Proceedings from the CALS conference 2014
Classroom interaction in early EFL learning: An analysis of the learner’s interlanguage
The paper deals with the development of the learner’s interlanguage in classroom interaction in early EFL learning. Recordings of spontaneous classroom interaction were analysed over three consecutive years when pupils were at the end of grades one, two and three. The research was conducted within the framework of a larger project entitled Early acquisition of English as a foreign language: an analysis of the learner’s interlanguage (project no. 130–1301001–0988). A total of 93 children from five Croatian primary schools were included in this research. Additional analysis of the learner’s interlanguage was conducted in groups of six focal learners from each of the five schools. The initial hypothesis is that the pupils’ oral production shows clear progress over the years of learning, i.e. there is an increase in the length of utterances and in linguistic and lexical diversity. We also assume that there is a decrease in the use of the mother tongue in the learners’ oral production in classroom interaction, as well as an interdependence of grammar and lexis seen in article use. Transcribed recordings of six focal learners in classroom interaction were coded according to a system including Codes for Human Analysis of Transcripts (CHAT). A quantitative analysis of transcripts (the number of morphemes, mean length of utterance (MLU), type/token ratio) was conducted using CLAN (MacWhinney 1995, 2008, 2010). A qualitative analysis was done using error analysis, i.e. proper/wrong article use before the singular/plural of nouns, first/later mentioned nouns, or article omission....
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