Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 12 : 12 December 2012
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


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Copyright © 2012
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Grammar from Context: The Effect of Explicit Focus on
Form Instruction in Learning English Question Formation

Keivan Seyyedi, Ph.D. Candidate
Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail, Ph.D.


Investigating the effectiveness of explicit focus on form on the written performance of the EFL learners is the aim of this study. To provide empirical support for this study, sixty male English learners were selected and randomly assigned into two groups of focus on form and meaning-focused. English question formation was employed for data collection. The participants in the focus on form group were taught English question formation based on explicit focus on form (error correction and rule explanation), whilst those in the meaning-focused group were taught English question formation via communicative language teaching (CLT). The participants’ output was coded then analyzed utilizing Independent t-test for grammatical accuracy and fluency. Results indicated that learners in focus on form group appear to benefit from error correction and rule explanation as two pedagogical techniques of explicit focus on form with respect to accuracy, but regarding fluency they did not yield any significant differences compared to the participants of meaning-focused group.

Key words: Focus on form; explicit focus on form; error correction; rule explanation; accuracy; fluency.

1. Introduction

Whether to teach grammar or not, foreign and second language teaching methodology seems to be in extreme positions. First, methods such as Grammar-Translation and the Audiolingual adopted form-centered approaches until 1970s. Second, with the introduction of the communicative approach in second language teaching and learning, there appeared a strong tendency not to focus on linguistic forms and a consequent downplaying of the status of grammar teaching for most of the 1980s. However, in 1990s second language pedagogy is witnessing an increasing interest in the idea of ‘focus on form’ and the suggestion that attention to form should be encouraged in second and foreign language classrooms (Doughty & Williams, 1998). This approach has developed as a reaction against communicative and form-focused approaches which advocated and focused the exclusive use of meaning-focused or form-focused activities in language classrooms.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Keivan Seyyedi, Ph.D. Candidate
School of Educational Studies
Universiti Science Malaysia (USM)
11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail, Ph.D.
School of Educational Studies
Universiti Science Malaysia (USM)
11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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