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Using stimulated recall to investigate pupils' thinking about online bilingual communication: code-switching and pronominal address in L2 French

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This article demonstrates how evidence related to performance in computer mediated communication (CMC) can be used as a vehicle for researching pupils' thinking about using and learning a foreign language. The analysis is based on a qualitative study of pupils from two contrasting schools who had taken part in a multinational CMC project involving learners of French and English as a foreign language. The analysis focuses on the pupils' explanations and intuitions about their decisions with regard to two areas of their interaction in particular: code-switching and pronominal address. The findings suggest that the English learners of French had an implicit set of communicative priorities in which interpersonal objectives tended to dominate over ideational objectives. Evidence from the study indicates the need for further research-informed educational development in two areas: a reappraisal of the framework for foreign language teaching in England on the basis of greater emphasis on second language (L2) use within the framework; and more developed theoretical understanding of pupil cognition in relation to foreign language learning.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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