Esl Observation Hours

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ESL observation hours


This descriptive observational study aimed at exploring the form-focused instruction (FFI) interventions used by four French and four English as-a-second-language high school teachers to draw their students' attention to form. With the help of an Intervention-on-Form(s)-Observation Scheme (IFOS) developed and tested for this purpose, each FFI intervention observed during 60 hours of video-recorded class time was coded according to its type (e.g., corrective feedback, explanation, enhancement, form-oriented exercises) and its related characteristics (e.g., linguistic focus, interactional pattern, source of the intervention). The results show that grammar-oriented interventions are rather frequent in these second-language classes and that some differences in preferences of intervention types exist in the two contexts. Although FFI interventions are more frequent in the English classes observed, the overall time spent on FFI is significantly higher in the French classes. The reasons for this as well as details regarding the characteristics of the interventions coded through the use of the IFOS will be discussed. The idea that some kind of form-focused instruction (FFI) should be integrated in a communicatively based approach has been supported by many for a number of years now. As Ellis (2008) put it, “The case for form-focused instruction is strengthening and the case for the zero option is weakening” (p. 900). However, very little is actually known about what occurs in second-language (L2) classes to attempt to draw learners' attention to form. For this reason, the present study set out to explore L2 teachers' use of pedagogical practices aiming at drawing language learners' attention to form. Four English-as-a-second-language (ESL) and four French-as-a-second-language (FSL) high school teachers were filmed over a period of 3 months.

ESL observation hours

Form-Focused Instruction in L2 Teaching and Acquisition

Form-focused instruction is defined by Spada (1997) as “any pedagogical effort which is used to draw the learners' attention to language form either implicitly or explicitly” (p. 73) and by Ellis (2001) as “any planned or incidental instructional activity that is intended to induce language learners to pay attention to linguistic form”. Long's (1991) Focus-on-Form (hereafter FonF) and Focus-on-FormS (hereafter FonFs) distinction, redefined since by several authors (e.g., Doughty & Williams, 1998), has been extensively cited to describe two distinct types of FFI. Generally and very succinctly, in FonFs instruction, the focus is on discrete preselected linguistics forms presented in isolation or out of context. In the case of FonF, “the attention to form arises out of meaning-centered activity derived from the performance of a communicative task” (Ellis, Basturkmen, & Loewen, 2002, p. 420).

These authors further explain the distinction between two types of FonF: Planned FonF involves the use of tasks “that have been designed to elicit the use of a specific linguistic form” (p. 420) in a meaning-oriented instructional context, and incidental FonF takes place spontaneously, without prior intention, also during meaning-oriented tasks, and can occur when there is a problem related to communication or with linguistic forms (Ellis, 2001, p. 22). Incidental FonF can be either preemptive or reactive (Long & Robinson, ...
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