The Effect of Interactionist vs. Interventionist Models of Dynamic Assessment on L2 Learners’ Pragmatic Comprehension Accuracy and Speed

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

Abstract

Various models of Dynamic Assessment (DA) have been used in L2 pragmatic instruction and have proved their significant contributions to pragmatic production; however, there is a paucity of research regarding their implementation for pragmatic comprehension. Therefore, this study sought to investigate the effects of interactionist and interventionist models of DA on the accuracy and speed of pragmatic comprehension among a convenience sample of 60 advanced EFL learners who were randomly assigned into two DA groups and a control group. A listening pragmatic comprehension test developed and validated by Garcia (2004) was used both as a pretest and as a posttest. During the 14-session treatment, the interactionist DA group received metapragmatic instruction about 28 conversations, and learners interacted with each other and the teacher. Assistance and scaffolding were continuously provided by the teacher as the more knowledgeable other (MKO) within the learners’ Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The interventionist DA class received its treatment based on DA procedures as presented by Lantolf and Poehner (2010). However, the Non-DA group only received metapragmatic instruction about the conversations from the instructor without any DA-based intervention or interaction. Data analysis using one-way ANCOVA revealed that study groups differed in their pragmatic comprehension accuracy and speed: DA groups significantly outperformed the control group. The interventionist DA group did significantly better than the interactionist DA group for pragmatic accuracy but nor for pragmatic comprehension speed. The pedagogical implication of the study is that teachers can utilize interventionist and interactionist DA to foster learners’ pragmatic comprehension accuracy.

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