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Complexity of Interaction in a Second Language Conversation Group: An Exploratory Study

DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2015.54031, PP. 348-360

Keywords: Conversation Group, Learner Interaction, Natural Conversation, Second Language, Range of Topics, Verbal Structures, Negotiation of Meaning

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Abstract:

The aim of this research was to explore the nature of conversation in a weekly second language Italian conversation group. Analysis of conversations focused on the range of topics and verbal structures used by learners. Additional analysis was completed to determine if learners engaged in negotiation of meaning or form during conversations. Results revealed that learners used a range of topics and verbal structures from Beginner level to Advanced level indicating that learners challenged themselves to produce high quality, natural conversation. Learners also showed some use of negotiation during conversations to repair communication breakdowns, principally to address meaning; however, the amount of negotiation was low when compared to task-based interaction designed to elicit negotiation.

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