Gambits in a New Light

Amir Nikmehr, Farahman Farrokhi


This paper examines the substance of a term, often heard but rarely explained, in the discussion of language teaching, namely gambits. More specially, the focus of this paper is to explore the inadequacies in the literature regarding gambits, in order to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the term. To this end, this paper argues that there may be more to gambits than merely strategies for communication. Gambits may serve a didactic function by shifting the learners’ attention to form, or as self-regulation devices mediating the process of learning which is a central concept in sociocultural theory. Not all the criteria mentioned in literature are efficient in distinguishing gambits. This paper concludes by introducing a new classification based on the specificity of gambit use to aid its perception. It is hoped that in this light, a deeper understanding of gambits can be achieved, one which can ease the process of learning, leading to more independent and effective learners.



Gambits, communication strategies, focus on form, self-regulatio

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