Presentation on theme: "Tasks and Teacher Feedback in the Spanish Foreign Language Classroom"— Presentation transcript:
1 Tasks and Teacher Feedback in the Spanish Foreign Language Classroom Laura Gurzynski-Weiss Georgetown University Andrea Révész Lancaster UniversityTasks and Teacher Feedback in the Spanish Foreign Language Classroom
2 Introduction: Feedback Research Corrective feedback focus of SLA research for decadesNumerous studies have set out to determine the incidence, utility and/or efficacy of corrective feedback in promoting L2 acquisitional processesBeneficial role of corrective feedback now well established (Keck, Iberri-Shea, Tracy-Ventura & Wa-Mbaleka, 2006; Russell & Spada, 2006)Recent focus on investigating how corrective feedback facilitates L2 learning (e.g., Mackey, 2007)One of the key areas of current interest is the nature of the relationships among corrective feedback techniques, learner internal and external factors, and L2 outcomes
3 Introduction: Feedback Research A number of factors have been identified as mediating these relationships, including:Age (Mackey, Oliver & Leeman, 2003)Developmental readiness (e.g., Long, Inagaki, & Ortega, 1998; Mackey & Philp, 1998; Philp, 2003)Context of learning (e.g., R. Ellis, Basturkmen, & Loewen, 2001; Lyster & Mori, 2006; Sheen, 2004)Type of linguistic target (e.g., R. Ellis, 2007; Jeon, 2007; Long, 2007)Type of feedback (Kim & Han, 2007; Loewen & Philp, 2006; Lyster, 1998)Individual differences in cognitive variables, such as working memory (e.g., Mackey, Philp, Egi, Fujii, & Tatsumi, 2002; Sagarra, 2007a; Trofimovich, Ammar, & Gatbonton, 2007)Construct of task has also received a considerable amount of attention as a factor modulating the effects of corrective feedback on SLA (Long, 2007; Robinson, 2001a, 2003a, 2005a)
4 Tasks and Interactional Feedback Already two decades ago, mainly inspired by the Interaction Hypothesis (Gass, 1997; Long, 1991, 1996; Pica, 1994), researchers set out to identify task variables that may generate and promote the incidence of interactional features, hypothesized to promote SLA (see Ellis, 2003 for a summary)Recent investigations into how task variables may affect the relationship between corrective feedback and L2 development (Nuevo, 2006; Révész, 2009)Most of previous research, however, has been quasi-experimental or experimental in nature
5 Limitations of Previous Research To date, little observational research exists that has investigated corrective feedback in relation to task variables during naturally occurring interaction in classroom settingsCurrent study sought to bridge this gap by exploring the quantity and quality of teacher feedback in the intermediate-level Spanish FL classroom depending on two task-related variables:(1) whether feedback is provided during pre-, during-, and post-task work, and(2) whether it occurs during the performance of focused vs. unfocused tasks
6 Operationalizing ‘Task’ Ellis’s (2003) definition of a task was adopted for the present studyAccording to Ellis, tasks have six criterial propertiesA task:(1) is a workplan,(2) involves a primary focus on meaning,(3) entails real-world processes of language use,(4) involves any of the four skills,(5) engages cognitive processes, and(6) has a clearly defined communicative outcome.
7 Operationalizing Task Phases The pre-task, during task, and post-task phases were, again, defined following Ellis (2003):Pre-task phase: Activities that teachers and students carried out prior to starting a taske.g., pre-task planning, framing the activityDuring-task phase: The performance of the task itselfPost-task phase: Activities and procedures that followed up on task performancee.g., repeat performance, review of errors, and other focus on forms-type activities
8 Rationale for Investigating Task Phases Our rationale for investigating these three task phases was two-fold:(1) Given the distinct aims and nature of the pre-, during, and post-task stages, they are likely to engage teachers and students in different interactional and cognitive processesThese, in turn, are expected to affect the patterns of teacher feedback provision(2) When designing task-based or task–supported lessons, teachers widely use this three-phase task cycle (Ellis, 2003; Samuda & Bygate, 2008; Willis, 1996)But despite its wide appeal among practitioners, the framework has been subjected to little empirical research to date
9 Operationalizing Task Focus Following Newton & Kennedy (1996) and Ellis (2003):Focused tasks: Tasks that were designed, and appeared, to induce the use of specific language featuresExample: create a personal ad seeking ideal mate while using the subjunctive moodUnfocused tasks: Tasks which were not designed and did not seem to elicit a specific constructionExample: talk about a significant other
10 Rationale for Investigating Task Focus Nature of the context in which the study took place: task-supported rather than purely task-based settingTasks not used as the basic unit of syllabusSyllabus was based on topics and linguistic constructionsTasks often used to provide learners with communicative practice in the use of specific grammatical constructionsIn this context, a considerable number of focused tasks were expected, and we were interested in exploring whether feedback patterns were influenced by this design feature, and if so, how
11 Research Questions In intermediate-level Spanish FL classrooms: Are there differences in the quantity and quality of teacher feedback(1) during pre-, during-, and post-task work?(2) during focused vs. unfocused tasks?
