Learners: Activity 3

Fluency, accuracy, complexity

Watch the two learners answering the same questions and describe:
Your general impression of each learner's Persian language ability in terms of fluency, accuracy, and complexity. Also consider pronunciation and intelligibility.

Pari Interview

Transcript (PDF)

Fereshteh Interview

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.

Pari speaks more fluently than Fereshteh as we might expect given her greater exposure to the language. She makes some grammatical errors, these errors that are typical of English learners of Farsi. She is still intelligible, not only to those used to dealing with language learners but also to native speakers of Farsi. Like many Farsi learners Pari has a problem in pronouncing "خ ،ق",however it is interesting that sometimes she pronounces these sounds correctly and sometimes not. Her phonology is variable. Utterances that she produces are more native-like. For example, we know that Farsi is a null-subject language and usually native speakers tend to drop the subject while talking; it is interesting that Pari does the same and drops the subject systematically in turns (59) and (63). This is something that many American learners find difficult due to their native language rules. Also while answering the interviewer's question in line (63), she does not repeat the whole sentence; she just gives the specific information that the interviewer is looking for and nothing more. This shows how she tries not only to be accurate and correct but also concise like many native speakers. Pari uses many compound and complex sentences in her interaction with both the interviewer and the other learner. For instance in the retell task line (36 and 37) she utters a conditional sentence; in the interview and comparison task she utters many compound sentences with complex lexical and grammatical features.

As a beginner in the language Fereshteh is struggling to express herself, but she tries her best to use all of her knowledge to convey meaning. She is not very fluent; her long pauses and false starts make it difficult for a native speaker to follow her in the interview and narrative task. It seems that she has some difficulty in understanding the interviewer and she needs more time to process her answers. However, Fereshteh is often accurate; it is interesting that like Pari she sometimes pronounces tricky sounds correctly. Fereshteh utters simple sentences with few complex sentences. In the Jigsaw and Comparison tasks interacting with the other learner, Fereshteh uses more complex sentences, and she takes turns in asking questions and saying her opinion. We do not really hear such long pauses in the Jigsaw and Comparison tasks. However, her sentences become less accurate. It seems that she feels really comfortable interacting with the other learner.


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