The relationship between content knowledge and practise opportunities in non-native learners’ interaction
The following study was undertaken to further understand the effect of content knowledge on learners’ participation in interactions between non-native speakers. 120 male students, all of them Spanish, were paired to form 20 dyads whose members had equal content knowledge, but different levels in oral proficiency, 20 dyads in which fluent learners were relative content experts, and 20 dyads in which learners with limited oral skills were the experts. Measures of conversational participation included: amount of talk, conversational fillers, back channels, topic moves, clarification questions, confirmation checks, and comprehension checks. x 2 analysis of results indicated that, regardless of learners’ level of proficiency, relative content knowledge can explain different conversational patterns of participation: the relative expert producing more output (number of words), while the relative nonexpert works hard to understand the message. Findings of the study support the relationship between content knowledge and conversational participation in the context of non-native interaction.
Published online: 01 January 1995
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