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Vol. 1 No. 1-2 (1998):

Form in immersion classroom discourse: In or out of focus?

  • Roy Lyster
October 15, 2012


Qualitative analyses of teacher-student interaction recorded during subject-matter lessons in grade 4 French immersion classrooms indicate that language form is often out of focus in immersion classroom discourse. Immersion teachers draw regularly on negotiation of meaning strategies to present content, by frequently repeating or recasting learner utterances and using numerous expansions, confirmations, and confirmation checks to do so. Because these interactional moves follow both ill- and well-formed learner utterances, they appear to respond to the meaning of learner utterances and, consequently, may not enable learners to notice the gap between their interlanguage and the target language. However, immersion teachers are still able to bring language form back into focus, without breaking the flow of interaction, by briefly engaging in the negotiation of form with students and then continuing to interact with them about content. With some reference to his past experience as an immersion teacher, the author discusses the pedagogical implications of these and other research findings related to corrective feedback.