A case for iterative practice: Learner voices

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Harumi Kimura, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University


The term “practice” has not been popular in language classrooms since behaviourism went out of fashion. In this paper, however, I examined learners’ feedback on task repetition in order to promote the idea as an aid while learning to communicate in another language. Sixty Japanese students of English reflected on their classroom practice of oral interaction and produced focused essays on it. In the subsequent main study, to investigate further one of the most common themes identified in the students’ essays, task repetition, I interviewed three students and asked them what they thought of the iterative, interactive tasks I regularly employed in class. Their interview data provided support for repeated practice with more enjoyment, higher involvement, higher self-esteem, and lower anxiety. Repeated practice was supported not just by learning gains, as past research had demonstrated, but also by affective gains as this group of learners made a case for it.