Effects of Interlocutor on Modified Output of Japanese Language Learners
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Recent research in second language acquisition has focused on the effects of interaction on learning by examining various factors such as types of tasks and learner proficiency levels. This study focused on one particular factor: Native speaker (NS) versus non-native speaker (NNS) as interlocutor. This study investigates the interactional patterns of American Japanese language learners and whether they modify their oral output differently with a peer, or with a NS interlocutor. Through follow-up interviews, this study also explores the learners’ perceptions during communicative tasks. The participants were four American learners of Japanese enrolled in an elementary-level course at a small Midwestern college. Conversations of two learner-learner dyads and four learner-NS dyads were audiotaped, transcribed, and then analyzed to determine effects on learner output. The learners were then interviewed individually after the last session. The researcher found that there was a difference in the amount of modified output between learner-learner dyads and learner-NS dyads. The learners modified their initial utterances more in learner-NS dyads than in learner-learner dyads. In the interviews, it became clear that when the learners saw the gap between their L2 forms and the target language forms, they modified their non-target-like utterances. The findings suggest the benefit of interaction with NSs in the L2 classroom.
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