Chapter published in:Widening Contexts for Processability Theory: Theories and issues
Edited by Anke Lenzing, Howard Nicholas and Jana Roos
[Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition Research & Teaching 7] 2019
► pp. 285–300
Exploiting the potential of tasks for targeted language learning in the EFL classroom
This chapter reports on a classroom study showing how communicative tasks that include a focus on the developmental readiness of the learners promote the acquisition process. The study explores the effects of the use of such tasks with young German learners of English. It is based on the idea that a positive effect on language development is possible using an approach that engages learners in the active use of grammatical features for which they are developmentally ready. The study focuses on the acquisition of ‘third person singular ‑s’. In a pretest, a number of the learners involved had shown that they were developmentally ready for this feature. After an instruction period that included work with communicative tasks focussing on this feature, oral speech production data were obtained through task-based interaction in a posttest and a delayed posttest. The data indicate that providing learners with these kinds of opportunities to use a ‘learnable’ feature repeatedly and flexibly promotes the acquisition of that feature.
Published online: 28 November 2019
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