Computer Mediated Conversation for Mutual Learning: Acknowledgement and Agreement/Assessment Signals in Italian as L2

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The current study aims to investigate form, composition, distribution of acknowledgement and agreement/assessment signals in upper intermediate/advanced Italian as L2 speakers. Data are video-transcribed computer mediated conversations for mutual language learning (Teletandem) during which two female volunteer university students (L1: English and German) talk with a native speaker (NS) female interlocutor (L1: Italian) for developing L2 language proficiency. For each pair, data have been collected during two different meetings: meeting 1 comprises free discussion for mutual introductions; meeting 2 is a discussion on a topic chosen by the Italian non- native speaker. The analysis shows that L2 subjects employ a great variety of (1) acknowledgement and agreement listener responses, (2) both lexical and non-lexical units whose functions, positions and frequency are affected by the level of involvement in the discourse, and (3) acquaintance of the two speakers and by the type of task. Particularly in the second meeting, when a topic is discussed, non-native speakers (NNSs) use more lexical units than in the first meeting, thus highlighting the relevance of situational variables over the discourse structure.

Keywords: teletandem, discourse markers, agreement signals, acknowledgment signals, listener responses.


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De Marco, Anna; Leone, Paola. (2012). Computer Mediated Conversation for Mutual Learning: Acknowledgement and Agreement/Assessment Signals in Italian as L2. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 70-75).

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