Exploring change : oral metadiscourse of advanced learners of Russian in extended study abroad
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Abstract: In this dissertation, I propose to examine the oral metadiscourse of advanced learners of Russian (RAL2). The data is drawn from speech samples collected at Time 1 and Time 2 during the subjects’ yearlong residence abroad. The first oral segment portrays RAL2s’ metadiscourse (MD) after four months of in-country residence, and the second oral segment demonstrates changes in MD that result from an additional five months spent in the target language environment. Speech samples include role-play and narration, which are the tasks that RAL2 carry out in the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language level 3 (TORFL-3) Professional mastery, speaking portion. From the perspective of the current study, TORFL-3 role-play situated in a professional context most vividly demonstrates the composition of RAL2 oral metadiscourse as participants engage in organizing their message and positioning themselves in a formal setting. In order to understand whether task format bears any significance, I also consider narrative from TORFL-3 and provide a between-task comparison of metadiscourse. To explore oral metadiscourse in RAL2s’ speech, I apply the functional framework of metadiscourse put forth by Hyland (2005). Such analysis illuminates the composition of unexplored facets of proficiency by offering a description of an RAL2 metadiscourse profile. Furthermore, this dissertation addresses the question of nativelikeness by comparing RAL2s’ and native speakers’ metadiscourse in role-plays. I explore the extent to which RAL2’s and native speakers’ (NS) metadiscourse exhibit similarities. The findings herein contribute to research on long-term study abroad gains, and they offer implications for instruction in the area of metadiscourse at the advanced level of proficiency.