Interactive alignment in L2 learning: the link between social interaction and psycholinguistic phenomena.

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To engage successfully in conversational activities, participants need to coordinate and synchronise their talk with the talk of their interlocutors. Apart from a set of social strategies and natural routines involved in sequence organisation, a significant contributor to this goal is a psycholinguistic mechanism identified as interactive alignment. The present study set out to examine whether interactive alignment occurs in L2 speech of upper intermediate second language users who have been learning English at school for around 11 years. The participants were a group of twenty Croatian students in their second year of university study, majoring in English. They worked on two collaborative tasks: one carried out in dialogues and the other one in groups of four. Their interactions were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively, to closely examine how interaction evolves in unscripted task-based L2 production. With a significantly larger number of alignment occurrences recorded in dialogues than in groups of four, both between speaker and within speaker, this study demonstrates that processes in L2 learning and use are interconnected and interdependent at all levels, involving cognitive, psychological, psycholinguistic, and social dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 by the author.


  • alignment
  • interaction
  • priming
  • turn-taking
  • dialogue
  • conversation
  • foreign language
  • second language
  • unscripted tasks

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