Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.400
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.750

CiteScore 2018: 0.61

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.305
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.670

Online
ISSN
1860-7349
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 35, Issue 2

Issues

Test taker-initiated repairs in an English oral proficiency exam for international teaching assistants

Stephanie Hyeri Kim / Innhwa Park
Published Online: 2015-02-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0036

Abstract

This paper is a conversation-analytic examination of video-recorded interactions between questioners and test takers during an English oral proficiency exam for international teaching assistants (ITAs). We focus on the test takers’ repair strategies identified in our data, and describe how distinct repair strategies influence the repair solution in the next turn. The test takers’ open-class repair initiator (e.g., “sorry?”) is likely to be treated as a hearing problem, and thus is responded to with the questioners’ repetition of the question. In contrast, the test takers’ targeted repair initiator (e.g., “what do you mean by x?”) is likely to be treated as an understanding problem, and thus is responded to with the questioners’ reformulation of the question. This reformulation generally helps the test takers successfully respond to the question despite the initial understanding problem. The findings have implications for teaching oral communication skills to ITAs, repair strategies in particular. They also contribute to improving performance-based oral proficiency exam by introducing different sequential trajectories that emerge from problems in hearing or understanding.

Keywords: repair; repetition; reformulation; international teaching assistant; oral proficiency exam; conversation analysis

References

  • Anderson-Hsieh, Janet & Koehler Koehler. 1988. The effect of foreign accent and speaking rate on native speaker comprehension. Language Learn 38. 561–570.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Axelson, Elizabeth, & Carolyn Madden. 1994. Discourse strategies for ITAs across instructional contexts. In Carolyn Madden & Myers Cynthia (eds.), Discourse and performance of international teaching assistants, 153–187. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.Google Scholar

  • Bailey, Kathleen M. 1984. The “foreign TA problem. In Kathleen M. Bailey, Frank Pialorsi & Jaen Zukowski/Faust (eds.), Foreign teaching assistants in US universities, 3–16. Washington, DC: National Association for Foreign Student Affairs.Google Scholar

  • Bell, Nathan E. 2011. Graduate enrollment and degrees: 2000 to 2010. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.Google Scholar

  • Bernhardt, Elizabeth. 1987. Training foreign teaching assistants: Cultural differences. College Teaching 35. 67–69.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Canale, Michael. 1983. From communicative competence to language pedagogy. In Jack C. Richards & Richards W. Schmidt (eds.), Language and communication, 2–28. London: Longman.Google Scholar

  • Canale, Michael, & Merrill Swain. 1980. Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language testing and teaching. Applied Linguistics 1(1). 1–47.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Celce-Murcia, Marianne. 2007. Rethinking the role of communicative competence in language teaching. In Eva Alcon Soler & Maria Pilar Safont Jorda (eds.), The intercultural language use and language learning, 41–58. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Chiang, Shiao-Yun, & Han-Fu Mi. 2008. Reformulation as a strategy for managing “understanding uncertainty” in the office-hour interactions between international teaching assistants and American college students. Intercultural Education 19(3). 269–281.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Drew, Paul. 1997. Open” class repair initiators in response to sequential sources of troubles in conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 28. 69–101.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Egbert, Maria. 1998. Miscommunication in language proficiency interviews of first-year German students: A comparison with natural conversation. In Richard Young & Agnes W. He (eds.), Discourse approaches to the assessment of oral proficiency, 147–169. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Egbert, Maria, Andrea Golato & Jeffery Robinson. 2009. Repairing reference. In Jack Sidnell (ed.), Conversation analysis: Comparative perspectives, 104–132. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Farnsworth, Timothy. 2004. The effect of teaching skills on holistic ratings of language ability in performance tests for international teaching assistant selection. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Los Angeles MA thesis.Google Scholar

  • Gaskill, William. 1980. Correction in native speaker–nonnative speaker conversation. In Diane Larsen-Freeman (ed.), Discourse analysis in second language research, 125–137. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar

  • Gorsuch, Greta, Colleen M. Meyers, Lucy Pickering & Dale T. Griffee. 2010. English communication for international teaching assistants. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.Google Scholar

  • Gravois, John. 2005. Teach impediment. The Chronicle of Higher Education 51(31). A10.Google Scholar

  • He, Agnes W. 1998. Answering questions in LPIs: A case study. In Richard Young & Agens W. He (eds.), Talking and testing: Discourse approaches to the assessment of oral language proficiency, 101–116. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John. 1984a. Garfinkel and ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John. 1984b. A change-of-state token and aspects of its sequential placement. In J. Maxwell Atkinson & John Heritage (eds.), Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis, 299–345. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John, & Marja-Leena Sorjonen. 1994. Constituting and maintaining activities across sequences: And-prefacing as a feature of question design. Language in Society 23. 1–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hinofotis, Frances B. & Kathleen M. Bailey. 1980. American undergraduates’ reactions to the communication skills of foreign teaching assistants. In Janet C. Fisher, Mark A. Clarke & Jacquelyn Schachter (eds.), On TESOL ’80 – Building bridges: Research and practice in teaching English as a second language, 120–133. Washington, DC: TESOL.Google Scholar

  • Hosoda, Yuri. 2000. Other-repair in Japanese conversations between nonnative and native speakers. Issues in Applied Linguistics 11. 39–65.Google Scholar

  • Jia, Cailun, & Amy A. Bergerson. 2008. Understanding the international teaching assistant training program: A case study at a northwestern research university. International Education 37(2). 77–98.Google Scholar

  • Johnson, Marysia. 2001. The art of non-conversation: A reexamination of the oral proficiency interview. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

