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Exploring the Linguistic Complexity of On- Task and Off-Task Interaction During Chat Shannon Sauro University of Texas at San Antonio

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring the Linguistic Complexity of On- Task and Off-Task Interaction During Chat Shannon Sauro University of Texas at San Antonio"— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring the Linguistic Complexity of On- Task and Off-Task Interaction During Chat Shannon Sauro University of Texas at San Antonio

2 Just What Kind of Language Are Students Producing during Task-Based CMC?

3 Style of Chat No normal person, and no normal community, is limited to a single style of speech … (Hymes, 1974: 30) Why assume that there is only a single style of chat?

4 Language Within the Same Chat Mina Malmö: The pollution in Sweden is not that bad, but even thoug the industry not letting out that much industrial waste we still have waste coming from countrys surrounding us Steve Penn: good, but one of your nouns could use the zero article. During the Task Mina Malmö: Steve Penn: 1,8 kids on average Mina Malmö: Steve Penn: yes. how is it in USA? After the Task

5 Task-Based Research in Chat Tasks As the Object of Research – Negotiation of Meaning Studies (e.g., Blake, 2000; Pelletieri, 2000; Smith, 2003) Tasks As Data Elicitation Tools – Quality and quantity of self-repair (Smith, 2008) – Comparison of corrective feedback effectiveness (Loewen & Erlam, 2006; Sachs & Suh, 2007; Sauro, 2009) – Comparison of ACMC and SCMC (Sotillo, 2000)

6 The Study

7 Research Questions 1.Is the lexical diversity of on-task interaction greater than that of off-task interaction during chat? 2.Is the syntactic complexity of on-task interaction greater than that of off-task interaction during chat?

8 The Participants

9 Collaborative Writing Task: Environmental Issues Word Bank natureglobal warming spacenuclear power mankindindustrial waste carbon dioxidepollution wind energyindustry

10 On-Task Language Learner discourse related either directly or indirectly to completion of the assigned task (Keller-Lally, 2007, p. 105) Opinion exchange using the target words Task meta-talk Negotiation of meaning Self-repair moves Responses to feedback moves by interlocutors

11 Off-Task Language Exchanges that preceded the beginning of the task opening sequences, introductions Responses to interlocutor questions not that did not relate to completing the task tangential topics, personal or general questions Exchanges following statements of the task being finished, closing sequences, personal or general questions

12 Transition from On to Off Task Chat Diana Malmö: Anna Penn: Diana Malmö: Anna Penn: Diana Malmö: Industry is to blame for much of the polluting. =) I couldnt agree more! Great job! thanks! so hows the us today? where are you? What is your major? english. and you?

13 Tangential Topics Carlos Penn:What if a missile hits a nuclear power plant? What happens? Carsten Malmö:Because of how the core of the powerplant is built Carsten Malmö:Nothing would happen actually Carlos Penn:Is it stabalized or something? Carlos Penn:stabilized, I mean Carsten Malmö:I did study science, but Im not sure how to explain it in english to be honest :) Carlos Penn:Is that all the words? Carsten Malmö:two to go

14 Repairing the Task Susan Penn:whats it called in Swedish? MC Malmö:Its okay. I dont really know myself MC Malmö:Wind maler perhaps haha… no I really dont know Susan Penn:nevermind – thats okay! Susan Penn:which other words can we discuss?

15 RQ1: Calculating Lexical Diversity Excluded tokens: – Use of the L1, participants names, laughter (e.g. haha), emoticons, numbers Included tokens: – Abbreviations (e.g., ex, etc.), texting shorthand (np), ontomatopoetic formulations of surprise (oh, ah) Determining types: – Different inflections of the same word (industry, industries) and use of contracted forms (yall, hes) were treated as different types Index of Guiraud: – The ratio of types to the square root of tokens

