Input for Instructed L2 Learners: The Relevance of Relevance
Author: Anna Niżegorodcew
This book makes Relevance Theory (RT) relevant for L2 teachers and L2 teacher educators, in particular those working in foreign language teaching contexts. L2 classroom discourse data collected in seven research projects in the years 1984 – 2004 are reinterpreted in this book in the light of Relevance Theory - a theory of interpretation of the incoming messages. In this perspective the teachers' input for instructed L2 learners facilitates shifts in the learners' attention from meaning to form and vice versa. Such shifts of attention, according to Relevance Theory, change the level of expected optimal relevance of classroom communication, either focusing the students on form-oriented communication (accuracy), on meaning-oriented communication (fluency) or on meaning and form-oriented communication (fluency combined with accuracy). The latter is considered optimal for L2 learning/acquisition. Apart from the main focus on the relevance-theoretic interpretation of the teachers' input, the book presents an overview of other theoretical approaches to the question of input for instructed L2 learners: the SLA approach, the communicative L2 teaching perspective, and the L2 classroom discourse approach.
The book provides a stimulating analysis of L2 input from a variety of theoretical perspectives as well as a wealth of vivid examples coming from L2 classrooms.It is indispensable literature for anyone concerned with language teaching and second language acquisition research.
This book is a bold attempt to interpret foreign language classroom discourse in a relevance-theoretic perspective against a background of other approaches to language use in the communicative classroom setting. A wealth of classroom talk data is provided in the context of teaching and learning English as a foreign language.
This work sheds new light on our understanding of verbal input available for learning in foreign-language classrooms. The author's intent to make sense of such input from different theoretical and pedagogical perspectives than previously discussed is successfully accomplished in this compact volume. This work is theoretically convincing and practically useful. It is also a highly readable volume.
SSLA 30:3 (September 2008)
This book is an excellent contribution to the literature on L2 classroom discourse. One of the major strengths of the book is that the text is richly illustrated with close analyses of samples from classroom discourse data recorded in a variety of contexts. This book is very to the point, engaging, and serves as an excellent reference on applying RT in classroom settings.
TESL-EJ Volume 11, No. 4, March 2008
Anna Niżegorodcew graduated from the English and Psychology Departments of the Jagiellonian University of Kraków, Poland. She took her PhD at the Philosophical Faculty of the same university. She is Professor in applied linguistics and Chair of the Applied Linguistics Section of the English Department at the Jagiellonian University, where she has been teaching for over 30 years. She was the founder and head of the Jagiellonian University Foreign Language Teacher Training College. She is Vice-President of the Polish Society of Foreign Language Teachers (Polskie Towarzystwo Neofilologiczne) associated with the FIPLV. She has published a number of books and articles in the areas of teaching English, SLA and second/foreign language teacher education.
1. The Role of L2 Classroom Input in the Light of SLA Models and Relevance Theory
2. L2 Teaching Perspective on the Role of Instructional Input
3. L2 Classroom Discourse Perspective on the Role of Instructional Input
4. Evidence from L2 Classroom Discourse Research Projects
5. Classroom Discourse Data Interpreted in the Light of RT: Levels of Expected Optimal Relevance of L2 Classroom Input
6. L2 Teaching Implications