The Effect of Language Aptitude on Recast-Driven L2 Morphosyntax Acquisition: An Overview

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Ruirui Jia


The purpose of this paper is to review several studies on the effects of language aptitude on the recast-driven acquisition of L2 morphosyntax. Recasts are one of the most commonly used forms of corrective feedback in second language (L2) classrooms. It is clear from research that there are a variety of internal and external factors that affect the ability of L2 learners to benefit from recasting. Among those internal factors, working memory and language analytic ability, as two critical components of language aptitude, have gained increasing attention in recast studies. Given L2 learners’ variability in their ability to notice the gap and extrapolate grammatical rules, working memory and language analytic ability may be responsible for learners’ ability to attend to the recasts provided. By reviewing and synthesizing relevant research, the current literature review demonstrates that despite the inconsistent results and the need for further verification, working memory and language analytic ability, in general, tend to mediate recasts-driven L2 morphosyntax acquisition. Also, L2 learners have demonstrated a disposition to draw upon different components of language aptitude at different second language developmental stages and response to different types of corrective feedback.

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APPLE Award Winning Papers in AL & TESOL