The operation of repair in L2 learner conversation, group work and classroom discourse

  • Yue E. Li

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The present study is an empirical investigation into repair in spoken discourse, specifically focusing on L2 learner conversation, group work and teacher-fronted classroom interaction. The core of the investigation concentrates on identification of the problem type, classification of repair strategies and examination of interaction in the repair process. A comparison between Conversation (CS), Group Work (GW), and Teacher-fronted classroom interaction (CR) suggests that more repair is undertaken in CS. The results of the study suggest that the fundamental differences between CS, GW and CR are of two types: in the frequency of repair and in the nature of the repair itself. It has been found that other-initiation for production problem repair occurs mainly in CR, other-completion is characteristic of GW and self-repair is most frequent in CS. Factors affecting the occurrence of repair in CS, GW and CR are related to content and social and communicative features of context. Importantly, the study shows the frequency of repair in GW falls between that of CS and CR in most of repair strategies. This result lends support to the argument that group work can assist L2 learners to develop their communicative competence. It is suggested that the analysis of the repair process in CS, GW and CR can be useful in throwing light on the intricacies of spoken discourse in general and can be exploited by applied linguists for both theoretical and pedagogical purposes.
Date of Award1992
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorKeith Richards (Supervisor)


  • L2 learner conversation
  • group work
  • classroom discourse
  • repair
  • repair categories
  • correction
  • interaction

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