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Beyond production: learners' perceptions about interactional processes

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2002
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Educational Research
Issue number3-4
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)379-394
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The interaction hypothesis of second language acquisition and associated work by Gass (Input, Interaction, and the Second Language Learner, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, Mahwah, NJ, 1997), Long (The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition, in: W.C. Ritchie, T.K. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of Language Acquisition, Volume 2: Second Language Acquisition, Academic Press, New York, 1996, pp. 413–468), Pica (Language Learning 44 (1994) 493) and Swain (Three functions of output in second language learning, in: G. Cook, B. Seidlhofer (Eds.), Principle and Practice in Applied Linguistics: Studies in Honour of H.G. Widdowson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995, pp. 125–144) suggest that negotiated interaction facilitates SLA. Researchers have claimed that developmentally beneficial interactional opportunities for learners include obtaining comprehensible input, receiving feedback, being pushed to make targetlike modifications in output, and having opportunities to test linguistic hypotheses. The current study focuses on learners’ roles in relation to these interactional processes, and examines learners’ perspectives in relation to researchers’ claims about interactional benefits. Forty-six learners of ESL from different L1 backgrounds were videotaped while interacting with peers, a teacher, and native speakers in intact classrooms and dyadic settings. The learners later viewed the tapes and introspected about their thoughts at the time of the original interactions. Results suggest that there was substantial overlap between the researchers’ claims and learners’ comments in relation to many of the interactional opportunities. A qualitative exploration of the learners’ perspectives revealed interesting insights into their perceptions about interactional processes. Overall, this study indicates that interaction research could profit from utilizing learners’ perspectives to supplement production data in the ongoing debate about the potentially beneficial processes of interaction.