Chapter 6. Eliciting wh-questions through collaborative syntactic priming activities during peer interaction

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Recent research has indicated that L2 learners who carry out collaborative syntactic priming activities with trained interlocutors or their peers subsequently produce target constructions rather than interlanguage forms. However, studies to date have not explored whether certain types of syntactic priming materials are more useful for eliciting such constructions. The current study compares four collaborative syntactic priming activities in terms of their effectiveness at eliciting wh-questions with supplied auxiliary verbs. Thai English as a foreign language (EFL) university students (N = 33) carried out the activities as part of their required integrated skills English class. The learners’ interaction was audio-recorded and transcribed, and the transcripts were analyzed in terms of the amount and type of wh-questions produced during each activity. Results indicate that activities with lexical repetition elicited a significantly greater proportion of target wh-questions than activities without the lexical boost. Pedagogical considerations and future research involving the design and implementation of collaborative syntactic priming activities in L2 classrooms are discussed.


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