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Title: The practices of multiple other-initiated repair in online second language interaction
Authors: Alzaidi, Haia Obaid G
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: In adopting the Conversation Analysis approach as the theoretical framework for this study, this thesis seeks to investigate the multiple other-repair initiation practices that target the same trouble source in second language interactions between L1-L2 and L2-L2 speakers of English. The concept of multiple other-repair initiation in this study is defined as a series of other-repair initiations (ORIs) that are repeatedly generated to address the same trouble source. A review of the existing literature has revealed that the phenomenon of ‗multiples‘ has received little attention. In light of this, this research aims to provide insight into this particular area of research where the dataset for the study comprises either one-to-one or three-party interaction between unacquainted individuals. In order to achieve this, the interactions were conducted using a ‗video chat‘ application of the social networking site Google Plus Hangouts, and the data were video/audio recorded using screen recorder software, Camtasia. All of the Google Hangouts (i.e. video chat rooms) for this study were created1 and online invitations sent to a random four2 participants from selected communities3 by the researcher one week prior to the original day of recording the Hangout session. During the actual event, the researcher was not present or involved in the interaction, all the sessions were recorded by three participants and ―none of [them] had any prior knowledge of, and connection with present study‖ (Jenks, 2014:158). At the start of each chat session, most of the participants were unacquainted with each other and they had joined chat rooms for the purpose of practising their spoken English. Participants in this study were L1 speakers of English from the UK and US and L2 speakers were from different backgrounds.Through analysis of multiple other-initiated repair sequences in English L1-L2 and L2-L2 interactions which took place in an online video chat and out of classroom context, attempts have been focused to explicate the following: 1) factors that trigger multiples, 2) repeated attempts of repair operations that have been employed to restore the same trouble source and achieve mutual understanding and, lastly, 3) to explore the types of action that this practice accomplishes. Close examination of interactions between unacquainted participants in this online setting reveals that multiples have been triggered, not only as a result of linguistic competence (in the case of L2 speakers) or understanding (in the case of L1 speakers), but also as a result of sequential problems and social actions. Analysis also shows that there are recognisable differences between L1 and L2 speakers in terms of the practices in multiple other-initiated repair. In other words, L1 and L2 speakers display different preferences to indicate the types of trouble in their interlocutors‘ prior turn. The L1 speakers seem to have a preference to indicate the problem as hearing rather than a problem in understanding or speaking. This preference has been demonstrated by using some distinctive features, such as ‗apology-based format‘ in the repair initiation. In contrast, the L2 speakers tend to show a preference of displaying all the types of trouble they encountered in their co-participants‘ utterances. Their preference has been associated with exposing the trouble source, not only through employing repeated attempts of other-repair initiations, but also through offering multiple solutions that treat the trouble as understanding. This suggests that there are different interactional goals; that is, while the L2 speakers‘ goals are to exploit the multiple repair sequences as interactional resources in order to accomplish some linguistic functions, as well as interactional goals, the L1 speakers‘ goal is to focus on subject matter. Finally, when talk failed to solve problems, participants employed the interactional resources (affordance) available in this online setting to address the trouble source through written means, even though shifting the current interactional mode was not always the preferred method to repair by the speaker of the trouble source turn. Thus, the findings of this thesis have implications for English teaching materials and also add to L2 interactions in the out of classroom context.
Description: IPhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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