Humanising Language Teaching
Re-formulationupper secondary and adult
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This classical procedure is well described by Peter Wilberg in One-to-One, Language Teaching Publications ( LTP), 1987:
Re-formulation is a variety of procedures in which the teacher provides a format for student input and then provides the language that the student lacked in expressing him or herself. The student provides the content, expressed in inadequate form. The teacher re-formulates, that is to say provides the missing forms.
Re-formulation can be done orally, on the board or in writing; during or between lessons. The initial input may take the form of a student draft, presentation, or structured or unstructured conversation. ……
As a tool, re-formulation avoids specific dangers:
What Peter does not say here is just how much teacher skill is required to do, especially, an oral re-formulation that is affectively acceptable to the student's conscious and unconscious minds. The re-formulation goes in deep if the student hears their own voice enhanced, rather than distorted. For more on re-formulation or linguistic “doubling”, see Bernard Dufeu's Teaching Myself, OUP, 1994