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Dissertation Information

Title: Task Dependent Interlinguistic Mediation Performance as Translanguaging Practice: The use to KPG data for an empirically based study Add Dissertation
Author: Maria Stathopoulou Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2013
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics;
Director(s): Bessie Dendrinos

Abstract: This research is concerned with interlingual mediation, which involves
relaying in one language information purposefully extracted from a source
text in another language so as to restore communication gaps between
interlocutors. Strategies for effective interlingual performance are
essential in today's multilingual contexts, and the ability to mediate
across languages is considered important by the influential Common European
Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). However, due to the
monolingual paradigm still prevalent in mainstream foreign language
teaching and testing, mediation has not received the attention it deserves.

Retrieving data from the KPG Task Repository and the KPG English Corpus,
both of which have been compiled with information (tasks and scripts) from
the Greek foreign language national exams known as the KPG exams –the only
proficiency testing system which assesses mediation performance, this
project aims at exploring the complex nature of interlinguistic mediation
in a testing context. The focus is on written mediation in English,
produced by test takers on the basis of messages in Greek texts. By viewing
mediation as inextricably linked to the tasks which instigate and thus
affect performance, this work attempts a systematic linguistic description
of KPG mediation test tasks by level, which leads to the construction of a
task taxonomy, organised in terms of task characteristics. Task-dependent
performance exploration follows. It is empirically investigated through the
textual analysis of scripts, with a view to finding task dependent
mediation strategies used for successful communication at different levels
of proficiency. The KPG task and learner data are analysed using both
top-down and bottom-up methodologies. Task analysis involving the
systematic description of tasks on the basis of specified categories
determined by the theory of language and the theory of writing which
informs KPG task design, is a top-down method. Textual analysis of
mediation scripts, which leads to an understanding of how task parameters
affect written mediation strategies, is a bottom up method used to
empirically develop a framework for the mediation strategy descriptors.

The methodology and results of this study may both be useful in that task
and mediation strategy descriptors may facilitate the development of
mediation levelled tasks for teaching and testing purposes, while they may
also contribute to the creation of standardised measures and clear
benchmarks for a more reliable assessment of mediation competence, thus
providing a critical supplement to the CEFR and to the curricula of
language courses interested in developing learners' interlinguistic competence.