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Title:Communicative Error Evaluation: A Study of American Native Speakers' Evaluations and Interpretations of Deviant Utterances Written by Arab Efl Learners
Author(s):Khalil, Aziz M.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:This study is an attempt to investigate American native speakers' evaluations and interpretations of grammatically and semantically deviant utterances written by Arab EFL learners and to establish communicative criteria that may be utilized in selective error correction and in the writing and sequencing of teaching materials. The purpose of this study is threefold: (1) to investigate the differences between judged intelligibility and naturalness; (2) to investigate the extent to which error type (grammatical or semantic) and immediate linguistic context affect the intelligibility, naturalness, and interpretability of deviant utterances; and (3) to provide a validation measure for judgments of intelligibility.
Two types of measures were used: Evaluation and Interpretation. The former involved the evaluations of deviant utterances, presented both in and out of context, on four-point scales of intelligibility and naturalness. The latter required the selection from among four options of the best interpretation of the meaning intended by the Arab writer.
This experiment included two factorial designs: a between-subject design for naturalness and intelligibility and a within-subject design for intelligibility and interpretation.
The subjects consisted of 240 American undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The results of t-tests indicated that utterances were generally judged to be more intelligibile than they were natural. The ANOVA results showed that semantically deviant utterances were judged to be less intelligible and interpretable than were grammatically deviant utterances. Immediate linguistic context did not influence native speakers' ability to interpret the writer's intent. Two factors were noted that may account for this unexpected result: the limited amount of context provided and the poor rhetorical quality of this context.
Fisher's Exact Test results showed no association between the subjects' performance on the two measures of intelligibility and interpretation. This result raises questions as to the basis for judgments of intelligibility since these do not appear to reflect native speakers' actual comprehension of the meaning intended by the writer. Rather, they appear to indicate the extent to which native speakers think they understand the meaning of the deviant utterances.
The implications of these results for the methodology of communicative error evaluation and classroom teaching are discussed.
Issue Date:1984
Description:170 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502202
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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