The linguistic dimension of L2 interviews: A multidimensional analysis of native speaker language
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This research profiles the L2 interviews from a variationist perspective by using native speaker data in order to gain insight into the characteristics of three different speaking tasks in the framework of the LINDSEI learner language corpus tradition: Personal Narrative Component, an Interaction Component and a Picture Description. This way, we set out to research one area of the assessment of proficiency that is usually neglected: that of the linguistic nature of the tasks used to assess general “proficiency” in a given language. Our corpus was part-of-speech (POS) tagged and analysed using Multidimensional Analysis (MDA). We found that the different speaking tasks determine the range of linguistic features that are more likely to be generated by the communicative potential of the task itself. This profiling is of interest in areas such as language assessment, where the interview is widely used to evaluate the speakers’ communicative competence, but also in the field of learner language research. Our research is an example of the possibilities which combined methodologies of learner language analysis can offer to both the Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research community and the more general applied linguistics research field.