Discussion on the Effectiveness of Instruction and the Flaws of Experimental Research Studies

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Cheng-ling Alice Chen


In comparing, synthesizing, and evaluating findings from research studies between 1980 and 1998, Norris and Ortega (2000) asserted that research questions have evolved from simple to more sophisticated ones. For example, research studies initially focused on the effectiveness of instruction in general, and later shifted to looking at which types of instruction, in particular, are more effective. Norris and Ortega also drew attention to the effectiveness of explicit versus implicit teaching as well as Focus on FormS versus Focus on Meaning versus Focus on Form. Furthermore, the authors examined the duration of instructional effects. Teachers and teachersin-training are likely to be drawn to two issues: the effectiveness of instruction and the flaws of experimental research studies that measure its effectiveness.

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