Hi everyone
Here is my first draft of critiquing a journal. I am not sure if I am on the right track. Can anyone give me some suggestions and correct my grammar? Thanks.

Critique of “The Effects of Amount and Type of Exposure on Adult Learners’ L2 Development in SLA”

This research attempts to investigate the interaction between the amount and type of exposure affect adult learners’ language learning based on an experiment study. It has two independent variables—amount (single and multiple) and type (teacher-centered and learner-centered) while the dependent variable is their morphological performance on recognition and written work.
There are several strengths in designing the research. First, to control the extraneous variables, the researcher had monitored the subjects’ prior knowledge, level of proficiency, and the experiment time to be consistent. They had no prior knowledge and were freshmen in the same programs and each group of subjects received the same amount time for instruction. The careful control of extraneous variables help increased the internal and external validity so I consider it as one of the strength. Another strength is the clear distinction of teacher- and learner-centered instruction. The design of cross puzzle well represented a strategy of learner-centered learning. Third, the assessment task the researcher used to measure participants’ recognition and written task in Appendix C and D are reliable. The first language (English) translation help subjects focus only on the morphological form by guessing the meaning of the sentence.
On the other hand, there were some key points ignored by the researcher so I pointed out 8 weaknesses in the following paragraphs. Those points needed to be further explained or the conclusion cannot be supported by the result.
The first problem is the selection of the sampling. We only learned that all these 88 subjects were enrolled in eight sections of a first-year Spanish program and they had received the same amount of the formal exposure to Spanish. Though the author thinks he randomly assigned his subjects to his four sections, it may seriously weaken the result if these eight sections were divided non-randomly. For example, the program organized the eight sections according to their entrance examination or their IQ. Thus, it is necessary to know if the program allocates these freshmen to the eight sections for any specific purpose or they are just randomly organized.
Second, this study cannot be generalized to all the population –all ESL learners—if the subjects’ culture background, age are limited. Learners in some learn more effectively through lecture while others learn better through problem-solving task. In real world, the ages of adult were widely ranged but the sample are all limited to young adults (freshman). Therefore, the result can not be generalized to all second language adult learners if the subjects are not culturally diverse and wild age ranged.
Third, the subjects’ attitude may affect the result—not a long-term but shout-term memory. The author needed to clarify if the participants were informed to have three posttests in advance, especially the last two posttests. If they know they will have a test on week 11 and 14 and they worry about the result of the test will be part of the course evaluation, they will review the morphology themselves before taking the posttests in order to perform better. In this way, the result, as the author considered to be the effect of long-term memory, is still based on a performance on short-term memory.
Fourth, the result may be invalid if the three posttests were not held by all subjects at the same period of time. The later group who took the posttest might have higher performance if they asked the other groups about the test form. Thus, the author needed to indicate whether these four groups take the three posttests at the same period of the time.
Fifth, the result will also be invalid if a researcher plays a role of an observer rather than a participant. In this research, the researcher said “I alerted the TC group to the preterit forms of –ir verbs by writing the verbal paradigm…I provided a limited teacher-center drill.” Since he conducted all the research process, he may have a bias or a hypothesis in his mind, it’s not appropriate for him to be one of the participants.
Sixth, although the term “single exposure” is clearly explained as “the targeted form(s) was/were presented during one specific period of exposure..,” the term “multiple exposures” are ambiguous. The term might imply repeated exposure but it did not indicate how frequent the target morphological forms are reviewed. Will this frequency take out other parts of learning?
Seventh, the questionnaire should be done in the early stage of the experiment rather than at the end. Leow indicated the purpose of his questionnaire is “to ensure that the pool was representative of L2 language learners who lack formal exposure to these forms before and during the course of the study…” What confused me is that the purpose of the questionnaire was— to be sure that the subjects had no prior knowledge about the morphological form. Therefore, it needed to be done in the beginning of the experiment rather than at the end of the study. Besides, the researcher did not mention how he dealt with those whose answers are both (a), indicating he or she knew/recognize these forms before doing the experiment and was exposed to most of these forms outside of the period of the study.
Eighth, another problem with the study was the insufficient analysis of the data. Although the mean score in table 4 supported the finding that both multiple and learner-centered exposures benefits to morphological forms, the p value in pretest and posttest are .40 and .96 implied the high possibility of error to take place. Besides, there was no information about the full score of the test. Without full score, we never knew how high is high and how low is low. If the full score is 20, even the mean score of learner-centered with multiple exposures (group 4, scored 8.48), is not high enough.
In summary, the advantages of the study are well control the extraneous variables—no prior knowledge, the same level of schooling and amount of instruction and the clear distinction between teacher and learner centered instruction. The English translation also helped eliminate the distraction from morphological form. However, the researcher needs to provide more specific information on how he chose the subject and whether the tests are done at the same time. Besides, he also needed to mention the subjects’ attitude toward the experiment and why he conducted the questionnaire at the end of the experiment. With the high p value, the data is not significant.

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