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The effect of developmentally moderated focus on form instruction in Indonesian kindergarten children learning English as a foreign language

Issue: Vol 4 No. 1 (2020)

Journal: Instructed Second Language Acquisition

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/isla.39724


This short report summarises a current quasi-experimental investigation into the effect of developmentally moderated focus on form instruction (DMFonF; Di Biase 2002, 2008) in an EFL classroom in an Indonesian kindergarten. DMFonF is an instructional approach which combines Pienemann's (1984) teachability hypothesis within Processability Theory (Pienemann 1998, 2011) with Long's (1991) focus on form (FonF) feedback. Specifically, the current study focuses on the acquisition of English plural marking on nouns. One first-year Indonesian kindergarten class (K1) and one second-year kindergarten class (K2) participated in the study. Children in both K1 and K2 were assessed at the beginning of the study and all of them, bar one exception, were found to be at the lexical stage; that is, they produced only single words and formulaic expressions in English without any grammatical markings. Analyses for K1 after one semester of instruction with DMFonF indicated that all the children acquired lexical plural marking and nine out of ten children also acquired phrasal agreement between quantifiers and nouns. A comparison of these results with K2 children (who were one year ahead in their meaning-based instruction) suggests that DMFonF instruction is effective in promoting grammatical development in the second language acquisition of kindergarten children.

Author: Isriani Hardini, Bruno Di Biase, Satomi Kawaguchi, Carol Reid

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