The Role of Functional Recasts in EFL Undergraduate Students’ Learning of Intercultural Communication
Social Practices in Higher Education - A Knowledge Framework Approach to Linguistic Research and Teaching - Tammy Slater
Masaki Kobayashi [+]
Kanda University of International Studies, Tokyo
Emi Kobayashi [+]
Kyoai Gakuen University
This chapter focuses on the role of functional recasts (FRs) in Japanese undergraduate students’ linguistic construction of the knowledge structure of PRINCIPLES in their content-based EFL course in intercultural communication. While previous research has illustrated how FRs could be used to upgrade students’ discourse, little is known about how students respond to such teacher assistance. Given that the goal of scaffolding is to help students perform tasks more independently, it follows that more attention should be paid to students’ uptake of FRs. This chapter reports on an action research project that involved two classes of EFL students who received FRs from their instructor. FRs in Class A took the form of oral feedback on student presentations while FRs in Class B were provided as written comments on drafts of student papers. In each case, all the instances were identified where the instructor functionally recast the presenter’s or writer’s utterances. The analysis focuses on students successfully constructing causal knowledge structures by incorporating FRs from their instructor. However, the analysis revealed that only a few students in Class A acted upon the FRs in their write-ups while almost all the students in Class B incorporated their instructor’s reformulations of their utterances into their writings. This difference is discussed with respect to time pressure involved in oral presentations, the appropriateness of the levels of FRs, and the use of key visuals. The pedagogical implications revolve around teacher roles: (1) teachers’ scaffolding of students’ use of FRs in subsequent tasks and (2) teachers’ preparedness to respond to students’ contributions.