Discourse structure as a component of comprehensible input

Year: 2002

Author: Mizuno, Tokuya

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Since 1980s when Krashen (1982) first began to advocate the importance of comprehensible input in foreign language teaching, a substantial body of research has emerged to substantiate his claim. To date, the importance of comprehensive input has been attested to by numerous researchers investigating pedagogical strategies in a variety of teaching/learning environments, eg ESL classroom in Japan (Mizuno,1998), Spanish language classes in USA (Steele and Johnson, 2000), etc. Discussions of the latest pedagogical theories (eg Gillford and Mullaney,1999; Krashen, 2000) also focus on the importance of teacher input in the classroom. However, on the premise that language is being learnt primarily for the purpose of communicating with native speakers of that language outside the classroom, it is important to put the efficacy of classroom teaching/learning to the test. With this aim in view, this paper compares discoursal strategies of two speakers of Japanese interacting informally with a group of intermediate level learners of Japanese. The data are analysed for discourse features that aid learners' comprehension and ability to maintain conversation, in other words the desired comprehensible input on the discourse structure level.