Interaction: Activity 4

No uptake of a vocabulary word

Consider this interaction between Henry and Raúl, paying attention to the word “patio.”  Then answer the question below the table.

Task Line #  
Comparison 23



R: Parece que el patio no está tan bien cuidado
H: Sí
R: Parece que aquí, casi no hay hojas..y aquí hay más hojas.
H: Sí. Sí la persona es, uh, la persona no, uh, no puede limpiar posiblemente.
R: Ah, limpiar su…
H: Su…
R: Su patio.
H: Es posible que la persona que viva aquí es en, es uh muy pobre.
R: Mhm
Comparison 80

H: Y uh, qué má, no hay, cómo se dice, uh...las plantas, en uh, no no hay muchas
plantas en, en la casa.
R: En el patio de ella.
H: Sí, sí

Henry does not use the vocabulary word patio even after Raúl uses it to refer to the yard in the Jigsaw task in line 23, again in line 29, and yet again in the later Comparison task line 82. Why do you think Henry doesn’t use this word when trying to refer to the yard?

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

Henry never uses the word patio to mean “yard” after it’s introduced by Raúl in line 23. Henry struggles to find a word (apparently for “yard”) in line 28; in line 29 Raúl again suggests the word patio, but Henry does not take it up or use it at all. Not only does Henry not use it, but later in the Comparison task, line 81, Henry uses la casa, apparently to refer to “yard.” When Raúl again supplies patio, Henry just says “sí, sí” but still does not use the word.

Learners exercise agency and choice, and sometimes firmly resist the L2 input they are given. A possible cause of Henry’s reluctance to take up Raúl’s word could be semantic English transfer. A similar word patio exists in English, but it means something different: a paved area with seating inside a yard. No such paved area exists in the photo being described. Raúl’s repeated offering of the word patio may confuse Henry, causing him to change topics in line 30 to avoid referring to the yard at all.


CARLA Mailing List Signup Contact CARLA CARLA Events Donate to CARLA CARLA on Facebook CARLA on YouTube Twitter
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414