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Learner attention to form in ACCESS task-based interaction

Dao, Phung and Iwashita, Noriko and Gatbonton, Elizabeth (2016) Learner attention to form in ACCESS task-based interaction. Language Teaching Research, 21 (4). pp. 454-479. ISSN 1362-1688

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Abstract

This study explored the potential effects of communicative tasks developed using a reformulation of a task-based language teaching called Automatization in Communicative Contexts of Essential Speech Sequences (ACCESS) that includes automatization of language elements as one of its goals on learner attention to form in task-based interaction. The interaction data collected from a class for English as a second language (ESL) over a four-week period was analysed for incidence, outcome and characteristics (i.e. focus, initiation, response, and turn length) of language-related episodes (LREs) operationalized as evidence of learner attention to form. The results showed that during ACCESS task-based interactions, learners attended to form as reflected in a large number of LREs. Despite being brief, a majority of these LREs were correctly resolved, self-initiated, self- and other-responded, and focused on the target linguistic item: past-tense verbs. These results are discussed in terms of the potential effects of ACCESS task principles, different task features (i.e. task complexity, pre-task modeling, speaker role and group size), and learners’ approach to tasks on the incidence and characteristics of LREs.

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