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LINGUIST List 18.596

Thu Feb 22 2007

Diss: Cognitive Science/Writing Systems: Alibabaei: 'A Cognitively-...'

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        1.    Ahmad Alibabaei, A Cognitively-Based Exploration of Language-Switching in the Written Performances of Iranian EFL Learners


Message 1: A Cognitively-Based Exploration of Language-Switching in the Written Performances of Iranian EFL Learners
Date: 22-Feb-2007
From: Ahmad Alibabaei <ahmadalibabaeegmail.com>
Subject: A Cognitively-Based Exploration of Language-Switching in the Written Performances of Iranian EFL Learners


Institution: University of Isfahan
Program: Linguistics Department
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Ahmad Alibabaei

Dissertation Title: A Cognitively-Based Exploration of Language-Switching in the Written Performances of Iranian EFL Learners

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                            Writing Systems

Dissertation Director:
Akbar Afghary
Mohammad Hassan Tahririan
Gholam Reza Zarei

Dissertation Abstract:

Abstract

Language-switching (L-S)is defined as any non-instructed use of first
language during the L2 learning and producing processes. Unlike the
sociolinguistic code switching phenomenon, language switching occures
privately and often subvocally, a kind of egocentric speech (Vygotsky,
1978) employed to cope with the difficult mental processes (Swain and
Lapkin, 1998). Due to the effective role of L-S in the composing processes,
several writers have attempted to study and gain insight to the phenomenon
(Hyes and Flowre, 1980; Cumming, 1990; Zimmermann, 2000; Manchon et al,
2000). As of yet no study has embarked on the development of a profile of
what Iranian learners of English might display in switching across L1 and
L2. Thus this study was intended to investigate the possible patterns and
expressed causes of language-switching behavior in the thinking processes
of Iranian EFL learners engaged in L2 composing task. It also aimed to
investigate the possible influences of gender on the patterns and expressed
causes of L-S. To this end, the study used a multi-method data collection
consisting of think-aloud protocol, retrospection, and unstructured
interveiw. The analysis of the data revealed six conditions for language
switching including: 1)generating ideas,2)searching for L2 equivalence,
3)revising and correcting, 4)planning, 5)establishment of coherence of
ideas, 6)confirming lexical meaning. The results also revealed three
reasons expressed by the participants for L-S occurrance including:
1)linguistic deficiency, 2)overload of memory, 3)Ease with native language.
Regarding the possible influence of gender on the sought patterns and
reasons, none of the differences in the frequency of L-S occurrance between
males and females came out to be statically significant at p<0.05. Finally
the results support 'Topic Knowledge' (Freidlander, 1990)and 'High Level
of Knowledge Demand' (Qi, 1998)as two major factors influncing L-S behavior.



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