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The Effects of Task Type and Group Structure on Meaning Negotiation in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication
Nam-Sook Jeong
51-69 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This study reports the effectiveness of types of tasks and proficiency pairing using group interaction in a synchronous text chatting EFL context. According to their language proficiency, students (N=24) were assigned into two groups in which they were paired with one partner: the homogeneous group and the heterogeneous group. The purpose of the study is to compare the effects of proficiency level on how much negotiation of meaning was produced in the different pairs, and how task-types affected negotiation in three different task types--jigsaw, decision-making, and free discussion--by analyzing text-chat quantitatively and qualitatively. The jigsaw and decision-making tasks led to the greatest amount of negotiation of meaning (54% vs. 29%). However, qualitative results indicated that the jigsaw task hindered student creativity even as the amount of negotiation was maximized. A quantitative analysis of the effects of proficiency pairing showed that there was no statistical difference between the two groups, but a qualitative analysis reported that the homogeneous group was welcomed by students in terms of collaborative learning and affective aspects.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2009 Second Language Research Forum: Diverse Contributions to SLA
edited by Luke Plonsky and Maren Schierloh
Table of contents
Printed edition: $240.00