Text reconstruction activities and teaching language forms
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Even though there is a broad consensus that teaching language forms is facilitative or even necessary in some contexts, there are still disagreements concerning, among other things, how formal aspects of the target language should be taught. One important area of controversy is whether pedagogic intervention should be input-oriented, emphasizing comprehension of the form- meaning mappings represented by specific linguistic features or output-based, requiring learners to produce these features accurately in gradually more communicative activities. The present paper focuses on the latter of these two options and, basing on the claims of Swain‘s (1985, 1995) output hypothesis, it aims to demonstrates how text-reconstruction activities in which learners collaboratively produce written output trigger noticing, hypothesis-testing and metalinguistic reflection on language use. It presents a psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic rationale for the use of such tasks, discusses the types of such activities, provides an overview of research projects investigating their application and, finally, offers a set of implications for classroom use as well as suggestions for further research in this area.
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