Title

The Effects of Textual Enhancement Type on L2 Form Recognition and Reading Comprehension in Spanish

Publication Date

2016

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Previous research investigating the effectiveness of textual enhancement as a tool to draw adult second language (L2) learners’ attention to the targeted linguistic form has consistently produced mixed results. This article examines how L2 form recognition and reading comprehension are affected by different types of textual enhancement. Participants (n = 109) in the experimental group read a passage that contained one type of textual enhancement (underline, bold, italics, change in font size, use of capital letters or change of font) on the target structure (Spanish present and preterit tense) morphemes. A control group (n = 16) read the same passage without any type of enhancement. To measure L2 form recognition, all groups completed pre- and post-tests consisting of an L2 to first language (L1) translation task. To assess the effects of enhancement type on L2 reading comprehension, the participants completed a 40 item multiple choice test with questions focusing on form or meaning from the reading. Results for the present study revealed that one type of textual enhancement was better than others with regard to facilitating L2 form recognition, and that comprehension was not hindered by enhancement, regardless of enhancement type.

Original Citation

LaBrozzi, R.M. (2014). The Effects of Textual Enhancement Type on L2 Form Recognition and Reading Comprehension in Spanish. Language Teaching Research, 20(1), 75-91. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168814561903