Cut-offs and co-occurring gestures: Similarities between speakers’ first and second languages.

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This paper explores cut-offs in the oral narrations of Spanish native speakers in their mother tongue (L1), and in their language-under-study, English (L2). Fluency in the L2 varies with proficiency, and so cut-offs offer a possible means of evaluating this. However, there are certain aspects of fluency which might be common to the L1 and the L2, suggesting that the L1 and L2 share cognitive factors that lead to similar disfluency patterns. To determine if cut-offs are reliable markers of L2 fluency, independent of those occurring in the L1, we assessed the cut-off patterns in the L1 and L2 narrations of this group of speakers, following a multimodal approach. We observed similarities in both languages, potentially indicating that speakers use comparable cut-off-gesture patterns in the L1 and L2. We conclude that using speakers’ cut-offs in an L2 to gauge proficiency is meaningful only if the L1 cut-off behaviour is known.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


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