Reactive and Preemptive Language Related Episodes and
Uptake in an EFL Class
Javad Gholami & Farahman Farrokhi
Tabriz University, Iran
Assistant professor Javad Gholami received his PhD in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Tabriz University in 2007. He received his B.A. from Tehran University for Teacher Education and M.A. from Tehran University. His research interests include focus on form and learner uptake in EFL settings, and material development in English for Academic Purposes.
Dr. Farahman Farrokhi received his PhD in English Language Teaching from Leeds University. Currently, he is an assistant professor at Urmia University, West Azarbaijan, Iran. His research interests include classroom discourse analysis, EFL teachers’ perceptions of different feedback types, and negative and positive evidence in EFL classroom context.
This study investigates how frequently reactive and preemptive Language Related Episodes (LREs) are used in communicative classes. The study also examines the potential of the two types of focus on form in leading to uptake. To this end, all LREs were identified and transcribed from the audio-recordings of 24 hours of instruction from one class with two qualified instructors. The LREs were then categorized in terms of reactive vs. preemptive episodes, and learner- vs. teacher-initiated preemptive episodes. The findings indicated a significant difference in the frequency of reactive and preemptive LREs and between two types of preemptive episodes. Based on the low amount of uptake in the findings, a new definition of uptake is suggested which encapsulates ‘camouflaged’ uptakes as well as learners’ immediate responses to focus on form. The paper highlights the necessity of raising EFL teachers’ awareness to make informed decisions in using different types of focus on form.
Keywords: focus on form, reactive & preemptive LRE, uptake
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