  • Kasper, Gabriel. 1985. Repair in foreign language teaching. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 7. 200–215.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kasper, Gabriel. 2006. Beyond repair: Conversation analysis as an approach to SLA. AILA Review 19. 83–99.Google Scholar

  • Kasper, Gabriel & Steven Ross. 2003. Repetition as source of miscommunication in oral proficiency interviews. In Juliane House, Gabriel Kasper & Steven Ross (eds.), Misunderstanding in social life: Discourse approaches to problematic talk, 82–106. Harlow: Longman/Pearson Education.Google Scholar

  • Kurhila, Salla. 2006. Second language interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Liebscher, Grit & Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. 2003. Conversational repair as a role-defining mechanism in classroom. The Modern Language Journal 87. 375–390.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Macbeth, Douglas. 2004. The relevance of repair for classroom correction. Language in Society 33. 703–736.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Marvasti, Akbar. 2005. US academic institutions and perceived effectiveness of foreign-born faculty. Journal of Economic Issues 39(1). 151–176.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McHoul, A. W. 1990. The organization of repair in classroom talk. Language in Society 19. 349–377.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mehan, Hugh. 1979. Language lessons. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

  • Nakamura, Ian. 2008. Understanding how teacher and student talk with each other: An exploration of how “repair” displays the co-management of talk-in-interaction. Language Teaching Research 12(2). 265–283.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pickering, Lucy. 2004. The structure and function of intonational paragraphs in native and nonnative speaker instructional discourse. English for Specific Purposes 23. 19–43.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Plakans, Barbara S. & Roberta G. Abraham. 1990. The testing and evaluation of international teaching assistants. In Dan Douglas (ed.), English language testing in US colleges and universities, 68–81. Washington, DC: NAFSA.Google Scholar

  • Robinson, Jeffrey. 2013. Epistemics, action formation, and other-initiation of repair: The case of partial questioning repeats. In Makoto Hayashi, Geoffrey Raymond & Jack Sidnell (eds.), Conversational repair and human understanding, 261–292. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Robinson, Jeffrey & Heidi Kevoe-Feldman. 2010. Using full repeats to initiate repair on others’ questions. Research on Language and Social Interaction 43(3). 232–259.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rubin, Donald L. 1993. The other half of international teaching assistant teaching: Classroom communication workshops for international students. Innovative Higher Education 17. 183–193.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sacks Harvey, Emanuel Schegloff & Gail. Jefferson. 1974. A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50(4). 696–735.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Savignon, Sandra J. 2007. Beyond communicative language teaching: What’s ahead? Journal of Pragmatics 39. 207–220.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Schegloff, Emanuel A. 2000. When “others” initiate repair. Applied Linguistics 21(2). 205–243.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Schegloff, Emanuel A. 2007. Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Schegloff, Emanuel, Gail Jefferson & Harvey Sacks. 1977. The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation. Language 53(2). 361–382.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Seedhouse, Paul & Maria Egbert. 2006. The interactional organization of the IELTS speaking test. IELTS Research Reports 6. 1–45.Google Scholar

  • Seo, Mi-Sook & Irene Koshik. 2010. A conversation analytic study of gestures that engender repair in ESL conversational tutoring. Journal of Pragmatics 42. 2219–2239.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sinclair, John M. & R. Malcolm Coulthard. 1975. Towards an analysis of discourse: The English used by teachers and pupils. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Svennevig, Jan. 2008. Trying the easiest solution first in other-initiation of repair. Journal of Pragmatics 40. 333–348.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tyler, Andrea. 1995. The co-construction of cross-cultural miscommunication. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 17. 129–152.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tyler, Andrea A., Ann Jefferies & Catharine E. Davies. 1988. The effect of discourse structuring devices on listener perceptions of coherence in non-native university teacher’s spoken discourse. World Englishes 7. 101–110.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Van Lier, Leo. 1988. The classroom and the language learner: Ethnography and second language classroom research. London: Longman.Google Scholar

  • Williams, Jessica. 1992. Planning, discourse marking, and the comprehensibility of international teaching assistants. TESOL Quarterly 26. 693–711.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wong, Jessica. 2000. Delayed next turn repair initiation in native/nonnative speaker English conversation. Applied Linguistics 21. 244–267.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wong, Jean & Hansun Z. Waring. 2010. Conversation analysis and second language pedagogy: A guide for ESL/EFL teachers. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Young, Richard and Agnes W. He. 1998. Talking and testing: Discourse approaches to the assessment of oral proficiency. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Young, Richard & Elizabeth R. Miller. 2004. Learning as changing participation: Discourse roles in ESL writing conferences. The Modern Language Journal 88(4). 519–535.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Stephanie Hyeri Kim

Stephanie Hyeri Kim received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from UCLA, and is currently Assistant Professor of Linguistics/TESL at California State University, Northridge. Her research interests include situated uses of language in everyday life and institutional settings, and their applications to language teaching and learning. She has recently published in the Journal of Pragmatics, Research on Language and Social Interaction, and Discourse Processes.

Innhwa Park

Innhwa Park received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from UCLA, and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures at West Chester University. Her teaching and research interests include writing pedagogy, educational discourse, and conversation analysis. She has recently published her research in Discourse Studies, Language and Education, and Journal of Pragmatics.


Author Contributions: Both authors contributed equally to this work.


Published Online: 2015-02-27

Published in Print: 2015-03-01


Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 35, Issue 2, Pages 237–262, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0036.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter Mouton.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Veronika Timpe-Laughlin and Innhwa Park
Language Assessment Quarterly, 2019, Volume 16, Number 1, Page 21

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in