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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Ed. by Jordens, Peter / Roberts, Leah

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Volume 54, Issue 4


Prime Repetition and Korean EFL Learners’ Comprehension and Production of Passives

YouJin Kim
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL, Georgia State University, 25 Park Place, Suite 1500, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
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/ Kim McDonough
Published Online: 2016-11-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2015-0028


The occurrence of structural priming in second language (L2) speech production has received increased attention over the last decade (McDonough and Trofimovich, 2009; Trofimovich and McDonough, 2011). Although L2 researchers have implemented a variety of priming methods, few studies to date have investigated whether repeating prime sentences affects L2 speakers’ understanding and use of target structures. Therefore, the current study investigated whether prime repetition facilitates English L2 speakers’ comprehension and production of passive constructions. Korean EFL learners (N=50) were randomly assigned to carry out communicative tasks under three conditions: passive prime sentences with repetition, passive prime sentences without repetition, or active prime sentences (active comparison). All groups completed three comprehension and oral production tests and two priming sessions over a four-week period. The results indicated that repeating passive primes facilitated subsequent production of passives, but was not more effective at promoting comprehension. The results are discussed in terms of the potential role of prime repetition in promoting L2 learners’ comprehension and production of target structures.

Keywords: structural priming; interaction-driven learning; English passives; prime repetition


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About the article

Published Online: 2016-11-11

Published in Print: 2016-11-01

Citation Information: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, Volume 54, Issue 4, Pages 319–346, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2015-0028.

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