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ERIC Number: EJ1117040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Rethinking TBLT in Context: The Negotiation of Form
Batstone, Rob
Language Learning Journal, v44 n4 p506-518 2016
The idea that task-based learning can be facilitated through negotiated interaction has been a major object of research amongst scholars interested in task-based language teaching for at least 30 years. In this article, I focus largely on one particular type of negotiation--the negotiation of form (hereafter NoF). My purpose is not to cast doubt on the practical effectiveness of NoF, but to question the limited attention paid by scholars to the importance of discourse and the role of context in rendering NoF prompts more or less salient to learners. In mainstream accounts of NoF, learners are understood to participate effectively in NoF by first engaging in communicative discourse with the teacher, and then periodically shifting their focal attention to form in real time and without disrupting the communicative flow. This rationale underplays the sizeable interpretative gap which attentional shifting requires. I argue that NoF might be more easily achieved (and more adequately explained) if it arises not through communicative discourse but through "learning discourse"--a discourse which involves engaging with language form as its overriding purpose. I provide some tentative evidence of a learning discourse in action and illustrate some of its difficulties through an example of a learner who struggles to participate in NoF episodes because he is caught between a pedagogic perspective and a socio-communicative perspective. I go on to consider the role of contextual cues in enabling learners to predict and thus to some degree prepare in advance for upcoming episodes of NoF. I conclude by suggesting that teachers might usefully take measures to raise learners' awareness of how and when NoF is typically operationalised in their classrooms.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; France; Germany; Japan; New Zealand; Switzerland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A