The purpose of this paper is to summarize one section of three chapters in ‘Developing Communicative Competence in a Second Language (Issues in Second Language Research)’ written by Robin C. Scarcella, Elaine Andersen, and Stephen D. Krashen. The main focus of this section is to examine how second language learner’s develop discourse competence. The term discourse competence was first used by Canale and Swain to refer to knowledge of how to combine grammatical forms and meanings to achieve a unified spoken and written text in various contexts. However, here, in the following chapters, the authors refer it to ‘verbal, nonverbal, and paralinguistic knowledge underlying the ability to organize spoken and written texts meaningfully and appropriately.’ (Scarcella , Andersen and Krashen,1990) although none of the chapters in this section address issues relating to the role of discourse competence in development of communicative competence or the acquisition of it, altogether, these chapters approach conversational competence from various perspective. For instance, chapter 7, Sato explores interruption behavior in classroom participation; Neu, in chapter 8, examines the role of nonverbal communication n starting conversations and keeping the conversation going; in the last chapter, chapter 9, Olynyak, d’Anglejan, and Sankoff examine the use of hesitation markers in both planned and unplanned discourse.
‘Ethnic Style In Classroom Discourse’ by Charlene J. Sato The purpose of this study is to characterize Asian and Non-Asian patterns of classroom interaction. Participants in this study were two groups of university students enrolled in intermediate ESL courses and their teachers. Of 31 students, 19 were Asians. Significant differences between the Asians and non-Asians were found regarding to the frequency of turn-taking. Group one were 15 Asians and 8 non-Asians. Teacher was the researcher herself, a Japanese- American woman. Group two were 4 Asian and 4 non-Asians. The teacher was a Caucasian American woman. All of the students come from various countries. For both classes, all of the taped sessions consisted of exercised-centered discussion. Group one was video-taped and G2 was in-class observed by the researcher. Two sets of the data were coded and portions transcribed. The results show that there were significant differences between the Asians and non- Asian students’ talks in ESL classroom. For example, total turn-taking percentage, Asians was 36.5 % and non-Asians was 63.5 %; self-initiated turns percentage Asians was 33.99 % and non-Asians was 66.01 %; as for teacher-allocated turns, Asians was 39.66 % and non-Asians was 60.44 %. The results may be contributed by following two factors: first, teacher’s sentiment to students’ unwillingness to talk and second, students’ perceptions of teacher’s preallocated speaking rights. As a result, Asian students have been characterized as taking less speaking turns on their own initiative and as being more dependent on teacher-allocated turns in class discussions.
‘Assessing The Role Of Nonverbal Communication In The Acquisition Of Communicative Competence in L2’ by Joyce Neu The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of nonverbal competence in the assessment of the overall communicative competence of second language learners. The two interviewees are Yama, a 23 years old Japanese male and Ahmed, a 30 years old Saudi Arabian male. Tony, the interviewer, is a 38 years old American male with over 10 years ESL experiences. Yama and Ahmed were selected for analysis because their score on this speaking test, a midterm oral interview, were remarkably similar while their performance in the interview appeared radically different. The interview was videotaped and analyze by Foster system under four channels– (V) verbal/vocal, (F) facial/head movement, (H) hand/arm movements, and (B) body position/movement. The first channel is spoken utterances and sounds;...
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