Referring In a Second Language
Some Aspects Of Naming And Describing
Naming and describing are important aspects of referential communication (RC). In an investigation of RC in a second language (L2), 36 secondary school students, divided into three groups of 12 with different proficiency levels, had to work in pairs on a description/identification task involving twelve nonrepresentative shapes. One task session consisted of six trials which were performed in English. The results of three different data analyses (numbers of words, naming and describing, and referential strategies) showed that RC in L2 differs from RC in L1 in three aspects: nonnative speakers (NNS) need longer references for the shapes; NNS' final references are structurally more complex; NNS with a lower L2 proficiency use their L1 more often than NNS with a higher L2 proficiency.
Published online: 24 March 2014