Suzuka University of Medical Science, Japan
Notwithstanding the widely accredited effectiveness of Communication Strategies (CSs) (Canale, 1983), the necessity of instructing them has been a contentious subject (Kellerman, 1991; Dörnyei, 1995). In this study, the instruction of prefabricated patterns (Brown 2007) which function as CSs was included in Task-Based Language Teaching to novice learners. We analyzed students’ utilization of CSs in their topic conversations, as well as the functions of peer assistance or negotiation for meaning (NfM) (Foster & Ohta, 2005). Students audio- recorded their conversations four times and reported on their performance after each recording, subsequently their audio-recorded conversations were evaluated. We analyzed their conversations by means of the occurrences of peer-assistance and NfM to compare the differences between student groups who had improved the most and the least in their speaking capabilities. The results showed an increase of the quantity of conversation and CS usages of the better-developed group compared to the less-developed group. However, there were no significant differences between the two groups throughout the semester referencing to the demonstration of NfM. The functions of peer-assistance and NfM for novice learners might be distinguished from advanced learners, which might contribute to promote specific CS instruction for novice learners.
Communication strategy, topic conversation, peer assistance, negotiation for meaning, novice learner