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The Effect of Focus on Form and Focus on Forms Instruction on the Acquisition of Productive Knowledge of L2 Vocabulary by Young Beginning-Level Learners

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Abstract

The purpose of the study reported in this article is to investigate the effect of two instructional approaches—focus on forms (FonFs) and focus on form (FonF)—on the acquisition of a set of nouns and adjectives by young Japanese children who were complete beginners. The article begins by defining FonFs and FonF and considering the theoretical rationale for each. The author then examines how FonFs (operationalized as present-practice-produce) and FonF (operationalized through task-based teaching) can be realized. It is demonstrated that in the case of beginning-level learners, task-based teaching is best operationalized in terms of comprehension-based rather than production-based tasks. The article concludes with a review of the research that has compared the effects of FonFs and FonF on vocabulary acquisition.

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