Wim Gombert

CHAPTER 4. Reading and listening skills 57 INTRODUCTION Although communicative language teaching (CLT) has become the norm in second language pedagogies around the world, in daily practice weak versions with structurebased (SB) approaches, especially grammar translation, are still prevalent in the practices of foreign language teachers (Lightbrown & Spada, 2013). In Dutch secondary schools, too, West and Verspoor (2016) found a prevalent explicit focus on grammar, a frequent use of the L1 (mother tongue), the use of translation, learning vocabulary with translation equivalents and an emphasis on written language. At the same time, a growing number of Dutch secondary schools adapt their language teaching practices following insights from usage-based linguistic and dynamic systems theory, captured in a holistic teaching pedagogy referred to as dynamic usage-based (DUB) approaches (cf. Verspoor, 2017). Characteristic of this method is frequent exposure to meaningful and contextualized language, ensuring an entrenchment of lexical formulaic sequences in learners that they can start producing early on in their language learning trajectories (Rousse-Malpat & Verspoor, 2018). Given its underlying premises, the approach has become especially popular for French in the Dutch context, as a language with little to no exposure outside of the classroom. With an inherent communicative focus, it is no wonder that e ect studies into the e ectiveness of L2 French lessons at the Dutch secondary school level have compared L2 French productive skills—speaking and writing. e results have been unambiguous: a er three years, DUB learners signi cantly outperform SB learners in both speaking and writing, even when L2 exposure across conditions is kept constant (Rousse-Malpat, 2021; Rousse-Malpat et al., 2022). A er six years, this di erence is still attested, with DUB learners using more complex sentences ( is dissertation, chapter 5) and targetlike chunks ( is dissertation, chapter 6). No di erences were found as to accuracy in speech and writing, which is important as knowledge on morphosyntax is acquired implicitly by DUB learners by default. Based on frequent exposure and in the absence of overt grammar instruction, they master the same level of accuracy compared to peers taught by means of explicit grammar instruction. Although the focus has thus been on productive sills, listening and reading outcomes have remained under-researched. As listening and reading scores in large part make up the modern foreign language nal national exams in the Netherlands, it is important to see how SB versus DUB taught secondary schoolers di er in their receptive French skills performance a er six years of instruction. is paper rst of all theoretically explores the facets of reading and listening development and instruction in the L2 before turning to exposure and frequency more directly and how they relate to the study’s outcomes.