Negotiation of meaning in conversational and information gap activities

A comparative discourse analysis

Yuuko Nakahama, Andrea Tyler, Leo Van Lier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reports an investigation of how meaning is negotiated in two different types of interactions between native speakers (NSs) and nonnative speakers (NNSs): a relatively unstructured conversation and a two-way information-gap task. Three NS-NNS dyads were recorded as they engaged in these two activities, and the data were examined in detail. Negotiation exchanges, lexical and syntactic complexity, and various pragmatic issues were examined and compared qualitatively and quantitatively. The results suggest that conversational interaction has the potential to offer substantial learning opportunities at multiple levels of interaction even though it offered fewer instances of repair negotiation in the traditional sense than did the information gap activity. In addition, the NNS participants stated in subsequent interviews that they found the conversational activity to be more challenging than the information-gap activity because they had to pay attention to the entire discourse in the former but mainly focused on lexical items in the latter. This study thus raises questions about claims that conversational interactions do not provide learners with as much challenging language practice as do more highly structured interactional activities, such as information gap tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-405
Number of pages29
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Volume35
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Sep
Externally publishedYes

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discourse analysis
interaction
dyad
pragmatics
conversation
Negotiation of Meaning
Discourse Analysis
Interaction
discourse
interview
language
learning
Non-native Speakers
Information Gap Tasks
Native Speaker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Negotiation of meaning in conversational and information gap activities : A comparative discourse analysis. / Nakahama, Yuuko; Tyler, Andrea; Van Lier, Leo.

In: TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 3, 09.2001, p. 377-405.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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