This study investigated whether and how foreign language (FL) aptitudes interacted with different instructional conditions to affect pragmatic gains in L2 Chinese. Fifty American learners of Chinese were randomly assigned to an (explicit) input-based treatment group, an (explicit) output-based treatment group, and a control group. Following a metapragmatic session, the two treatment groups practiced target request-making forms through their respective computer programs, while the control group did not practice. Gains in pragmatic performance were measured by a listening judgment test and an oral production test at immediate and delayed posttests. The participants also completed three foreign language (FL) aptitude tests assessing rote memory, grammatical sensitivity, and working memory. The results revealed different patterns of correlation between FL aptitudes and pragmatic gains. The input group showed positive correlations between working memory and reductions in judgment response times at both immediate and delayed posttests. The output group showed a positive correlation between grammatical sensitivity and gains in production speech rates at immediate posttest; a negative correlation was also found between rote memory and reductions in production planning times made at immediate posttest.
Li, S. (2017). An exploratory study on the role of foreign language aptitudes in instructed pragmatics learning in L2 Chinese. Chinese as a Second Language Research, 6(1), 103–128. https://doi.org/10.1515/caslar-2017-0005.