The importance of focus on form in communicative language teaching
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Long (1991) distinguished two approaches to language teaching, which he called ‘focus-on-forms’ and ‘focus-on-form’. In this article I discuss ‘focus-on-form’ from both a theoretical perspective by outlining the psycholinguistic rationale for this type of instruction and from a practical perspective by identifying the strategies that students and teachers can use when doing focus-on-form. I conclude by emphasizing the importance of including a focus-on-form in communicative language teaching in order to facilitate incidental language learning and thus reject the commonly held view that teachers should not ‘interfere’ when students are performing a communicative task. I also suggest that ‘focus-on-forms’ and ‘focus-on-form’ should be seen as complementary rather than oppositional approaches to teaching.
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Ellis, Rod (2018)Task-based language teaching (TBLT) and task-supported language teaching (TSLT) are often seen as incompatible as they draw on different theories of language learning and language teaching. The position adopted in this ...
Ellis, Rod (2016)‘Focus on form’ (FonF) is a central construct in task-based language teaching. The term was first introduced by Michael Long to refer to an approach where learners’ attention is attracted to linguistic forms as they engage ...
Ellis, Rod (2015)‘Focus on form’ (FonF) is a central construct in task-based language teaching. The term was first introduced by Michael Long to refer to an approach where learners’ attention is attracted to linguistic forms as they engage ...