Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Second Language Acquisition & Self-Repair Behavior

Dr Jerry Smartt, Dr Rosalind R. Scudder.

Communication strategies have gained attention in recent second language acquisition research. Linguistic repair occurs when a speaker detects a breakdown in communication, focuses on the trouble area, and selects a repair behavior (Clark, 1982; Levelt, 1983, 1993; Shonerd, 1994). In this context, repairs are not focused on meaning but on mending the error. Strategies, such as self-repair or “surface manifestations of psycholinguistic processes” (Liskin-Gasparro, 1996) have been described and categorized in a hierarchical arrangement in an effort to assist second language teachers. In addition, other disciplines such as Linguistics and Communication Sciences and Disorders have a longer history examining repair strategies used by first language as well as impaired speakers as they attempt to make their communication more precise and understandable to their listeners. Attempts to blend knowledge gained from the results of research from these diverse fields have not occurred. Not only does language repair help to maintain communicative interaction, it also is an effective personal strategy. Teachers of second language students could benefit from information about the development of communication strategies as a way to assess learning and progress in acquisition. The presenter will share information concerning a preordained order of sophistication of self-repair and results that suggest that students who study abroad significantly differ in their repair behavior from those who do not. Analysis of self-repair behaviors will help teachers of second languages become aware of the diminishing presence of Language Switching and increased use of Word Form Searching in the output of their students. Teachers will be more sensitive to the process of acquiring a second language as an evolving process.


Dr Jerry Smartt  (United States)
Professor of Spanish & Spanish Education
Religion & Humanities
Friends University

Prof. Smartt joined the Faculty at Friends University in 1975 after having completed undergraduate degrees at the University of Texas, Austin and master degrees at Wichita State University. She has studied at a variety of universities including la Universidad Tecnológica de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México; la Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Iowa State University; and Kansas State University. Her doctoral dissertation concerned second language acquisition. In a coordinated effort with the Kansas Board of Education, Professor Smartt served as the Chairperson of the team of teachers and administrators that designed the standards for foreign language teachers in the state of Kansas. Jerry has received awards for teaching excellence.

Dr Rosalind R. Scudder  (United States)

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Self-Repair
  • Language Switch
  • Word Form Search

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)