Learner initiative in the language classroom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article looks at learner initiative in teacher-fronted activities and how this can influence classroom interaction. Extracts from lesson transcripts of adult evening classes in Italy are used to give a precise definition of what is meant by learner initiative and to illustrate how it can change interaction patterns. It is suggested that learner initiative could have an important role to play in promoting comprehensible input and output and therefore language learning. It will be seen how, by giving learners more space and time, initiative can be actively encouraged. However, there are direct implications for teacher training as it is necessary to change traditional interaction patterns and make learner initiative more effective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalELT Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in ELT Journal following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Garton, Sue (2002) Learner initiative in the language classroom. ELT Journal, 56 (1). pp. 47-56. ISSN 0951-0893 is available online at: http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/56/1/47


  • classroom interaction
  • ELT
  • learner initiative


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