The influence of content knowledge on NNS-NNS conversations

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Yuh-Fang Chang



In the field of second and foreign language acquisition, a second-language learner’s language (i.e. interlanguage), like the language of native speakers, varies. What is not clear, however, are the underlying causes of this variation. Causes of interlanguage variation such as linguistic contexts, tasks, and interlocutors have been researched. However, there are other important factors in interlanguage variation that are under-researched. Topic of discourse is one such under-researched factor. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between discourse topics and second language learners’ oral performance. Twenty-six Taiwanese students participated in this study. Data were collected from NNS-NNS conversations. It was found that discourse topics have a great impact on the grammatical complexity and fluency of L2 learners’ speech production.