16 Lexical Diversity: Descriptive Data TokensMSDMinMax On-Task Off-Task Total N= 24 MLT On-Task:10.05 MLT Off-Task:7.65

17 Results: Lexical Diversity TokensTypesMean Index of G SD On-Task Off-Task Total N= 24

18 RQ2: Determining Syntactic Complexity Analysis of Speech Unit (AS-unit): – a single speakers utterance consisting of an independent clause or sub-clausal unit with any subordinate clause(s) associated with either (Foster, Tonkyn & Wigglesworth, 2000, p. 365) Clause: – a finite or non-finite verb element plus at least one other clause element (Subject, Object, Complement or Adverbial) (p.366) Measure of Complexity: – Ratio of clauses (independent and subordinate) to AS-units

19 RQ2: Syntactic Complexity Coding Examples Natalie Malmö :|When we use others alternative fuels like gasoline we are putting the global warming at risk.| (2 clauses, 1 AS-unit) Hanna Malmö:*|on or over?| (0 clauses, 1 AS-unit) Lena Malmö:|Youve been very helpful… |Must be hard chatting with people that arent very good at English.| (4 clauses, 2 AS-units)

20 Results: Syntactic Complexity ClausesAS UnitsMean C/AS Ratio SD On-Task Off-Task Total N= 24

21 Limitations and Future Directions Use of screen capture video to record the full range of learner chat production (e.g. Smith, 2008; Smith & Sauro, 2009)

22 Limitations and Future Directions Identifying measures of complexity and accuracy that best reflect the nature of CMC language Analysis of Chat Unit? Evaluating lexical diversity through comparison to word frequency lists (Daller, Van Hout & Treffers-Daller, 2003)

23 Limitations and Future Directions Comparison of on-task and off-task chat for less proficient learners and interaction during different types of tasks Clarissa : 3. richtig? Samuel : 4. ? Clarissa : ich weiss nicht Samuel : Falsch Clarissa : ja Clarissa : 5. richtig? Samuel : ja Samuel : 6. Falsch Clarissa : ja

24 Internet Oriented Tasks Tasks that more closely resemble the technology- mediated tasks and tools that language learners actually engage with outside the classroom

25 References Baron, N. (2008). Always on: Language in an online and mobile world. New York: Oxford University Press. Blake, R. (2000). Computer mediated communication: A window on L2 Spanish interlanguage. Language Learning and Technology, 4(1), Available from Crystal, D. (2001). Language and the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Daller, H., Van Hout, Roeland, & Treffers-Daller, Jeanine. (2003). Lexical richness in the spontaneous speech of bilinguals. Applied Linguistics, 24(2), Foster, P., Tonkyn, A., & Wigglesworth, G. (2000). Measuring spoken language: A unit for all reasons. Applied Linguistics, 21(3), Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations in sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Keller-Lally, A.M. (2007). Effects of task-type and group size on foreign language learner output in synchronous computer-mediated communication. Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, United States- Texas. Levy, M., & Stockwell, G. (2006). CALL dimensions: Options and issues in computer- assisted language learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Loewen, S., & Erlam, R. (2006). Corrective feedback in the chatroom: An experimental study. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 19(1), 1-14.

26 References cont. Pellettieri, J. (2000). Negotiation in cyberspace: The role of chatting in the development of grammatical competence. In M. Warschauer, & R. Kern (Eds.), Network-based language teaching: Concepts and practice (pp ). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sachs, R., & Suh, B., (2007). Textually enhanced recasts, learner awareness, and L2 outcomes in synchronous computer-mediated interaction. In. A. Mackey (Ed.), Conversational interaction in second language acquisition: A collection of empirical studies (pp ). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sauro, S. (2009). Computer-mediated corrective feedback and the development of L2 grammar. Language Learning and Technology, 13(1) Available from Smith, B. (2003). Computer-mediated negotiated interaction: An expanded model. Modern Language Journal, 87(1), Smith, B. (2008). Methodological hurdles in capturing CMC data: The case of the missing self-repair. Language Learning & Technology, 12, Available from Smith, B., & Sauro, S. (2009). Interruptions in chat. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(3), Sotillo, S. (2000). Discourse functions and syntactic complexity in synchronous and asynchronous communication. Language Learning & Technology, 4(1), Available from Werry, C.C. (1996). Linguistic and interactional features of Internet Relay Chat. In S. Herring (Ed.), Computer mediated communication: Linguistic, social, and cross-cultural perspectives (pp ). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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