Focus on Form LALS520 Stafford Lumsden

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Focus on Form LALS520 Stafford Lumsden

  1. 1. <ul><li>Stafford Lumsden </li></ul><ul><li>Victoria University Wellington </li></ul>Focus on Form(s) An introduction to LALS 520 Learners & Second Language Learning
  2. 2. Form Focused Instruction <ul><li>FFI involves attempts to intervene directly in interlanguage construction </li></ul><ul><li>Draws attention to specific linguistic features </li></ul><ul><li>Looks for opportunities for learners to practice linguistic features </li></ul>
  3. 3. Direct Intervention Prior specification of the language forms and / or functions and teaching their linguistic realization. Ellis, 2008: 837 Focus on Form
  4. 4. Type &quot;A&quot; Curriculum <ul><li>Syntactic </li></ul><ul><li>Analytic </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Skill getting&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Widdowson: &quot;Investment for the future&quot; </li></ul>White: 1988
  5. 5. In the language <ul><li>P </li></ul><ul><li>P </li></ul><ul><li>P </li></ul>resent ractice roduce Controlled practice Freer practice classroom
  6. 6. <ul><li>Explicit attention to form occurs during presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice stage has students using the explicitly taught form in controlled atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>During production learners use the explicitly taught form in (semi-) authentic ways. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Form Focused Episode <ul><li>FFE </li></ul>
  8. 8. Form Focused Episodes <ul><li>Classroom interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher-led: Teacher -> Students </li></ul><ul><li>Student-centered: Student ->Student </li></ul><ul><li>Student-led: Student ->Teacher </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>When do FFEs occur? </li></ul>FFEs can occur both during explicit instruction and during meaning focused communication Used by both learners and teachers for dealing with linguistic difficulties. (Zhao & Bitchener, 2007: 445)
  10. 10. <ul><li>In classroom settings interacting patterns can take the form of </li></ul><ul><li>T->Ss / Ss->T </li></ul><ul><li>Or between students Ss->Ss </li></ul><ul><li>Of these student dyads (pairs) used in interactional scaffolding activities proved to be the most effective in terms of focusing on form </li></ul>
  11. 11. On Teacher - Student Interaction: <ul><li>T->Ss interaction not so good for promoting mutual comprehension. </li></ul><ul><li>Ss centered approaches work better. </li></ul>
  12. 12. FFE example S: I go to the school every day. T: I go to the school...? S:...uh...I go to school...
  13. 13. Student -> Student <ul><li>Where initiated by students themselves, and not the teacher, there is significantly better uptake of forms during an FFE </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why focus on form?
  15. 15. <ul><li>While instruction may not be necessary for L2 acquisition... </li></ul><ul><li>(Krashen - implicit / explicit knowledge, or self taught learners e.g. &quot;Wes&quot; (Schmidt, 1983)) </li></ul>...it does help learners to acquire it more quickly. Ellis (1993)
  16. 16. Theoretical positions <ul><li>Focus on form </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Zero Option <ul><li>The zero option advocates the abandonment of for all education </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom not effective </li></ul><ul><li>Students should be allowed to acquire (inter)language &quot;naturally&quot; </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>...the development of competence in a second language requires not systemization of language inputs, or maximization of planned practice, but the creation of conditions in which a learner can engage in an effort to cope with communication </li></ul><ul><li>(Prabhu, 1987: 1) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Non-interface Hypothesis <ul><li>Grammatical competence cannot be taught (Krashen, 1982) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is not the same as acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Implicit knowledge required for comprehensible communication not taught in formal instruction </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;learning&quot; is about explicit knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;acquisition&quot;is about implicit knowledge </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Krashen acknowledges that formal instruction does contribute to explicit knowledge learning </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>It's use is limited because only clear and simple &quot;rules&quot;can be learnt. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Instruction as facilitation <ul><li>Interface hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Teachability hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Variability hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Weak interface hypothesis </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Necessity of FFI <ul><li>We can see that acquisition of an L2 can occur naturally (No formal instruction and no focus on form) </li></ul><ul><li>But </li></ul><ul><li>We also see that learners do not achieve full target language competence as a result of exposure alone (Ellis, 2008: 846) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Interface hypothesis <ul><li>Supplies learners with conscious rules </li></ul><ul><li>Providing practice converting conscious &quot;controlled&quot; knowledge into &quot;automatic&quot; knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>DeKeyser (1998) declarative knowledge converted to procedural knowledge by learners engaging in communicative practice. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Just like my classroom
  25. 25. Conclusion <ul><li>Learners are just as able as teachers in initiating Form Focused Episodes </li></ul><ul><li>Learners are more likely to preempt an episode with a peer than a teacher AND it is more likely to be effective in repairing or solving the linguistic problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore spoken interaction between students and between students and teachers should be encouraged </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Teachers and learners provide similar amounts of information during FFEs. </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogically speaking FFEs during meaning focused communication is beneficial for L2 acquisition. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers need to think about how they can deal with incidental FFEs </li></ul><ul><li>But not at the expense of fluency. </li></ul>(Zhao & Bitchener, 2007: 445)
  27. 27. Further Research Opportunities. <ul><li>Teacher performance in generating teacher-fronted focus on form </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining relationship between teachers FFE practice and their beliefs about incidental foxes on form </li></ul>(Zhao & Bitchener, 2007: 445)

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