The Effects of Processing Instruction with and without Output: Acquisition of the Spanish Subjunctive in Three Conjunctional Phrases


This study examines the effects of processing instruction (PI) alone versus PI and output (O) on the acquisition of three conjunctional and infinitival phrases in Spanish. Seventy intermediate and advanced-intermediate high school participants received: 1) PI on three consecutive days (PI + PI + PI); 2) PI for two days and meaning-based output practice on the third (PI + PI + O); 3) PI on the first and third days, and output on the second (PI + O + PI); or 4) PI one day, followed by two days of output (PI + O + O). Results of a pre-test and two post-tests demonstrated positive effects from PI in both interpretation and production abilities. The provision of output generally did not enhance or hinder the effects of PI, except when more days were devoted to output than to PI. When students dedicated more time to output-oriented class activities than they did to PI, the interpretation results were significantly lower.