Effects of communication tasks on the grammatical relations marked by second language learners
journal contributionposted on 03.08.2020, 08:06 by Jonathan Newton, G Kennedy
This study reports some possible grammatical consequences of interaction in split and shared information tasks undertaken by adult second language learners of English. Based on an analysis of a learners' corpus of almost 30,000 words, the study examines the morpho-syntax of task-based interaction and, in particular, ways of marking relationships between lexicalized concepts and between clauses by means of prepositions and conjunctions, respectively. The study confirmed the main hypothesis that shared information tasks would result in the use of more coordinating and subordinating conjunctions than split information tasks. The paper suggests that both cognitive and pragmatic reasons may explain why inter-propositional relationships are marked more frequently than intra-propositional relationships in the corpus, and why the marking of inter-propositional relationships may be encouraged more by shared information tasks an by split information tasks. The results of the study suggest that communication tasks for language learning can be designed to influence the use of particular linguistic structures. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.