Teachers’ Intention vs. Learners’ Attention: Do Learners Attend to What Teachers Want Them to Attend to in an EFL Vocabulary Class?

| June 20, 2011
Title
Teachers’ Intention vs. Learners’ Attention: Do Learners Attend to What Teachers Want Them to Attend to in an EFL Vocabulary Class?

Keywords: Attention, Vocabulary, Teacher s Intention, Uptake

Authors
Saad Torki
King Faisal University, KSA

Bio Data
Saad Torki has been involved in language teaching at all levels for more than 30 years mainly in Setif, Algeria. He is currently a lecturer at King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia where he has also worked as a teacher trainer on a professional development program he designed and implemented for native teachers of English. His scholarly interests include EFL/ESL, vocabulary teaching and learning, and readability.

Abstract
The main thrust of this study was to investigate whether there is compatibility between teachers’ intention and learner’s attention in a vocabulary class. The focus is on pronunciation, spelling and meaning. Two possible explanatory variables were further considered: frequency and order of occurrenceof lexical items in classroom discourse. The study was characterised by a rather ‘novel’ research methodology adopting a multi-instrumental approach. It relied on uptake to obtain hard evidence of intake. The results showed that: (a) learners seem to attend mostly to meaning, then to spelling and, last to pronunciation; (b) the items most attended to were those which occurred last in classroom discourse; and (c) there was a weak correlation between frequency of occurrence and all three aspects, which suggests that, contrary to most teachers’ assumptions, this variable had no significant impact on learners attention.

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See page 336-361

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 13 Issue 2