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Self-Repairs in Learner Language

Evidence from German at Different Proficiency Levels


Liisa Salo-Lee

Repair is a characteristic of oral discourse. The ability to repair one's own discourse appropriately is a part of native speakers' communicative competence. This study investigates the repair behaviour of foreign language (L2) learners at different levels of oral proficiency. Two principal types of repair, code- and discourse-related, were distinguished. In the use of these, both quantitative and qualitative changes occur according to development of L2 learner proficiency. L2 learners also differ individually in their repair behaviour. Two main types of languages users were identified: safe-players and explorers. The study suggests repair to be related to other contextual factors in the discourse, such as errors, or lexical problems. Thus, in different contexts, use of repair may either enhance or impoverish communication.
Contents: Repair: structure and scope - Oral discourse - Fluency - Oral proficiency - Oral proficiency testing - Code-related and discourse-related repair - Monitoring - Repair and foreign language teaching - Intercultural competence.