The provision and uptake of different types of recasts in child and adult ESL learners: What is the role of age and context?
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The role of conversational interaction in second language research has increasingly been seen as playing a facilitative role in second language learning. As such there have been a number of studies focussing on different types of interaction, including feedback such as recasts, and their potential role in second language learning. In this study, using Sheen’s (2006) taxonomy, we compare various types of recasts delivered to child ESL learners. Further, we examine two variables: context (teacher-fronted classrooms versus pair work, including NNS-NNS and NNS-NS dyads) and age (the results of this study with children are compared with the results from Sheen’s (2006) study of adults) and the impact these factors have on this form of feedback. We also examine the opportunity for, and the actual uptake that may follow these recasts, for child ESL learners. The findings suggest that age and context make a difference, both in relation to the provision of recasts (in terms of their type and characteristics), as well as in relation to their uptake, though to a lesser extent. Context also influences the opportunity for uptake afforded to child learners. The theoretical and pedagogical implications of these results are outlined at the conclusion of this paper.
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