Self- and other-initiated modified output during task-based interaction

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68 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the role self- and other-initiations play in providing opportunities for modified output (MO), which Swain (1995, 1998) and Swain and Lapkin (1995) suggest is important for successful second language acquisition. Thirty-five adult participants - 8 native speakers (NSs) and 27 nonnative speakers (NNSs) of English representing 13 different L1 backgrounds - performed three tasks (picture description, opinion exchange, and decision making). The first two tasks were performed in NS-NNS and NNS-NNS pairs and were audiotaped, and the third was completed in NNS groups and was audio- and videotaped. The results showed that both self- and other-initiations provided NNSs with abundant opportunities to produce MO. However, in four of the five interactional contexts examined in the study, significantly more instances of MO resulted from self-initiation than from other-initiation. These results suggest that self-initiations play an important role in prompting MO and that learners need both time and opportunity to initiate and complete repair of their own messages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-457
Number of pages25
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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