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The impact of socio-cultural learning tasks on students’ foreign grammatical language awareness

A study conducted in German post-DESI EFL classrooms

Series:

Heike Niesen

The book introduces an innovative way of teaching grammatical language awareness via socio-cultural learning tasks (SCLTs). It takes a close look at task-supported teaching/learning and socio-cultural learning theory and how they are combined to develop challenging and motivating learning tasks. It also presents ways to implement SCLTs in heterogeneous EFL classrooms and evaluates the learning potential of SCLTs against the backdrop of a more traditional teaching and learning approach (PPP). Besides the illumination of the very promising concept of SCLTs, the applied qualitative and quantitative research methods hope to be a valuable contribution to SLA research.
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3.8.1 Reported Speech

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3.8.1.1 Reported Speech in the official teaching curriculum

When the main study was conducted, the participating students were – theoretically speaking – familiar with the grammatical and pragmatic aspects of Reported Speech. They had been learning EFL for four years already when the pre-tests were implemented. Although it is not possible to reconstruct each student’s prior teaching experience,44 the official teaching curriculum45 offers in-depth information as to which grammatical phenomena are taught in which grade. The construct Reported Speech is explicitly mentioned in the list of grammatical target ← 124 | 125 → features to be taught in grades 9 and 10 (years 4 and 5), under the subheading “Understanding and application of grammatical phenomena” (translated, p. 91). It is pointed out that the enlisted features, amongst them Reported Speech, “are to be conveyed to and practised intensively with learners in discrete and cognitive ways aiming at their availability when producing language” (translated, p. 93).

3.8.1.2 Reported Speech in authentic and pedagogic grammars

When the pre-, post- and delayed post-tests were developed, careful attention was paid to cover all the grammatical features associated with Reported Speech which had already been taught. These features do, however, not represent the entirety of the construct Reported Speech for didactic and practical reasons: Given the limited amount of time teachers have to teach EFL, combined with the breadth of the syllabus, it is simply not possible to examine each grammatical target feature in such a detailed way as is often...

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