Open Access

“I am afraid if my students can’t understand me.” - A Consciousness-Raising Approach to Teaching the Modal System


Teaching the modal system through Consciousness-raising is a way of educating the learner about grammatical features using form-oriented activities. It can indirectly facilitate L2 acquisition. Through this approach, learners identify modal usage. Ellis advocates that learners transform input into intake to facilitate learner output, increasing the probability that the output will be comprehensible. As Swain points out, output facilitates acquisition by making learners aware of gaps, enabling hypothesis testing, and allowing learners to reflect on their performance and develop linguistic meta-understandings (Swain 1985). The following can elicit learner output: 1) Consciousness-raising for explicit knowledge, 2) feature focus exercises, and 3) focused identifying activities. In line with Ellis’ theory, a pedagogical design was created to allow learners to facilitate input into intake. As learners comprehend, they draw upon their general knowledge. Measuring such involves a grammatical Consciousness-raising task on the modal system with a pre and post-test. Moodle, a widely available LMS, was the learning management system used for data collection. It is hoped that this approach will highlight a student’s implicit and automatic grammatical knowledge rather than explicit and controlled knowledge. Preliminary results will be shared.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Linguistics and Semiotics, Applied Linguistics, Forensic Linguistics, Literary Studies, general