Focus on form in Task-Based Language Teaching

Option 1: Focus on forms

Option 2: Focus on meaning

Option 3: Focus on form

Task-Based Language Teaching

Some useful sources on focus on form

Focus on form in Task-Based Language Teaching
Michael H. Long
University of Hawaii at Manoa


Given adequate opportunities, older children, adolescents and adults can and do learn much of an L2 grammar incidentally, while focusing on meaning, or communication. Research shows, however, that a focus on meaning alone (a) is insufficient to achieve full native-like competence, and (b) can be improved upon, in terms of both rate and ultimate attainment, by periodic attention to language as object. In classroom settings, this is best achieved not by a return to discrete-point grammar teaching, or what I call focus on forms, where classes spend most of their time working on isolated linguistic structures in a sequence predetermined externally by a syllabus designer or textbook writer. Rather, during an otherwise meaning-focused lesson, and using a variety of pedagogic procedures, learners' attention is briefly shifted to linguistic code features, in context, when students experience problems as they work on communicative tasks, i.e., in a sequence determined by their own internal syllabuses, current processing capacity, and learnability constraints. This is what I call focus on form. Focus on form is one of several methodological principles in Task-Based Language Teaching.

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