Form-Focused Instruction and Teacher Education

Form-Focused Instruction and Teacher Education
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An overview of form-focused instruction as an option for second language grammar teaching. It combines theoretical concerns, classroom practices, and teacher education.


Hossein Nassaji. Form-Focused Instruction and Teacher Education


Part One. Theoretical issues of focus on form

1. Issues in form-focused instruction and teacher education

2. The weak interface, consciousness, and form-focused instruction: mind the doors

3. Conceptual knowledge and instructed second language learning: a sociocultural perspective

4. Task research and language teaching: reciprocal relationships

Part Two. Focus on form and classroom practices

5. The distributed nature of second language learning: Neil’s perspective12

6. Recontextualizing focus on form

7. The prior and subsequent use of forms targeted in incidental focus on form

8. Reactive focus on form through negotiation on learners’ written errors15

9. Form-focused instruction and output for second language writing gains17

Part Three. Focus on form and teacher education

10. Materials development and research: towards a form-focused perspective22

11. Time, teachers, and tasks in focus on form instruction

12. Using form-focused discovery approaches

13. Learning or measuring? Exploring teacher decision-making in planning for classroom-based language assessment

14. Learning through the looking glass: teacher response to form-focused feedback on writing

15. Explicit language knowledge and focus on form: options and obstacles for TESOL teacher trainees27

Glossary of acronyms

Notes on the contributors


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THE EDITORS, AUTHORS, AND OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS are pleased to publish this book in honour of Rod Ellis for his outstanding contribution to the field of second language teaching and learning.

THE EDITORS AND THE PUBLISHER would like to thank the authors for their excellent chapters, and are grateful to Allster Cumming, Henry Widdowson, and David Nunan for their helpful comments and suggestions. The editors would like to thank Laura Hawkes for her assistance.


Chapter 7, ‘The prior and subsequent use of forms targeted in incidental focus on form’ by Shawn Loewen, investigates the effectiveness of incidental FoF in promoting L2 learning by examining the use of targeted linguistic items in classroom interaction both before and after FFI took place. The author emphasizes the need for various measures of learners’ L2 knowledge. Chapter 8, ‘Reactive focus on form through negotiation on learners’ written errors’ by Hossein Nassaji, examines the role of negotiation taking place during oral feedback on English as a second language (ESL) learners’ written errors. The results indicated that negotiated feedback occurred more frequently than non-negotiated feedback, and was more effective in helping students identify and correct their L2 writing errors than non-negotiated feedback. Chapter 9, ‘Form-focused instruction and output for second language writing gains’ by Sandra Fotos and Eli Hinkel, reviews research indicating that, without FFI, even advanced L2 learners write text with simple grammatical and lexical features. Classroom pedagogy consisting of FFI, output opportunities, feedback, and learner revision is recommended, and activities in an English as a foreign language (EFL) writing class are described.

The third section, ‘Focus on form and teacher education’, integrates FFI with teacher education and practice. Chapter 10, ‘Materials development and research: towards a form-focused perspective’ by Jack Richards, discusses research and theory in materials development, including the writer’s goals, the focus of the materials, and the syllabus. Richards suggests that development of successful teaching material is not dependent on research but rather on how the material is received by teachers and students, and whether it meets their needs.


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