Involvement

Sustained, involved interaction in English -- both as speaker and hearer -- is an optimal way for the language to be learned. Specific techniques to ensure that the learner has as much oppotunity as possible to use her new language are outlined in Table 1. Conversational techniques such as seeking comprehension signs, using feedback signals, posing open-ended questions and demonstrating interest and involvement in what is being discussed help extend and enrich exchanges. Moreover, when the teacher uses such techniques she is modeling for the other children encouraging forms of interactional behavior. Ensuring the child frequently interacts can also be achieved through planning and orchestrating tasks for groupwork. In fact, communicative tasks in heterogeneous groups is a popular and widely used approach in ESL classrooms across age groups. Motivating tasks provide an ideal means for children to effectively negotiate meaning with peers and thereby engage in optimal language learning activity (Foley, 1991).