Negotiation of Meaning and Modified Output Elicitation across Two Tasks

Mehdi Rahimian


Analysing the effects of second language (L2) production on L2 learners’ interlanguage (IL) modifications is the main scope of this paper. For this purpose, English L2 learners’ output production and IL modifications in performing two different task types, one-way and two-way tasks, are compared. The one-way task used in this study was a story narration task and the two-way task was a communication task. Eighteen intermediate-level English L2 learners participated in the research. Findings indicate that the L2 learner participants modified their output during negotiation of meaning in both one-way and two-way tasks on a self-triggered manner. The participants also modified their output during negotiation of meaning in the two-way task based on an other-triggered manner. There was not enough evidence in the results supporting other-triggered modified output (MO) elicitation in the one-way task. The results also indicate that in both tasks, the participants modified their IL structures more as a result of self-triggered, or self-initiated, activation than other-triggered, or other-initiated, activation. It can be concluded that in meaning negotiation, both in the one-way and two-way tasks, the English as a foreign language (EFL) learners tended to modify their IL without interlocutor’s request for clarification, and in the two-way task they also modified their output responding to interlocutor’s appeal for clarification. Making reference to the literature, it is argued that the output effect and its subsequent potential modifications might be an L2 learner’s attempt to automatize, or gain mastery over, the already learnt L2 forms. Accordingly, the observed MOs, or at least some of them, might be attributable to the learner’s attempts in choosing between first language (L1) and L2 forms.

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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