Chapter 13. Examining multifaceted sources of input: Variationist and usage-based approaches to understanding the L2 classroom

Publication Date

January 2018

Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Usage-inspired L2 instruction: Researched pedagogy


Andrea E. Tyler, Lourdes Ortega, Mariko Uno, and Hae In Park



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Last Page



Input is a central, driving component in nearly all theories of second language acquisition, but little is known about the relationship between the instructor-provided input to which classroom second language learners are exposed and attested patterns of acquisition. Our study investigates this relationship through an examination of instructors’ Spanish subject expression in oral and written classroom input, as well as their subject expression during three sociolinguistic tasks. Our analysis of five native-speaking instructors’ subject expression, a variable structure, revealed several common patterns across input modes, such as the distribution of the three most common subject forms, as well as subtle differences in the factors constraining use across input modes and tasks. Findings are discussed in relationship to what is known about the acquisition of Spanish subject forms by second language learners, and implications and areas for future research are outlined.


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