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Title: Longitudinal development of word search sequences in English as a lingua franca interaction
Author: Siegal, Aki
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 5156
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2016
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This study investigates the longitudinal development of L2 English speakers’ use of word search sequences. Word search sequences are moments in talk when a speaker displays difficulty finding the appropriate linguistic item to convey the message that could be understood by the interlocutor. Word search sequences are the target object of this study due to their importance in achieving intersubjectivity in L2 interactions and progressing the conversation (Chiarenza, 2010; Kim, 2009; Kurhila, 2006). Despite its crucial role in interaction, little research has investigated how word search sequences are co-constructed and the interlocutors’ influence on the L2 speaker’s word search sequences in English as a lingua franca (ELF) interactions, where speakers do not share the same L1. Moreover, the development of the speakers and the changes of the use of word search sequences that occur over time in ELF interactions have not been documented. Core participants were four female Japanese L2 speakers of English engaged in ELF interactions with 32 different students from 10 different countries at an international university dormitory in Japan. Video recordings across 22 months were collected, starting from the early stages of joining an ELF environment for their first time. Approximately 37 hours of video conversations were transcribed and analyzed using Conversation Analysis (CA) as the main method of analysis. Initial analyses highlighted features of word search sequences in ELF interactions. The Japanese participants demonstrated (a) strong preference towards self-repair of self-initiated word searches even in ELF interactions through the use of candidate words, code-switching, semantic contiguity, gestures, and dictionary and (b) unique methods of initiating word searches using code-switching or what-endings. Furthermore, (c) the partners displayed a wider variety of responses towards the word search sequences than in L1-L2 interactions. ii The longitudinal and quantitative CA analysis demonstrated that (a) there are large individual differences in the changes of word search sequence patterns, (b) participants display changes in their word search sequences as an adaptation to their interactional partner, and (c) the interactional partners displayed less other-correction to the word search sequences as time progressed. Findings suggests that language development is neither linear nor an individual activity, but displays characteristics of a Complex Adaptive System (N. C. Ellis & Larsen- Freeman, 2009b; Seedhouse, 2010b) where non-linear adaptation is mutually accomplished between the interlocutors. This study advocates the need for a more holistic view of language development, which could lead to new avenues for language learning and applied linguistic research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available