Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2542-3835
  • E-ISSN: 2542-3843
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Second language instructors often have students talk about their own experiences rather than abstract impersonal topics. Intuitively, such topics seem more likely to encourage student engagement. Unfortunately, virtually no empirical research has examined the effects of personal prompts on spoken output. To address this gap in research, the current study ( = 117) compares the spoken output of Japanese university English students who responded to a personal prompt with students responding to an impersonal prompt. Output was recorded in transcripts and then analyzed using a battery of measures related to complexity, accuracy, and fluency. Findings showed that personalized prompts were associated with greater fluency. Moreover, there was some evidence that impersonal prompts led to output with greater lexical complexity. Rates of accuracy were similar in both groups. Correlational analysis suggested that lexical sophistication was associated with reduced fluency. The conclusion addresses practical implications and avenues for further research.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): accuracy; complexity; fluency; prompts; self-reference; speaking
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