Mahdi Hajmalek; Ehsan Majidifard; Omid Rikhtegar
The bulk of research within the interactionist framework seems to be consensually pointing to the beneficial effects of interaction in SLA. However, few studies have investigated the ...
The bulk of research within the interactionist framework seems to be consensually pointing to the beneficial effects of interaction in SLA. However, few studies have investigated the role of training in providing and perceiving interactional feedback, especially among young learners. This study probed the effects of training prior to engagement in interaction in case of young learners acquiring polar questions in an EFL context. Sixty learners aged 9-14 in three intact groups were exposed to instruction followed by peer interaction in case of the experimental groups while the control group simply received traditional teacher-fronted practice. Also, while one treatment group received prior training in interactional feedback strategies, the other group did not. The pre-test, immediate post-test, and delayed post-test were administered. The results of mixed between-within subjects ANOVA (SPANOVA) showed that engaging in interaction, regardless of any prior training, could significantly improve learners’ immediate mastery over the target form. However, in the long run, only the group trained in feedback strategies could maintain its superiority over the control group. The findings suggest that although engaging in peer interaction can be beneficial for young learners, sustained interlanguage development can result only if learners are trained in feedback strategies.