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SEMINAR: Can first language use improve foreign language performance?

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Today's date is Saturday, August 15, 2020
Can first language use improve foreign language performance? Other events...
Abstract

This talk will bring together findings from two studies at Curtin University on the impact of allowing learners to plan for a communicative task in their first language (L1) as opposed to their foreign language (L2). The relative benefits will be discussed in terms of fluency and idea units used in an oral problem-solving task. Seventy-two Japanese university EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of two planning conditions. Dyads in each group were given 10 minutes to plan the content of a problem-solving task in the respective languages before individually performing a timed 2.5-minute oral problem-solving task in English. Data took the form of transcribed planning discussions and transcribed task performances. Task performances were coded for fluency based on Levelt’s (1989, 1999) model of speech processing, whereas all data were coded for idea units based on Hoey’s (1983, 2001) problem-solution discourse structure (situation, problem, response, evaluation). As expected, L1 planners spoke less fluently than L2 planners, monitoring their language output more in terms of number of replacements and reformulations. Also as expected, L1 planners generated more ideas connected with all four dimensions of problem-solving discourse. Contrary to expectations, however, the advantages of L1 planning in terms of task content did not transfer to L2 use. L1 and L2 planners’ were highly comparable in terms of ideas units used on the subsequent L2 task, and L2 planners were advantaged in some respects. Implications for future research and pedagogy aimed at facilitating transfer from L1 to L2 performance will be discussed.

References

Hoey, M. (1983). On the Surface of Discourse. London: George, Allen and Unwin.

Hoey, M. (2001). Textual Interaction: An Introduction to Written Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge.

Levelt, W. (1989). Speaking from intention to articulation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Levelt, W. (1999). Producing the language: A blueprint of the speaker. In C. Brown and P. Hagoort (Eds.), The neurocognition of language (pp. 83-122). New York: Oxford Press.

Short bio

Craig Lambert is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the School of Education at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. His specialization is in task-based language teaching (TBLT), and his research has focused on learner needs, materials design, motivation, fluency and syntactic development.
Speaker(s) Craig Lambert
Location Social Sciences 2.63
Contact Maïa Ponsonnet <[email protected]>
Start Fri, 06 Sep 2019 11:00
End Fri, 06 Sep 2019 12:30
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Last Updated Mon, 02 Sep 2019 14:42
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