Constraints of Implicit Focus on Form: Insights from a Study of Input Enhancement

Park, Eun Sung

Previous research on implicit focus on form (FonF) has shown that target forms are not always noticed by learners, suggesting that externally-created salience (by the teacher) does not necessarily guarantee learners’ internally-generated salience (Sharwood Smith, 1991, 1993). In an attempt to explore ways of promoting both types of salience, an input enhancement study was conducted in order to examine if, and how, externally-created salience may ideally converge with learners’ internally-generated salience. The results revealed that increasing the perceptual salience of target form(s) does not automatically lead to learners’ noticing of the form(s). In addition, the findings suggest that noticing is largely dependent on internal, cognitive factors such as learner readiness (vis-à-vis the target form), knowledge of the first language, and L2 language-learning experience. Based on the results and insights gathered from online protocol data, a number of constraining factors that need to be considered a priori in achieving a successful focus on form are identified and discussed. In particular, the current study underscores the importance of respecting learner-internal factors, such as their developmental readiness and their internal agenda for learning.


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Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
October 19, 2015