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Keywords:

  • form-focused instruction;
  • investment;
  • second language socialization;
  • discursive practice;
  • second language acquisition;
  • L2 communication

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of form-focused instruction (FFI) in relation to learner investment in second language (L2) communication. Although positive effects of FFI have been reported, most of this research has been conducted from a cognitive–interactionist perspective. Little attention has been paid to the social factors of FFI, including learner investment—a desire to learn a second/foreign language taking into consideration learners' socially constructed identities (Norton Peirce, 1995). Drawing on second language socialization theory (Duff, 2007) and using discursive practices (Young, 2009) as an analytic framework, this study examines how FFI influences learner investment in L2 communication in the classroom setting. Twenty-four high school students in Japan participated in a study, where two Japanese teachers of English team-taught four 50-minute lessons. Each lesson contained a 15-minute exclusively meaning-focused activity and a 15-minute form-focused activity that included attention to both form and meaning. All students completed both types of activities. Data were collected through classroom observations, video-recorded classroom interactions, stimulated recalls, interviews, questionnaires, and diaries, all of which were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results suggest that FFI created social contexts for learners to establish their identities as L2 learners, leading to greater investment in L2 communication.