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Academic Paper


Title: The effects of task type in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication
Author: Yucel Yilmaz
Institution: University of Calgary
Author: Gisela Granena
Institution: University of Maryland
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study examines the potential of learner-learner interaction through Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) to focus learners’ attention on form. Focus on form is operationalized through Language-Related Episodes (LREs), instances where learners turn their attention to formal aspects of language by questioning the accuracy of their own or each other’s language use. The study also compares two task types, jigsaw and dictogloss, with respect to the number and characteristics of LREs. Ten adult intermediate ESL learners from an intensive English language program in the US worked together in dyads to carry out one jigsaw and one dictogloss task in an SCMC environment. Tasks were controlled for content and were presented in two alternative orders. The dictogloss in this study generated more LREs than the jigsaw. LREs were also qualitatively different across task types. Jigsaw LREs were implicit and did not result in incorrectly solved outcomes, whereas dictogloss LREs were explicit and resulted in correctly solved, incorrectly solved, and unresolved outcomes.

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This article appears IN ReCALL Vol. 22, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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