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LINGUIST List 19.1500

Tue May 06 2008

Diss: Applied Ling/Phonology/Psycholing: Sicola: ''No, they won't ...'

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        1.    Laura Sicola, 'No, they won't 'just sound like each other'': NNS-NNS negotiated interaction and attention to phonological form on targeted L2 pronunciation tasks


Message 1: 'No, they won't 'just sound like each other'': NNS-NNS negotiated interaction and attention to phonological form on targeted L2 pronunciation tasks
Date: 06-May-2008
From: Laura Sicola <sicoladolphin.upenn.edu>
Subject: 'No, they won't 'just sound like each other'': NNS-NNS negotiated interaction and attention to phonological form on targeted L2 pronunciation tasks
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Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Program: Educational Linguistics program, Graduate School of Education
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Laura Sicola

Dissertation Title: "No, they won't 'just sound like each other'": NNS-NNS negotiated interaction and attention to phonological form on targeted L2 pronunciation tasks

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Phonology
                            Psycholinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Teresa Pica
William Poser
Mary Ann Julian

Dissertation Abstract:

Task-based research in SLA has yielded evidence that when working on
two-way information gap tasks, learners can provide each other with
corrective feedback and can produce modified output, which have been
identified as conditions that facilitate L2 learning. This study aims to
identify processes by which non-native speakers (NNSs) of English draw each
other's attention specifically to a phonological form when working on such
tasks, designed to maximize negotiated interaction of the form.

The study addressed the following research questions: (1) When working
together on interactive pronunciation tasks, do NNSs draw each other's
attention to a targeted phonological form in ways generally understood to
facilitate SLA? I.e., (1a) Do they provide each other with corrective
feedback on the target form? (1b) Do they modify their production of the
target form? (2) If NNSs do provide each other with feedback that focuses
on the target form, are there specific ways in which they do so? (3) If
NNSs do modify their target form production, do the modifications result in
more targetlike pronunciation?

To answer these questions, a two-way, interactive map task was used, with
the phonological form theta (/θ/) preselected as a target. The task design
balanced inherent communicative value and target form essentialness in
order to maximize the need to negotiate the target form. The task was
integrated into an existing curriculum for three intact, intermediate, L2
pronunciation classes. Participants completed and recorded the task during
a weekly class meeting in the language laboratory. Mixed-L1 dyads were
formed when possible to raise the potential for the need to negotiate.

Negotiations pertaining to the target form were coded for corrective
feedback and modified pronunciation, and intercoder reliability was
established at 91.3%. Data revealed that participants frequently provided
each other with a variety of corrective feedback types, and produced
more-targetlike modifications nearly twice as often as less-targetlike
modifications. Additional strategies for drawing interlocutors' attention
to form and the influence of the task design were also explored. Findings
of NNSs' ability to push each other toward more targetlike control provided
evidence of steps in adult learners' L2 phonological development.



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