Abstract

Interaction has been considered an important element in second language acquisition (Long, 1983). Also, the ability to effectively and appropriately interact with others is one of the important sub-constructs of oral communication (Kramsch, 1986; Ockey & Li, 2015). Researchers in the field of language teaching have raised the importance of how different task types or task formats affect learners’ interaction. As a result, many efforts have been made for a better understanding of what task types/formats are more appropriate for promoting language acquisition as well as interactional ability. However, little has been done to investigate how integrated speaking tasks and independent speaking tasks affect the way learners interact with others. Therefore, this study attempted to examine the effects of these two speaking tasks on how learners interact in pair discussions. A total of 8 language-learner pairs across different proficiency levels who were taking English as a second-language courses at a U.S. Midwestern university participated in the study. Each language-learner pair participated in the two speaking tasks and their performances were transcribed and coded for interaction features based on interactional analysis (R. Ellis & Barkhuizen, 2005). Following this approach, this study focused on six types of interaction features: negotiation of meaning, negotiation of form, negotiation of task content, negotiation of task procedure, negotiation of personal experience, and self-initiated repair (Poupore, 2004; Van den Branden, 1997). The research results indicated that the two speaking tasks were not significantly different in terms of promoting interactional features that facilitate second language learning. However, the independent task, as opposed to the integrated task, seemed to produce significantly more negotiation of meaning. The research findings also showed that the learners’ proficiency level might interact with interactional feedback and interactional modifications, with the advanced learners producing significantly more negotiation of content and self-initiated repair compared to their low-intermediate level counterparts. By showing evidence about the effects of the integrated and independent speaking tasks on these learners’ interaction performance, the study helps inform teachers of how different task types may enhance learners’ interactive skills as well as push forward their interlanguage development.

Advisor

Glen Poupore

Committee Member

Karen Lybeck

Date of Degree

2018

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

College

Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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