Language Teaching

Plenary Speeches

Beyond form-focused instruction: Reflections on past, present and future research

Nina Spadaa1

a1 Second Language Education Program, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE University of Toronto, Canada


In 1997 I published a paper in Language Teaching entitled ‘Form-focused instruction and second language acquisition: A review of classroom and laboratory research’. The paper reviewed the results of studies investigating the effects of form-focused instruction (FFI) on second language (L2) learning. It was organized around seven questions, including: whether FFI is beneficial to L2 learning; whether particular types of FFI are more beneficial; whether there is an optimal time to provide FFI; and whether different language features benefit more from FFI. In this paper I revisit these questions and reflect on how research on FFI and L2 learning has evolved over the past twelve years.

(Online publication July 13 2010)


Revised version of a plenary paper presented on 27 May 2010 at the Canadian Association for Applied Linguistics conference, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.