12 Site of Data Collection 23 intermediate-level (4th semester) Spanish lessons at a private research university in the eastern United StatesCommunicative-based language programInstructors use the same textbook, syllabus, quizzes, exams, and grading rubricsLessons in the textbook are organized by topicGrammar and vocabulary are highlighted separately in each chapter, along with communicative activities designed for students to synthesize the new informationClass-time reserved for communicative practice of specific linguistic item(s) in context of a certain topicTask-supported setting, rather than task-based
13 Observed Instructors9 intermediate-level Spanish instructors8 instructors took a teaching methodology courseIncluding use of tasks & feedback in meaning-based class5 NS speakers of Spanish, 4 NNSs4 males, 5 females7 graduate students; 2 lecturersFor 7 of the instructors, three 50- minute lessons were recordedFor 2 of the instructors, one 50-minute lesson of each instructor was videotapedIn total, twenty-three 50-minute classroom recordings were collected
14 Procedure Data was collected over 4 days; all lessons targeted grammar Lessons were videotaped using a Mini-DV camera on a tripod in the back of the classroomResearchers not present during data collectionLesson plans obtained after recordings completedA third researcher coded 1/3 of all the data to ensure coding reliability
15 Coding of Tasks Step 2: Task phases: Step 3: Task focus: Step 1: Task identification:Tasks were identified using Ellis’s (2003) six criterionIn order to qualify as a task in the current study, all six critical features needed to be presentInter-rater reliability for task identification: 92%Step 2: Task phases:Tasks were further broken down into pre-, during, and post-task phases (Ellis, 2003)Inter-rater reliability for task phase: 99%Step 3: Task focus:Third, tasks were coded as focused or unfocused (Ellis, 2003)Inter-rater reliability for task focus: 93%
16 Coding: Type of Feedback Teacher-student interactions were transcribed and coded for type of oral corrective feedback providedFeedback categories included:Recasts, confirmation checks, metalinguistic information, clarification request, negotiation, elaboration, elicitation, overt correction and no feedbackFeedback types were further categorized as implicit and explicit for analytical purposesImplicit: Recasts, confirmation checks, negotiations, elaborations, elicitations, & clarification requestsExplicit: Overt corrections & metalinguistic info. (Long, 1996)Inter-rater reliability for type of feedback: 90%
17 Results: RQ 1 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback as a function of task stages Overall, 27 tasks were identified in the dataset. All could be divided into a pre-task, during task, and post-task phase.297 errors occurred in total:2976
18 Results: RQ 1 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback as a function of task stages Overall, 70% of errors were addressed with corrective feedbackPre-task >Post-task >During-task72%feedback70%feedback47%feedback83%feedback
19 A chi-square test: significant relationship. Results: RQ 1 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback as a function of task stagesOverall, 70% of errors were addressed with corrective feedbackPre-task >Post-task >During-taskA chi-square test: significant relationship.72%feedback70%feedback47%feedback83%feedback
20 Results: RQ 1 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback as a function of task stages Implicit feedback provided more than explicit in each task phase
21 Results: RQ 1 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback as a function of task stages A chi-square test: instructors were significantly more likely to provide implicit feedback during the post-task phase than the during-task phase.
22 Summary: Research question 1 TaskfactorQuantity of feedbackQuality offeedbackTaskstagesMore feedback in post-task than during-task phaseMore implicit feedback in post-task than during-task phase
23 Discussion: RQ 1 – More implicit feedback in post-task than during-task stage Perhaps a discrepancy in the different nature of the errors that arose in during- and post-task phases?Assumption based on the results of previous classroom studies (e.g., Lyster, 1998a; Mackey et al., 2001): feedback provided in response to morphosyntactic errors tends to be more implicit in nature than feedback targeting lexical and phonological errors.A follow-up analysis proved our speculation incorrect. The distribution of errors – morphosyntactic, lexical, and phonological – was similar in the during-task versus post-task phase.In both task stages, 60% of the errors were morphosyntactic in nature.
