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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2006

Roy Lyster
McGill University
Hirohide Mori
Nihon University


This comparative analysis of teacher-student interaction in two different instructional settings at the elementary-school level (18.3 hr in French immersion and 14.8 hr Japanese immersion) investigates the immediate effects of explicit correction, recasts, and prompts on learner uptake and repair. The results clearly show a predominant provision of recasts over prompts and explicit correction, regardless of instructional setting, but distinctively varied student uptake and repair patterns in relation to feedback type, with the largest proportion of repair resulting from prompts in French immersion and from recasts in Japanese immersion. Based on these findings and supported by an analysis of each instructional setting's overall communicative orientation, we introduce the counterbalance hypothesis, which states that instructional activities and interactional feedback that act as a counterbalance to a classroom's predominant communicative orientation are likely to prove more effective than instructional activities and interactional feedback that are congruent with its predominant communicative orientation.This research was supported by Standard Research Grants (410-98-0175 and 410-2002-0988) awarded to the first author from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and by a Nihon University Individual Research Grant for 2005 awarded to the second author. A version of this study was presented at the Second Language Research Forum held at Columbia University in October 2005. We are especially grateful to the participating teachers and their students and also to Yingli Yang for her role as research assistant in aggregating the datasets. We thank Sue Gass, Alison Mackey, Iliana Panova, Leila Ranta, and two SSLA reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Research Article
© 2006 Cambridge University Press

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