The Thursday Scholar: Focus on Form

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January 12, 2012 by k. liz

If you recall, I am going to try to be a bit more systematic in my blogging this year, and I’ve decided that Thursdays will be my day for Academic writing. If you have any topics you’d like me to write about, please comment! I guess I’m writing for both of us. I don’t really know you and what you want to read, so by all means, tell me.

This week, I am sharing with you a topic that I just spent a bit of time exploring, that is the topic of a Focus on Form in the classroom. There is a lot to say about the issue than I had ever realized before, and that is why I am offering you my full paper (all 18 glorious pages!) But, for now, the abstract. You can click on the title to access my full paper if you are more interested in the subject. Enjoy!

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Focus on Form in the Communicative Classroom

Methods of language teaching have swung through a wide pendulum over the last century.  From grammar focused translation methods, to listen and repeat audiolingual methods – both of which were focused on the detailed form of language and not on the learner.  Following these, we were introduced to methods such as the now popular Communicative Learning Approach.  Methods such as this aimed to involve the learner in the learning process, giving them more sway in the classroom and focus more on communication than on form.  Having allowed the pendulum to swing, it is time to find the balance between the methods that have been used extensively in the past.  There is a need for both a focus on meaning as well as a focus on form if we are to shape students that are successful communicators.  This paper serves to present how a focus on form in a communicative classroom can aid students in the speed and level of language which they can acquire.  This paper surveys a brief history, the key aspects, and a proposed classroom model of focus on form within a communicative classroom.

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