Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Impact of Form Focused Discovery Approach on Efl Learners 'Speaking Ability

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Impact of Form Focused Discovery Approach on Efl Learners 'Speaking Ability

Article excerpt

Introduction

Recent approaches to foreign language education emphasize the significance of the students' own contribution to their language learning through initiative-taking and active involvement. Students need to take charge of their learning in order to enhance their autonomy as students and language users. This shift in the research has brought an increased interest to the students themselves as learners in general and as language learners in particular. Students need to be facilitated to develop a basic reflective orientation by working on their experiences, beliefs and assumptions of language and learning (Breen, 2001).

Discovery learning techniques include a rich variety of interactive practices whereby the participants have opportunities to learn from their own and each other's experiences, being actively and personally engaged in the process. Using form focused discovery approaches to discover how a particular language form functions, discovering the way the form is used in native language and discovering the features of a given form provide a growing insight into the way language works to convey meaning (Hawkin, 1984).

Discovery learning is dynamic and intuitive and is gradually developed internally by the learner (Tomlinson, 1994). It develops a healthy spirit of enquiry (Bolitho & Tomilson, 1994). The main objective of discovery approach is to promote noticing of how language item are used so that learners become aware of the gap between their use of target forms and the typical use of highly proficient Speakers (Swain, 1994). Discovery Learning Contributes to the development of such cognitive skills such as connecting, generalizing, and hypothesizing, helping learners to become better monitors of their own and other peoples output, helping learners to become independent and autonomous, helping learners to develop positive attitudes towards the TL, and equipping the learners with the means to gain more from their language exposure outside of classroom and after language course is of paramount important to discovery learning (Tomilson, 1994).

When it comes to discovery learning, deep processing of intake is necessary for effective and durable learning to take place (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). Deep processing centers on meaningful learning in that the attention of the learner is primarily on the meaning and significance of the intake .However , narrowly controlled activities can only achieve shallow processing and can only be an aid to short term learning .This research sets out to investigate the effect of Form Focused Discovery approach on speaking ability of EFL learners, combining elements of both discovery approach and form focused instruction. Form focused discovery approach was used to figure out its effect on EFL learners speaking ability .While substantial evidence exists to support the empirical foundations of this approach, very little, if any, systematic research has been conducted on its impact on human speaking ability.

Statement of the Problem

Institutions encourage learning environments that foster deep approaches to learning to enhance students' academic achievement and cognitive development. The importance of a deep approach to learning has been validated by a growing body of studies designed to measure various academic outcomes, including academic achievement (Biggs, 1987; Diseth, 2002, 2003, 2007b; Diseth, Pallesen, Hovland, & Larsen, 2006; Diseth, Pallesen, Brunborg, & Larsen, 2010; Duncan & Mckeachie, 2005; Entwistle & Ramsden, 1983; Furnham, Monsen, & Ahmetoglu, 2009; Marton & Säljö,, 1976a; Prosser & Millar, 1989; Ramsden, 1992; Rowell, Dawson, & Pollard, 1993).

In attempts to promote a higher level of learner autonomy, it is important for the instructor to encourage and organize team activities and homework assignments that will force students to explore realms and means that could ultimately pique a greater interest in autonomous learning. …

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