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Pragmatic Assessment in L2 Interaction: Applied Conversation Analysis for Pedagogic Intervention

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Title: Pragmatic Assessment in L2 Interaction: Applied Conversation Analysis for Pedagogic Intervention
Authors: Cheng, Tsui-Ping
Keywords: pragmatics
conversation analysis
Issue Date: 01 May 2013
Abstract: This dissertation uses conversation analysis (CA) to examine English L2 speakers’ participation in an innovative multiparty pragmatic assessment activity. In contrast to previous interlanguage pragmatics research, this study not only considers assessment as an interactive activity, but also uses video footage of naturally occurring disagreement sequences collected from real classroom interactions as the material for its pragmatic assessment activity. By taking this novel approach toward the method and material of pragmatic assessment, this study aims to (1) investigate the ways in which L2 speakers calibrate their assessments in interaction, and (2) explore the possibility of applying CA findings to pedagogic intervention in L2 pragmatics.
The data for this study comes from six videotaped L2 speakers’ small group discussions in an English as a second language instructional context. Using a multimodal perspective to analyze assessment in interaction, this study presents a detailed description of how the participants integrate diverse vocal and visual resources to construct stances in concert with other group members and accomplish assessment as a collaborative activity. Specifically, gaze direction is identified as a constitutive part of the participants’ display of affiliation and disaffiliation with assessments. This study also provides an empirical account of how noticing, as a phenomenon registered, invited, and accounted for by the participants, is lodged within the interactional process. Finally, the analysis demonstrates three pedagogical advantages of using authentic disagreement sequences for pragmatic assessment: (1) it provides participants with rich contextual information to coordinate their stances vis-à-vis one another; (2) it affords participants an interactional space to make informed pragmatic decisions; and (3) it sensitizes participants to how disagreement is organized as a multimodal achievement.
The findings reported in this study contribute to an understanding of the
embodied production of assessments, the consequential displays of noticing in interaction, and the fruitful application of CA to pragmatic instruction. It is hoped that this study both provides an example of the ways language researchers can apply CA to pedagogic intervention and encourages language researchers to further explore this area of L2 studies, thereby expanding the field’s understanding of CA’s engagement with instructional activities and materials development.
Pages/Duration: 315 pages
Appears in Collections:Student Work - ELI

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