Negotiation of Meaning in Required and Optional Information Exchange Tasks: Discourse Issues

Zohre Mohamadi


It is widely argued that different types of tasks facilitate the acquisition of communicative language to different degrees through providing different contexts for the occurrence of negotiation of meaning which is believed to have facilitative role in language acquisition. Although task based instruction provides a medium for acquiring the communicative language, it suffers from a number of oversimplifications.  The potentials of each task type in creating such a medium were not investigated in exhaustive detail, and it is left as a potentially interesting topic for further research.  This paper reports the analysis of the negotiation of meaning produced by eight intermediate EFL students engaged in required and optional information exchange tasks in dyads.  The results show that pushed output has different quality in these different task types meaning whereas required information exchange task provided a medium for more incidence of negotiation work, optional information exchange tasks engaged participants more with discourse work and led to more incidence of the clarification request as an interactional move that has a facilitative role in pushed output. Test constructors and materials developers need to take principled decisions in what to be included in the tests and texts.



Negotiation of meaning, different task types, discourse markers, pushed output

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