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Input enhancement (IE) is a concept in second language acquisition. Mike Sharwood Smith coined the term to cover methods language teachers use to clarify details of a second language for students such as accents, idioms and slang.
This method makes use of techniques including:
- Avoiding vowel reduction typical of rapid or casual speech
- Slowing down the rate of speech
- Using exaggerated stress and intonation
- Extensive repetition of words and phrases
- Less pre-verbal and more post-verbal modification
- Use of gestures, text enhancement such as boldface
- Underlining and the use of video
It differs from similar concepts such as motherese or teacher talk, where the main aim is to teach the language, without emphasizing a native accent. IE includes use of traditional techniques to teach grammar and usage. Sharwood Smith distinguishes external input enhancement from internal input enhancement with the former referring primarily to techniques used in the deliberate teaching of a language and the latter employing ordinary events or situations.
The term "input enhancement" was designed to replace the term 'grammatical consciousness-raising' (CR) because the developers believed the older term did not allow for enhanced learning that occurs in a natural or accidental setting instead of an academic or purposefully educational setting.
- Sharwood Smith, M. (1981). "Consciousness-raising and the second language learner". Applied Linguistics 2: 159–68.
- Rutherford, W.; Sharwood Smith, M. (1985). "Consciousness-raising and universal grammar". Applied Linguistics 6 (2): 274–282.
- Sharwood Smith, M. (1991). "Speaking to many minds: On the relevance of different types of language information for the L2 learner". Second Language Research 7 (2): 118–132.
- Sharwood Smith, M. (1993). "Input enhancement in instructed SLA: Theoretical bases". Studies in Second Language Acquisition 15: 165–179.