Chapter 8. Incidental learner-generated focus on form in a task-based EFL classroom
This small longitudinal study investigated oral task-based interaction in an undergraduate EFL classroom in Japan. First, descriptive quantitative data related to language-related episodes (LREs) and other contextual data from four focal learners and their partners (N = 8) in two oral presentation tasks were quantified to provide insights into the amount and effectiveness of learner-generated focus on form in a Japanese university context. Next, a qualitative microanalysis of one learner’s interaction with partners of similar proficiency on two similar tasks, separated by a period of seven months, was conducted to investigate influences of context. Much as in previous studies, there was little focus on form in interaction and there was much variability across dyads. Qualitative analysis revealed that the effectiveness of FOF in interaction and performance may have been influenced by the learners’ shared background (including L1 use), individual differences in terms of engagement in LREs, learners’ perceptions of each other’s language proficiency, and other interpersonally negotiated features of the interaction. The chapter concludes with suggestions for awareness-raising activities which may improve the effectiveness of task-based learner-generated FOF in foreign language settings.