Interaction: Activity 1

Unfamiliar words in interaction

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

Look at the following excerpts from the learners’ interviews. When learners do not know a term used in interaction, what do they do?
  1. Do you think the learner knows the word ‘교실’ (classroom) before the interview?
  2. Did the learner negotiate for meaning? How?
  3. Do you think the learner might have learned the word as a result of the negotiation?
Anna B Interview

Transcript (PDF)

Sophia Interview

Transcript (PDF)

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The two learners do not seem to know the word ‘교실’ before the interview. They both make clarification requests when they hear the word. Anna B asks the interviewer to repeat the question including ‘교실’ and then repeats the word softly to herself. She does not seem to comprehend the word, but she pretends to know the word and gives an ambiguous answer. She does not seem to have learned the word through this negotiation, though she may have a general sense that it relates to the topic of Korean instruction.

Sophia repeats the word with a rising tone, so the interviewer modifies the question in a form that does not include the word. However, Sophia does not understand the word ‘사용하다’ (to use) either, and another negotiation happens for ‘사용하다’. She does not seem to have learned either word as a result of the negotiations. In both cases, it would be interesting to see how much the learners have retained later with regard to the meanings of these words.


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