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Attitudinal bias, individual differences, and second language speakers’ interactional performance

Trofimovich, Pavel and McDonough, Kim and Dao, Phung and Abashidze, Dato (2019) Attitudinal bias, individual differences, and second language speakers’ interactional performance. Applied Linguistics Review. ISSN 1868-6303


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Abstract This study examined whether an interlocutor’s attitudinal bias affects second language (L2) speakers’ recall of narratives and their responses to corrective feedback (recasts) and whether the role of attitudinal bias depends on individual differences in speakers’ background and personality characteristics. After receiving a positive or negative attitudinal bias orientation, 70 L2 English speakers completed tasks with an interlocutor who provided recasts in response to language errors. Speakers also completed questionnaires targeting individual differences in their motivation and acculturation to the home and target cultures. There were no general effects for positive or negative attitudinal bias on speakers’ recall of personal narratives or responses to feedback. However, under negative bias, motivation scores were associated with speakers’ accurate reformulation of errors. Under positive bias, there was an association between accurate narrative recall and greater psychological adaptation and motivation. Results imply that attitudinal bias plays a subtle role in L2 speakers’ interactional performance.

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