1887
Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Abstract

In this article I present the concept of ‘focus on learnable form’ and show how it could be implemented in the classroom. ‘Focus on form’ research has produced increasing evidence that a form focus can improve the acquisition of the particular form while remaining compatible with the communicative approach. The learnability of grammatical form, a key issue in this research, has been addressed in some studies by identifying the emergence of the form. Since there are problems in relying on emergence, I argue for the adoption of Processability Theory (Pienemann, 1998) and specifically the construct of developmental stages. This framework enables teachers to predict the forms that would be beneficial to focus on and those that are developmentally too advanced for effective focus on form. Despite criticisms of ‘structural’ approaches to SLA research, Processability Theory has a lot to offer communicative language teaching. As I have found in teaching ESL to adolescent and adult learners, ‘focus on learnable form’ in a communicative context is achievable in the classroom and can be implemented as one component of a communicative curriculum by following three steps: assessing the learners, selecting a ‘learnable’ form and focusing on this learnable form in a communicative context.

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2002-01-01
2019-12-09
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