The Impact of Gender on the Incidence and Quality of Form-focused Episodes in Task-based Conversational Feedback among EFL Learners

| December 25, 2009
Title
The Impact of Gender on the Incidence and Quality of Form-focused Episodes in Task-based Conversational Feedback among EFL Learners

Keywords: interaction, task, feedback, form-focused episodes

Authors
Parviz Birjandi
Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Campus, Iran

Omid Tabatabaei
Islamic Azad University, Najafabad Branch, Iran

Bio Data
Parviz Birjandi is a full professor holding an M.A in applied linguistics from the Colorado State University and a Ph.D in English education; minor: Research methods and statistics from the University of Colorado. He is currently the Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Persian Literature in the Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch. He has published 16 articles in the area of TEFL and he is the author of English textbooks for high school and pre-university levels, used nationwide, 5 university textbooks and 4 practice textbooks.

Omid Tabatabaei is an assistant professor at the English department of Islamic Azad University, Najafabad Branch, Iran and currently the Head of the English Department in that university. His areas of interest are testing and assessment, research methodologies, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, and syllabus design. He has published and presented papers in international conferences and journals.

Abstract
Relatively few studies in second language acquisition and particularly foreign language learning have investigated the role of gender in task-based interactions and the provision of various types of feedback. The small number of studies such as Kasanga (1996), Oliver (2002), and Tannen (1990) have found potentially important differences between males and females interactions. The current study investigates whether the gender of EFL learners in conversational interactions influences the incidence and quality of one salient type of feedback, namely, form-focused episodes. Forty Iranian EFL students who were all English teaching majors completed the interactional tasks with both male and female interlocutors. Their language production in terms of the feedback exchanged was analyzed for the incidence and quality of form-focused episodes. The study investigated whether (1) the incidence and quality of form-focused episodes in feedback is different according to the group type (matched vs. mixed), (2) the feedback of males and females interactingin mixed-gender groups is different from each other in terms of form-focused episodes, and (3) the use of form-focused episodes in feedback is different according to the interlocutor s gender. The results of a statistical analysis indicated that the gender composition of the groups influenced the occurrence of form-focused episodes, but this difference depended on the types of tasks the participants were engaged in.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 11 Issue 4