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Title: Modifying L2 criticisms: How learners do it?
Authors: Nguyen, Thi Thuy Minh
Keywords: Interlanguage pragmatics
Speech acts
L2 pragmatic acquisition
Vietnamese EFL learners
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Nguyen, T. T. M. (2008). Modifying L2 criticisms: How learners do it? Journal of Pragmatics, 40(4), 768-791.
Abstract: This study examines how Vietnamese adult learners of Australian English learn to modify their criticisms in a peer-feedback session. Data were collected from three groups of learners (12 beginners, 12 intermediate, and 12 advanced), via a conversation elicitation task, a written questionnaire, and a retrospective interview. L1 and L2 baseline data were collected from two respective groups of 12 Vietnamese native speakers and 12 native speakers of Australian English, via the same conversation elicitation task and questionnaire. Results showed that learners, regardless of their proficiency levels, tended to under-use modality markers, especially internal modifiers. A number of factors might have influenced this pragmatic behavior: incomplete L2 linguistic competence, L1 transfer, and cognitive difficulty in spontaneous language production. The study also found evidence of an acquisitional order for criticism modifiers: learners tended to acquire lexicalized modifiers before they acquired grammaticalized modifiers. This finding lent support to Meisel et al (1981)’s Complexification Hypothesis, which holds that the order of acquisition of L2 forms is dependent upon their structural complexity and the processing demands involved; thus syntactically complex structures, which are also more cognitively demanding, are usually acquired later than simpler structures which require a minimum of processing capacity.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Pragmatics. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 0378-2166
Other Identifiers: 10.1016/j.pragma.2007.05.008
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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