Noun-noun compounds in a game taskwhat child data can tell us about teaching practices

  1. Raquel Fernández Fuertes 1
  2. Eduardo Gómez Garzarán
  3. Ibán Mañas Navarrete
  1. 1 Universidad de Valladolid

    Universidad de Valladolid

    Valladolid, España


Perspectivas actuales en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de lenguas en contextos multiculturales
  1. Planelles Almeida, Margarita (dir.)
  2. Foucart, Alice (dir.)
  3. Liceras, Juana M. (dir.)

Publisher: Thomson Reuters-Civitas

ISBN: 978-84-1309-932-3 978-84-1309-934-7

Year of publication: 2020

Pages: 481-505

Type: Book chapter

DOI: 10.32029/2605-4655.14.01.2020 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR


The modification of a noun by another noun (e.g. paper plane) is not part of the English curriculum in Spanish schools. This is so in spite of the presence these structures have in the textbooks used both in the English subjects as well as in the content subjects taught in English. We have analyzed the noun-noun constructions (NN compounds) produced by L1 Spanish-L2 English children in order to address (i) the role of direct explicit instruction as opposed to indirect implicit instruction in the English classroom; and (ii) the effect length of exposure can have in native-like attainment in these cases. Four groups of participants have been considered: two groups that have been part of a 3-year teaching program involving explicit NN instruction (a 9-year-old group and an 11-year-old group); and the same two age groups following the regular instruction where NN modification is not explicitly addressed in the classroom. Participants were tested by means of a director-matcher task which prompted them to produce NN compounds. Results show that (i) explicit instruction has an effect and that this effect is positive in that not only a more native-like production is achieved but also a higher number of these structures do appear after the explicit instruction period; and (ii) length of exposure has a parallel effect but is accentuated when combined with explicit instruction. This has a double implication: explicit teaching of grammatical properties is effective and the productivity of English NN compounds is something that can actually be taught.