Interaction: Activity 3

The difference between uptake and acquisition

We’ve seen that uptake does not necessarily imply acquisition. Consider Henry’s attempts, in interaction with the Interviewer,  to describe the mother as angry. Then answer the questions below the table.

Task Line #  
Retell 6

... No, y no fue mí porque (I dunno), fue el gato. Y ...uh, la madre está muy, uh,
H: muy…<whispers> uh, er…
I: enojada?
H: Enojada, sí, la madre está muy enojada con la niña, sí. Gracias.
Retell 31



H: Y ahora la madre regresa a, el apartamen- el apartamento y uh, está muy
enojado con su niño porque es la secunda vez en la día con una tiempo que ella esta-
er estab- er estuvo muy mal, y uh, la policía está aquí también el gato, mi favorito
miembro del la historia.

In Henry’s interaction with the Interviewer in the Retell Task, is there uptake on word choice and gender agreement?  Is there evidence Henry has acquired word choice and gender agreement? Discuss.

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

The interviewer supplies Henry with the word enojada to describe the mother in line 8. There is uptake in line 9 when Henry produces the word exactly, not just once but twice. In doing this, he took up both the vocabulary word and its gender agreement. Several lines later Henry produces the vocabulary word again on his own, suggesting possible acquisition of the word. However, he produces not enojada in describing the mother, but enojado, missing the noun-adjective gender agreement which was present in his original uptake.
This example shows how complex the constructs of uptake and acquisition are. Henry did not acquire enojada as a chunk, but rather he separated the vocabulary item from its gender agreement (with mother), acquiring the vocabulary but not the gender agreement.



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