Incorporated Repairs in Nonnative Discourse

  • Susan M. Gass
  • Evangeline Marlos Varonis
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


Nearly a century ago, Henry Sweet1 noted that

conversation in a foreign language may be regarded from two very different points of view: (1) as an end in itself, and (2) as a means of learning the language and testing the pupil’s knowledge of it. But there is, of course, no reason why the second process should not be regarded as being at the same time a preparation for the first. (1899/1964, p. 219)

While the importance of conversation to second-language (L2) acquisition has long been recognized, it is only recently that it has been the major focus of analysis. In particular, current research in L2 acquisition emphasizes the role of negotiated interaction between native speaker (NS) and nonnative (NNS) speaker in the development of a second language (Brock, Crookes, Day, & Long, 1986; Bruton & Samuda, 1980; Chun, Day, Chenoweth, & Luppescu, 1982; Day, Chenoweth, Chun, & Luppescu, 1984; Ellis, 1985; Long, 1983; Long & Porter, 1985; Pica, 1988; Scarcella & Higa, 1981; Varonis & Gass, 1985a and 1985b). Thus, the current view of the role of conversation in L2 learning differs noticeably from an earlier view of acquisition that held that learners learned grammatical rules and then practiced them within a conversation setting; classroom drills, classroom interactions, and daily interactions with NSs were considered important only as a means of reinforcing the grammatical rules acquired by a learner.


Native Speaker Language Acquisition Train Station Corrective Feedback Grammatical Development 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan M. Gass
    • 1
  • Evangeline Marlos Varonis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EnglishMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.University of AkronAkronUSA

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