5. Investigation into potential impact of communication style in the speakers’ first language on their second language communication

Project duration:

10 weeks 29 November 2021 - 10 January 2022

36 hours per week


This project explores how the speakers’ first language impact on their communication in their second language. An increasing volume of studies on peer interaction has shown its facilitative role for second language development as it provides meaningful opportunities to use the L2 (e.g., Philp, Adams, & Iwashita, 2014; Sato & Lyster, 2012). Drawing on cognitive interactionist or sociocultural theories several studies have explored how task type, learner (e.g., proficiency, working memory, anxiety) and contextual factors (e.g., classroom vs. laboratory, second vs. foreign language setting) may contribute to the overall quality/quantity of interaction and subsequent learning. These studies have been undertaken in various languages including both commonly and less commonly taught languages. Furthermore, it is well acknowledged variety of communication styles according to their first language. Despite the wealth of the literature in the field, is relatively unknown how different L1 may yield different findings concerning how learners’ communication style in their first language and their learning contexts impact their communication in their second language, and how they may impact on subsequent learning. The project aims to explore

Week 1-4: Literature review, preparation for data collection and analysis

Week 4-7: Data collection (if required) and pilot data analyses

Week 8-10: Data analyses and write up for preliminary analyses

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Student Scholars will have an opportunity to gain skills in research in the areas of role of peer interaction in second language acquisition. More specifically, they will have an opportunity to: 1) be introduced or expand their understanding of the field; 2) be trained for critical analyses of the relevant literature; 3) gain skills required for pilot data collection and analysis and 4) write up preliminary analyses.  Student Scholars will work closely with the supervisor through all stages of the project.

Suitable for: 

  • Have honours/postgraduate-level training in Applied Linguistics or equivalent.
  • Good proficiency of one of the speakers’ languages in the spoken data (e.g., Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese)

Number of participants required: 1

Further information: 

Please contact Associate Professor Noriko Iwashita via email