24 Discussion: RQ 1 – More implicit feedback in post-task than during-task stage (continued) Perhaps teachers’ intentions differed regarding feedback provision during the two stages?This idea supported by observational data.During the task: teachers walked around and answered questions if solicited by students.In this case, teachers might have been less concerned about diverting learners’ attention away from meaning, as students had already deviated from the normal course of task-based interaction by making an effort to capture the teacher’s attention.
25 Discussion: RQ 1 – More implicit feedback in post-task than during-task stage (continued) In the post-task phase: students were normally asked to share their responses with the whole class or participate in more in-depth discussions of a particular topic.Teachers might have been more inclined to keep the overall focus on meaning rather than encourage a focus on accuracy.Could explain reliance on implicit feedback strategies, since these are less likely to interrupt the flow of meaning-based communication than explicit strategies.Future studies could investigate these possibilities via stimulated recalls or teacher interviews.
26 Results: RQ 2 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback during focused vs. unfocused tasks Of the 27 tasks, 13 were categorized as focused; 14 as unfocusedMore errors identified in unfocused tasks than in focused tasks174123
27 A chi-square test: significant relationship. Results: RQ 2 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback during focused vs. unfocused tasksUnfocused tasks > focused tasksA chi-square test: significant relationship.70.0%feedback59.0%feedback
28 A chi-square test: no significant relationship. Results: RQ 2 - Quantity and quality of teacher feedback during focused vs. unfocused tasksImplicit feedback provided a bit more frequently than explicit feedback during focused as compared to unfocused tasks .A chi-square test: no significant relationship.
29 Summary: Research question 2 TaskfactorQuantity of feedbackQuality offeedbackTaskstagesMore feedback in post-task than during-task phaseMore implicit feedback in post-task than during-task phaseFocused vs. unfocusedMore feedback during unfocused compared to focused tasksNo significantrelationship
30 Match/mismatch between linguistic foci of feedback and task: Quality One reason for the lack of significant findings could be that our analysis did not consider whether the errors matched or did not match the linguistic focus of the task.A follow-up analysis confirmed our speculation
31 A chi-square test: significant relationship. Match/mismatch between linguistic foci of feedback and task: QualityAlmost all the feedback was implicit when there was no overlap, whereas only slightly more implicit feedback was provided when there was a match between the linguistic targets of the task and feedback.A chi-square test: significant relationship.
32 Summary: Follow-up analysis TaskfactorQuantity of feedbackQuality offeedbackTaskstagesMore feedback in post-task than during-task phaseMore implicit feedback in post-task than during-task phaseFocused vs. unfocusedMore feedback during unfocused compared to focused tasksNo significantrelationshipFocused tasksMore implicit feedback when no overlap between the linguistic focus of the task and feedback
33 ConclusionsAs predicted, task-related variables did seem to affect the quantity and quality of teacher feedback patterns.The quantity and quality of feedback provided varied as a function of task stages:Feedback was more likely to occur in the post-task compared to the during-task phase.Implicit feedback was more frequently provided in the post-task compared to the during-task phase.The quantity of feedback differed during focused versus unfocused tasksMore feedback was supplied during unfocused tasks.During focused tasks, the quality of teacher feedback differed depending on whether there was a match/ mismatch between the linguistic targets of the task and the feedback. Almost all errors were addressed with implicit feedback when there was a mismatch. When there was a match, implicit feedback was only slightly more likely to occur than explicit feedback.
34 LimitationsResults limited to intermediate-level Spanish FL classroomsCamera captured classroom-centered interaction onlyUnequal number of lessons videotaped per instructor
35 Directions for Future Research ✓Other languages and levelsCoding for opportunities for and incidence of modified outputExamine additional instructor individual difference data to investigate potential relationships between IDs and use of feedback during task-based workUtilize introspective measures such as SR protocols to uncover reasoning behind teachers’ in-class task and feedback-related decisionsCompare feedback provision during task and non-task workInvestigation of how accuracy, complexity, and fluency of learner production is influenced by task factors in naturally occurring classroom interactionExamine additional task variables such as task complexity✓✓✓✓
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