Incidental Focus on Form: Does Proficiency Matter?

Document Type : Original Article


1 Tabriz University, Iran

2 Urmia University



This study examines how five experienced EFL teachers spontaneously initiated preemptive focus on form episodes (FFEs) to draw attention to form in elementary and advanced levels. In addition, the study also investigates the frequency and type of FFEs, i.e. vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation used by five teachers in ten intact communicatively-oriented EFL classes. To this end, seventy hours of meaningful interaction between five teachers and their students in five elementary and five advanced EFL classes were observed and audio-recorded. Then, the frequency of preemptive and reactive FFEs were identified, coded, and categorized. The findings revealed that the proficiency of the students did not affect the rate of teacher-initiated focus on form in the observed classes. However, it did affect the general distribution of the linguistic focus of FFEs across proficiencies. The study demonstrates the importance of taking teacher-initiated preemptive focus on form into account in EFL studies.


Volume 2, Issue 2
August 2007
Pages 1-26
  • Receive Date: 06 June 2007
  • Revise Date: 17 June 2008
  • Accept Date: 17 July 2008
  • First Publish Date: 17 July 2008