ERIC Number: ED250922
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Processes of Repair in Non-Native-Speaker Conversation.
A study investigating whether and how non-native speakers of English (NNS) make efforts to repair communication breakdowns with other NNS used data gathered from 59 verbal interactions by 26 students. The students were grouped by proficiency level (low, medium, and high) before the analysis of the interactions took place. Each instance of breakdown was classified according to the speaker's strategies to re-establish communication. Nonlinguistic and group repair types of strategies are considered as well as other strategies: word-for-word or nearly word-for-word repetition, appeal to the written language (spelling, writing down or pointing to a word in question), clarification by repeating only the final segment of the original utterance, restatement in a different form, returning contractions and abbreviations to their full form, paraphrasing, defining, providing contrast, providing examples, providing contextual information, and gesturing. The results of the analysis indicate that NNS do negotiate understanding with each other through a variety of strategies, typically following a two-tiered approach: (1) first checking to confirm that both speaker and listener agree about what has been said; and (2) if that is not sufficient to re-establish communication, clarifying meaning by a variety of mechanisms. In addition, when communication breaks down in a group, the group can attempt repair without waiting for the original speaker to repair the communication himself. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (18th, Houston, TX, March 6-11, 1984).