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Prompting vs. Confirmation, Pictures vs. Translations, and Other Variables in Children's Learning of Grammar in a Second Language NICHD

Lim, Kiat-Boey
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Harvard University, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Elementary School Students, Malay, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Methods


Third-grade U.S. children were taught lessons in Malay 15 min. per day over a two week period. Teaching was done individually with a Language Master. After preliminary teaching of vocabulary, grammatical teaching and drill involved a 2 to the fourth power orthogonal design in which effects of (1) pictures vs. translations, (2) prompting vs. confirmation, (3) inductive vs. deductive teaching, and (4) materials based on structural vs. transformational principles were investigated. Through analysis of variance and of covariance (using IQ. language aptitude, and French grades), the principal effects found in a series of criterion tests were the superiority of a confirmation method of practice and the superiority of the use of translations rather than pictures.

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