Synchronous Computer-mediated communication (CMC) creates affordable learning conditions to support both meaning-oriented communication and focus-on-form reflection that play an essential role in the development of language competence. This paper reports how corrective feedback was negotiated through expert-to-novice collaborative efforts and scaffolding with 30 subjects working on three different tasks—jigsaw, spot-the-differences and open-ended question. The findings reveal that text chats supported the focus-on-form procedure through collaborative engagement. Despite the fact that the experts were able to provide step-by-step scaffolding at the right moment to call learners’ attention to non-target-like-forms that resulted in error corrections, they needed to be made aware of not over-intervening as students reported interference between the expert's goals and the learner's. To maintain intersubjectivity, the use of both L2 and L1 shaped the route taken by experts and learners alike to negotiate L2 forms for both syntactic and lexical errors. The study concluded that it was not easy to provide corrective feedback and to attend to linguistic errors in a timely fashion during the meaning-based interaction. The long-term effect of focus-on-form procedures on L2 development through CMC remain to be explored in future studies.
Language Learning & Technology
University of Hawai'i National Foreign Language Resource Center
Lee, Lina. Focus-on-form through collaborative scaffolding in expert-to-novice online interaction. Language Learning & Technology, 12(3), 53-72, 2008. http://llt.msu.edu/vol12num3/lee.pdf