A comparison of the communication strategies used by effective and less effective oral language learners in early French immersion

Marrie, Barbara L. (1989) A comparison of the communication strategies used by effective and less effective oral language learners in early French immersion. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine: -- 1. whether the communication strategies used by the older second language learner are used by the young Early French Immersion (EFI) language learner; -- 2. which communication strategies the effective young EFI language learner uses; -- 3. which communication strategies the less effective young EFI language learner uses. -- To achieve this aim, a sample of ten students from a grade three French immersion class was chosen, and a speech sample obtained for each of these subjects. Three independent judges listened to these speech samples and, according to a rating category, selected three effective and three less effective communicators from the sample. The speech samples of these six subjects were then studied for the use of six communication strategy categories which were those identified by previous researchers [Faerch and Kasper (1983b), Corder (1983), Savignon (1983), Tarone (1983), Kramsch (1984) and Willems (1987)]. These identified strategies have been divided into achievement strategies and reduction strategies [Tarone et al (1976), Faerch and Kasper (1983a) and Willems (1987)]. Achievement strategies included paraphrase (approximation, word coinage and circumlocution), borrowing (literal translation and language mix), foreignizing and retrieval. Reduction strategies included message adjustment and avoidance (message abandonment and topic avoidance). These six communication strategy categories were broken down into ten individual communication strategies. The study attempted to find which of these ten individual communication strategies were used by the effective and less effective communicators. -- Students’ speech, which constituted the data for the study, was obtained by means of a general storytelling activity. Data analysis looked at strategy use by the various subjects. Data analysis lead to a number of conclusions with respect to strategy use by the EFI language learners. -- Effective communicators used all of the identified communication strategies with the exception of foreignizing and topic avoidance. Effective communicators used more strategies in their speech sample. They also used more achievement than reduction strategies. The strategies used most by this group were approximation and circumlocution. The other strategies were used to various extents by different individuals within this group. The strategy use was of better quality for this group. -- Less effective communicators used fewer strategies in general, and tended to use achievement strategies and reduction strategies to approximately the same degree. There was a lower quality of strategy use by this group who appeared to lack confidence. The less effective communicators used the achievement strategies of approximation and circumlocution. The strategy used most by this group was message adjustment. This group also used a large proportion of message abandonment and topic avoidance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4316
Item ID: 4316
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 99-104.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: French language--Study and teaching (Primary)

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