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Negotiation of Form in Communicative Classrooms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 1997

Roy Lyster
McGill University
Leila Ranta
Concordia University


This article presents a study of corrective feedback and learner uptake (i.e., responses to feedback) in four immersion classrooms at the primary level. Transcripts totaling 18.3 hours of classroom interaction taken from 14 subject-matter lessons and 13 French language arts lessons were analyzed using a model developed for the study and comprising the various moves in an error treatment sequence. Results include the frequency and distribution of the six different feedback types used by the four teachers, in addition to the frequency and distribution of different types of learner uptake following each feedback type. The findings indicate an overwhelming tendency for teachers to use recasts in spite of the latter's ineffectiveness at eliciting student-generated repair. Four other feedback types—elicitation, metalinguistic feedback, clarification requests, and repetition—lead to student-generated repair more successfully and are thus able to initiate what the authors characterize as the negotiation of form.

Research Article
© 1997 Cambridge University Press

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