L2 Japanese Learners’ Development of Conversational Involvement during Study Abroad: An Analysis of Overlap in Talk-in-Interaction
Second language acquisition
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 03-May-2019
AbstractThis dissertation examines the changes in the occurrence of overlap in L2 Japanese learners’ conversation from the perspective of the development of interactional competence during study abroad. Previous studies have suggested that overlap of utterances in talk-in-interaction can function positively to show involvement, understanding, and cooperation and to move a conversation forward (e.g. Tannen, 1985; Maynard, 1989; Fujii & Otsuka, 1994). Given that overlap can positively contribute to the joint construction of the conversation, overlap can be considered as one of the interactional resources that participants in conversation use for effective interaction (Young, 2008). A few studies have examined L2 Japanese learners’ overlapped utterances in conversation, but the number is limited. A longitudinal study in the context of spontaneous casual conversation will lead to a further understanding of the use of overlap by L2 Japanese learners. I collected recordings of dyadic casual conversations and of pre- and post-interviews from five L2 Japanese learners who participated in one-year study abroad programs in Japan. Each student recorded three to four conversations with their native Japanese friends or host families over the course of study abroad. The interviews were conducted before and after study abroad with the investigator. Their conversations and interviews were transcribed and all instances of overlaps were extracted and analyzed. The results showed changes in both frequency and contexts in which L2 learners’ overlap was observed. All L2 learners showed an increase in the occurrence of overlap in their conversations and expanded their use of different functions of overlap in the conversation over time. Although the L2 learners developed at a different rate, they appeared to have followed a similar developmental sequence. The results suggested the influence of two main factors, linguistic ability and the degree of involvement in the conversation, on the types of overlap found in their conversation. The findings suggested some trends in the developmental sequence of L2 learners’ overlap in conversation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
East Asian Studies