Finding the zone of proximal development: student-tutor second language dialogue interactions

Arabella Sinclair, Jon Oberlander, Dragan Gašević

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The goal of dialogue practice for a second language learner is to facilitate their production of dialogue similar to that between native speakers. This paper explores the characteristics of student and tutor dialogue in terms of their differences from classic conversational and task-oriented corpora. Interlocutors have the tendency to align to the language of the other in conversational dialogue, creating a symmetry between speakers which learners of a language may be unable at first to achieve. Our hypothesis is that as a learner’s competence increases, symmetry between learner and tutor language increases. We investigate this at both a surface and a deeper level, using automatic measures of linguistic complexity, and dialogue act analysis. The data supports our hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEMDIAL 2017 SaarDial
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue
EditorsVolha Petukhova, Ye Tian
Place of PublicationAmsterdam Netherlands
PublisherUniversity of Amsterdam
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventSemDial 2017: SaarDial - Saarbrücken, Germany
Duration: 15 Aug 201717 Aug 2017
Conference number: 21st


ConferenceSemDial 2017
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