Interaction: Activity 1

Unfamiliar words in interaction

Please read the information about interaction before working through these activities.

Look at the following excerpts. One is from Jiulin’s Interview; the other is from AnnaLi’s Question Task. When these learners do not know the meaning of a word used in interaction, what do they do?
  1. Do you think Jiulin knew the word “剧情 (plot)” before the interview?
  2. Do you think AnnaLi knew the word “种花 (growing flower)” before the interview?
  3. In each case, did the learner negotiate for meaning? If so, how?
  4. In each case, do you think the learner might have learned the word as a result of this interaction?
Jiulin Interview

Transcript (PDF)

AnnaLi Question

Transcript (PDF)

Please type your answers to the questions in the box below.

When you have finished typing your answer, click to compare your response with the Learner Language staff response.

Jiulin apparently did not know the word "剧情 ( (plot)” before the interview. He negotiates and makes clarification requests in line 2, 4, 6 and 8. Then in line 10 he paraphrases the interlocutor’s clarification. After this negotiation, he appears to comprehend the meaning of the word and provides his comments on Jackie Chan’s movie plots in the next turn.

AnnaLi did not know the word “种花 (gardening)” before the interaction in her Question Task. She makes a clarification request in line 3. After the interlocutor repeats the word, AnnaLi does not negotiate for meaning even though she does not understand the word yet. When the interlocutor checks her understanding in line 6, AnnaLi gives a paraphrase of “做茶 (making tea)”, which is wrong for the word “种花 (gardening)”. She makes another clarification request in line 9. Later on, when retelling this part of the story (see Retelling Task), she uses “给花水 (give water to flower)” to describe the action of gardening; however, she omits the verb “浇 (to water)”. She appears to understand the meaning of the word “种花 (gardening)” but does not uptake the form or use it later, even when the interlocutor paraphrases it in line 10 as "给花浇水 (watering flower)” in Chinese.


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