VLI 3(2): Yamashita (2014)

Effects of Instruction on Yes-No Responses to L2 Collocations
Junko Yamashita
Nagoya University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v03.2.yamashita
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The lexical decision task (LDT), in which a participant makes dichotomous
judgments on target letter strings, is an established method in
psycholinguistic research to investigate the mental lexicon. With the
expansion of research interests from single lexeme to collocations, second
language (L2) researchers have started to use a similar judgment task at a
phrasal level (referred to as a phrasal decision task or PDT in this paper).
However, unlike the LDT, the PDT has not yet established a standard
form of prompt, and variation has been observed in previous L2 studies.
Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine effects of varying
instructions on PDT performance. Three instructions (acceptable/
commonly used/natural) were tested with Japanese university students
and native speakers of English, who were asked to make judgments on
English word combinations. Examining responses to congruent (felicitous
both in Japanese and English), incongruent (felicitous only in Japanese
or English), and baseline items, the study identified some effects of
instruction differences. However, these effects were not so strong as to
obscure the expected cross-linguistic congruency effect. Therefore, this
result has led to the conclusion that researchers have more freedom of
instruction selection in the PDT, at least among the three examined in this
study and to the extent that the congruency effect was measured by
accuracy scores.

Yamashita, J. (2014). Effects of instruction on Yes-No responses to L2 collocations. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3 (2), 31-37. doi: 10.7820/vli.v03.2.yamashita