Journal Article

Focus-on-Form Instructional Methods Promote Deaf College Students' Improvement in English Grammar

Gerald P. Berent, Ronald R. Kelly, Stephen Aldersley, Kathryn L. Schmitz, Baldev Kaur Khalsa, John Panara and Susan Keenan

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 12, issue 1, pages 8-24
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online August 2006 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enl009
Focus-on-Form Instructional Methods Promote Deaf College Students' Improvement in English Grammar

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Focus-on-form English teaching methods are designed to facilitate second-language learners' noticing of target language input, where “noticing” is an acquisitional prerequisite for the comprehension, processing, and eventual integration of new grammatical knowledge. While primarily designed for teaching hearing second-language learners, many focus-on-form methods lend themselves to visual presentation. This article reports the results of classroom research on the visually based implementation of focus-on-form methods with deaf college students learning English. Two of 3 groups of deaf students received focus-on-form instruction during a 10-week remedial grammar course; a third control group received grammatical instruction that did not involve focus-on-form methods. The 2 experimental groups exhibited significantly greater improvement in English grammatical knowledge relative to the control group. These results validate the efficacy of visually based focus-on-form English instruction for deaf students of English and set the stage for the continual search for innovative and effective English teaching methodologies.

Journal Article.  9634 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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