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Extra resources for Foreign Language Input: Initial Processing
Leow (1993: 335), however, poses an interesting question: ‘ . ’ The notion of ‘modified input’ (cf. Long, 1983) encompasses simplified input, but goes beyond it. Long’s study seeks to characterise not only the simplified input, but all the input directed at a language learner, including the input involved in interaction between a native speaker and learner. Such studies also attempt to discern whether modifications made to the input result in better comprehension. Authors working on ‘enhanced input’ examine ways to manipulate the input in order to accelerate the acquisition process or to minimise problems.
Intake and input are therefore both viewed as mental constructs, whereas ‘stimulus’ is not. Carroll (1997, 1999, 2001) contrasts ‘stimulus’ and ‘input’, attributing a significance to the former that corresponds with what other SLA researchers generally refer to as ‘input’ (cf. Wong & Simard, 2000), that is, something in the external environment. According to Carroll (1999), prior research on input processing has not responded to the question: how do stimuli become intake? She proposes that the question must be integrated into a conceptual framework that renders the nature of signal processing and linguistic parsing explicit.
Consequently, priority is given to morphological items with higher communicative value. Secondly, for learners to treat form, the processing of the informational or communicative content must not pose a problem. 6 Learners will adopt other processing strategies once their developing linguistic system has incorporated new phenomena, such as case marking and acoustic stress (the Competition Model introduced in the second section of this chapter addresses similar questions). Lastly, learners process elements in initial sentence or utterance position first, while treating elements in final position before those in middle position (see also Slobin, 1985).