|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Gender and Communication Strategy Use in Learning English as a Second Language
Author(s): TING, Su-Hie , KHO, Tiee-Pai
Journal: ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume: 157 Date: 2009
The study examined the use of communication strategies in same- and cross-gender interactions by learners of English as a Second Language (ESL). Analysis of oral data from 10 female same- and 10 cross-gender interactions using an integrated psycholinguistic, social interaction and discourse-based framework showed that communication strategies were mainly used to overcome linguistic inadequacies rather than to enhance the message. Female learners used considerably more restructuring while male learners preferred approximation to bridge communication gaps when understanding of meanings may not be shared. The ESL learners were found to accommodate in their use of communication strategies to the gender of their interaction partners. In cross-gender dyads, there were attempts at a more careful formulation of the message, as indicated by a decrease in the use of approximation by both female and male speakers and an increase in restructuring of the message by male learners. The results revealed that it was not the gender of the learners but the gender of the interaction partners that heightened the use of message-enhancing communication strategies, particularly, topic fronting by female speakers and lexical repetition by male speakers. The potential of cross-gender interactions in ESL language learning contexts is discussed.