Journal of Foreign Language Education and Technology

Effects of Focused and Unfocused Tasks on L2 Learners? Grammatical Development : A Select Review of Literature


Zhupeng Li*

The best procedure to improve learners’ grammatical development has been debated vociferously by second language researchers and teachers. This paper analyzes the effects of focused and unfocused tasks on learners’ development of grammatical knowledge by reviewing four empirical studies in Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) with the homogeneity of participants, settings, and designs. Each study is a quantitative analysis conducted at an Iran university or institution-an EFL context. Target grammatical structures in the four studies include have done, in spite of vs. although, because vs. because of, be done, prepositions, and English collocations. Findings support the arguments that learners exposed to focused tasks outperformed those instructed by unfocused tasks or traditional teaching methods. This synthesis of current research will be helpful to researchers in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), language teachers, and syllabus and task designers.


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