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Interactional context and feedback in child ESL classrooms

Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Modern Language Journal
Issue number4
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)519-543
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This article reports on an empirical investigation of the role of interactional context in exchanges between teachers and learners in ESL classrooms. The teacher–learner exchanges were categorized as being primarily focused on content, communication, management, or explicit language. Results suggest that the context of the exchange affected both teachers' provision of feedback and learners' modifications to their original utterances following feedback. Teachers were most likely to provide feedback in exchanges that were focused on explicit language and content; learners were most likely to use feedback provided in explicit language-focused exchanges. Feedback was seldom used in content exchanges and never in management contexts. This study suggests that the importance of the interactional context should not be underestimated when discussing feedback in second language classroom settings.