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ERIC Number: ED345511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Pages: 37
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Discourse Variation in Oral Proficiency Interviews.
Young, Richard; Milanovic, Michael
A study of the discourse structure of oral language proficiency interviews focused on (1) one principal discourse variable, topic, for analyzing contingency and goal orientation in dyadic interactions, and (2) contextual factors (interlocutor, theme, task, participant gender). Data came from 30 dyadic oral interviews in English as a Second Language recorded in Brazil and Italy. The interview was part of the First Certificate in English examination of the University of Cambridge (England) Local Examinations Syndicate. Portions of the interview analyzed included three tasks: discussion based on photographs; relation of a printed passage to the photographs; and expression of personal preferences about items in a list of activities related to the interview's theme. The study was principally exploratory and descriptive. Results are discussed in terms of the characteristics of native-speaker/non-native-speaker oral interaction. It was found that the two parties made very different contributions to the discourse, with the examiner exerting a controlling influence and the examinee having a more reactive role. Contextual factors found to affect only candidate discourse included individual differences among examiners, especially gender, and task. Contextual influences on the examiner's goal orientation appeared to include gender and interview theme. The major influence on discourse as a whole was task. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Oral Proficiency Testing