SLLAT presents: Marije Michel on 'Primed production during written computer-mediated peer interaction'

Date: 27 November 2013 Time: 03.30pm-05.00pm

Venue: Bowland North, SR 13

Title: Primed production during written computer-mediated peer interaction

Presenter: Marije Michel, Lancaster University in collaboration with Laura Stiefenhöfer, University of Duisburg-Essen

Abstract: The present study investigates the use of Spanish subjunctive mood via primed production in written synchronous computer mediated communication (SCMC) among L2 adult peers. Earlier work on oral primed production has shown that (native) speakers are able to elicit developmentally advanced structures - double datives, passive voice, wh-questions - in their L2 interlocutors (McDonough 2006, McDonough & Chaikitmongkol 2010, Shin & Christianson 2011). This paper investigates primed production of a different target structure (subjunctive) in a new context: written SCMC.

Two experiments among 90 German L2 learners focused on peer priming of subjunctive in Spanish. In both studies, L2 pairs performed three interactive discussion tasks designed to elicit subjunctive mood by means of written SCMC. Half of the participants worked in a priming condition where one of the partners (the primer) was asked to use model sentences in subjunctive mood in the chat discussion. In the control condition, one of the chat partners received model sentences in indicative mood. Tasks grew in the amount of conceptual alignment that needed to be established among partners (Pickering & Garrod, 2004). That is, task (1) was a pro-contra discussion with assigned roles, task (2) involved a neutral interview, task (3) asked participants to agree on a plausible movie ending/title.

Chat logs were coded for the original use of subjunctive mood, that is, when a learner used a subjunctive that was not a model sentence. The analysis compares control and experimental groups and focuses within the latter on differences based on role (primer versus primed) and required conceptual alignment of the task (no - mid-way - joint).

Results reveal a mixed picture: Participants in the priming condition seem to use more subjunctives than those in the control group - however hardly any significant effects were seen. There were considerable task differences. The work suggest that priming may be a way to elicit developmentally advanced structures in L2 peer interaction but more research is needed to identify the exact nature of peer-priming during SCMC.

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language



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