Approaching the Direct Object Pronouns: How Much Grammatical Form Is Necessary in Instruction?


The main goal of this investigation was to determine if there is a more effective approach among focus on forms, focus on meaning, or focus on form for teaching the direct object pronouns to beginning students of Spanish. It will be beneficial to discover which of these three widely-used approaches can best help students to acquire correct pronoun use, and may aid instructors of Spanish in the teaching of these pronouns. In order to compare these approaches, three sections of a beginning Spanish course received instruction in one of the three approaches. The participants of this study were 51 beginning level students who had had 3 years of Spanish instruction at the high school level and were native speakers of English. The study follows a pretest/posttest design. Results find positive results for form-focused instruction over purely meaning-focused instruction for teaching the Spanish direct object pronouns with regards to sentence completion tasks. A main implication of this study is that focus on meaning instruction is not sufficient to help beginning learners improve their production of Spanish direct object pronouns. While results show a more positive impact for focus on form instruction over the more traditional focus on forms approach, additional research comparing these two methods is suggested. It is also important to note that beginning level learners show overall low levels of accuracy with direct object pronouns in Spanish.

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D’Amico, M. (2013). Approaching the Direct Object Pronouns: How Much Grammatical Form Is Necessary in Instruction?. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 3, 319-329. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2013.34041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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