Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Second Language Acquisition

First Advisor

Ke, Chuanren

First Committee Member

Shen, Helen

Second Committee Member

Liskin-Gasparro, Judith

Third Committee Member

Everson, Michael

Fourth Committee Member

South, Weldon


Research has focused on how the effects of different types of feedback vary as a function of the complexity of the linguistic targets and on the learning of inflectional features. However, few studies have investigated the learning of rule-based verb constructions. Grounded in the interactionist approach and usage-based theory, this study investigated the effects of corrective feedback on the acquisition of rule-based verb constructions among English-speaking learners of Chinese. Specifically, this study examined the effects of input-providing feedback and output-prompting feedback on the learning of two verb constructions. Data were drawn from 18 learners of Chinese from second-year Chinese classes in an American university. The participants were divided into two groups and took a pretest, treatment, and two posttests. Learners also filled out a questionnaire about their perception and preference of feedback types. Contrary to previous research, results indicated that both recasts and metalinguistic clues had positive effects on learners' learning of the target constructions. Moreover, learners of different proficiency preferred different types of feedback. The study results provided a categorization of verb constructions into four classes based on the rules that govern their formations and constraints that work on the constructions and identified stages learners moved through when learning verb constructions. The researcher proposed an instructional model of rule-based verb constructions. The model will help instructors recognize the stage the learners' are in and provide insight into how to help learners move to a higher stage by providing instruction, corrective feedback, and practice activities.


Chinese, corrective feedback, directional verb complements, Second language acquisition


ix, 170 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 144-155).


Copyright 2015 Zhengwei Qiao