Second Language Acquisition and Form-Focused Instruction in Immersion: Teaching for Learning release_obj54dn6sbebbo7lrdgdwxm3dq

by PhD T. J. Ó Ceallaigh

Published in World Journal of Educational Research by Scholink Co, Ltd..

2016   p388

Abstract

While research on language immersion education has highlighted a multitude of benefits such as<br />cognitive skills, academic achievement and language and literacy development, some studies have also<br />identified challenges to its effective implementation, particularly as they relate to language acquisition.<br />It has been suggested that the less than optimal levels of students' immersion language "persist in part<br />because immersion teachers lack systematic approaches for integrating language into their content<br />instruction" (Tedick, Christian, & Fortune, 2011, p. 7). Students' interlanguage has aspects that are<br />borrowed, transferred and generalised from the mother tongue and differs from both the immersion<br />language and the mother tongue. After a period of sustained development, interlanguage appears to<br />stabilise and certain non-target like features tend to fossilise. Research has long suggested that<br />effective immersion pedagogy needs to counterbalance both form-oriented and meaning-oriented<br />approaches. This paper reviews the literature in relation to the linguistic deficiencies in immersion<br />students' L2 proficiency and form-focused instruction is examined as a viable solution to this<br />pedagogic puzzle. Key instructional elements of form-focused instruction are unpacked and some<br />pedagogical possibilities are considered in an attempt to identify and discuss strategies that will enable<br />immersion learners to refine their grammatical and lexical systems as they proceed.
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Date   2016-09-09
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