The role of proficiency, speaking habits and error-tolerance in the self-repair behaviour of Emirati EFL learners

Source of Publication

Asian EFL Journal


The main objective of the present paper is to shed light on the role of proficiency, error-tolerance and speaking habits in EFL speakers' self-repair behaviour. Thus far, research studies on self-repairs have not consistently identified the factors that contribute to EFL learners' self-repair behaviour during unrehearsed oral speech. In this study, self-repair behaviour was defined as the frequency and types of overt self-repairs as well as the rate of successful grammatical and lexical error-repairs. Speaking habits were considered on the basis of the aspects that speakers tend to focus more on while speaking (i.e. fluency, accuracy or precision of expression), while error-tolerance was operationalised as a) level of embarrassment when making errors in oral speech, b) level of irritation when others make mistakes while speaking EFL and c) perceptions of an ideal L2 speakers. The results showed that lower-intermediate participants performed more rephrasing repairs than their elementary counterparts. In addition, participants' perceptions of the ideal L2 speaker were found to contribute to a greater amount of self-repairs. The main findings show that increased proficiency contributes to qualitative differences in L2 self-repair behaviour while the frequency of self-repairs seems to depend on L2 speakers' perceptions of an ideal L2 speaker. Thus, self-repairing is not an exclusive linguistic or psycholinguistic phenomenon but a decision associated with personal beliefs about self-repairing and speaking in L2.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Effrosyni S. Georgiadou, Zayed University

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