Dr. Shin, Ryan, and our former LAL members, Rebecca and Stacy presented their papers on “The Effects of L2 Proficiency Differences in Pairs on Idea Units in a Collaborative Text Reconstruction Task” at MwALT 2013 in East Lansing, MI. More details on this project are as follows
Dictogloss, a collaborative text reconstruction task, has been suggested as an effective second language (L2) learning task in promoting meaningful interaction between learners and their awareness of L2 target grammatical structures. However, it is not clear whether the effect of pair interaction on the final dictogloss product may differ depending on the characteristics of co-participants and particularly proficiency disparities between partners. This study thus aims to investigate the extent to which learners’ different L2 proficiency pairings affect their tangible language performance particularly in terms of content accuracy in a dictogloss task when it is used as a listening comprehension activity as well as a productive grammar exercise. The results show that large gains are seen in idea units reproduced between solo and paired stages of the dictogloss across texts. Low-level students paired with high-level partners benefited most but with largest variation across the board. However, proficiency pairing, in general, did not seem to significantly affect improvement in idea units. In terms of extraneous idea units, more than 50% of the students added other content not present in the original text in the solo version, although these ideas did not make it to the second draft usually corrected by their partner.