Diagnosing L2-English in the communicative EFL Classroom

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In this paper, we outline a solution to the problem that teachers for students in heterogeneous EFL classrooms need to provide lessons that enable language acquisition at different levels (here: stages of the PT Hierarchy). Therefore, we describe a learner- and learning-centred application of Processability Theory (henceforth PT; Pienemann 1998 and 2005) which covers a teaching unit that combines a communicative teaching approach with Second Language Acquisition diagnosis in order to foster L2 acquisition of individual learners in heterogeneous EFL classrooms. The focus here will be on how teachers can cope with heterogeneity in the classroom by offering suitable teaching units. We show how a combination of Task-based Language Teaching (e.g. Ellis 2003; Eckerth & Siepmann 2008) and PT provide the necessary theoretical framework for this teaching unit. Furthermore, Rapid Profile and the Diagnostic Task Cycle (Keßler 2008) are used within this overall framework for the teaching unit presented in this paper. This diagnostic approach should be seen as conceptual since it can be applied to various classroom settings. In the example presented here, students read a novel suitable for teenagers and produce Podcasts and thereby record natural communication in the classroom. This learner output delivers precise knowledge about second language development of each learner in a classroom. On this basis, the teacher can offer developmentally moderated treatment (e.g. Keßler 2008) and developmentally moderated focus on form (Di Biase 2008) to individual learners in heterogeneous EFL classrooms.


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