Collaborative Consciousness-Raising Tasks in EAL ClassroomsReport as inadecuate

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English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v10 n4 p127-138 Dec 2011

The present study investigates learning gains resulting from collaborative consciousness-raising (CR) tasks. For this purpose, text reconstruction and text repair tasks, two varieties of CR, were adapted from previous CR studies and administered to EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners in a women's university in South Korea. We implemented a pre-test, post-test and delayed-test design, with each dyadic CR task measuring student knowledge of different grammatical elements of English. The participants were shown to make learning gains resulting from text repair tasks, but not from their text reconstruction counterparts. These findings suggest that text repair tasks may be pedagogically preferable to text reconstruction, when promoting focus on form and dyadic discussion of specific linguistic aspects of the target language. This article ends with a brief summary of considerations from social learning theory that can aid the teacher in promoting collaborative behaviour during pair work and how CR tasks can be adapted for various learning groups. (Contains 4 extracts, 2 footnotes, 1 table and 1 figure.)

Descriptors: Learning Theories, Socialization, Maintenance, Foreign Countries, Test Construction, Task Analysis, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Metalinguistics, Females, College Students, Single Sex Colleges, Pretests Posttests, Grammar, Language Tests, Second Language Instruction

Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail: wmier[at]; Web site:

Author: McNicoll, Josh; Lee, Jang Ho


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