The Forest for the Trees: Critically Rethinking Current Perspectives on Focus on Form and SLA

  • Author / Creator
    Longard, Jeffrey S
  • Following advancements in linguistics in the 1950s and 1960s, second language teaching and research became dominated by the notion that a second language could be learned as naturally as the first, without explicit grammar instruction. This natural or communicative approach, though improving fluency and comprehension, nevertheless resulted in certain lapses in accuracy. In response, Long (1991) proposed a “focus on form” to address formal issues without leaving the communicative framework. This study examines the development of the ideology and practice of focus on form and analyzes representative studies. Results suggest that although the terminology of focus on form has remained intact in order to preserve its ideology, the actual practice has often broadened to include explicit and extensive grammar teaching, or “focus on formS.” This thesis therefore calls for a more open system of second language research and pedagogy which articulates and employs effective methods regardless of their ideological constraints.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.