Virtual Dialogue between Native and Nonnative English Speakers

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This paper aims to report the findings of a quasi-experimental study conducted to investigate the effect of input from native and non-native English speakers on EFL learners’ writing development and achievement. Eight undergraduate students enrolled in an EFL writing course in a university in southern Taiwan were paired up with native English speakers (NS) and non-native English speakers, i.e. ESL or EFL learners from seven countries and engaged in a semester-long email exchange project in an effort to practice writing skills while exploring cultural differences. Based on Swain's comprehensible input hypothesis (Swain, 1985), which proposed that input or feedback provided by interlocutors may provide impetus for language learners to sensitize their limitation or incompetence in the target language and therefore trigger language learning and production, the study is to compare the email messages that the subjects composed respectively in response to native and non-native English speakers to explore if received messages of varying writing level have an impact on EFL learners’ subsequent writing.


Keywords: Email, Virtual Dialogue, ESL
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Virtual Dialogue


Dr. Huifen Lin

Associate Professor, English Department, National Kaohsiung Normal University
Tainan, Taiwan

Professor Lin is an associate professor in National Kaohsiung Normal University. Her research interest focuses on using technology in all aspects of language learning.

Dr. Yueh-Chiu Fang

Associate Professor, Applied English Department, National Formosa University
Tainan, Taiwan


Ref: L09P0835