The Role of NS Personality and Experience in NS-NNS Interaction


  • Tracey M. Derwing



This study investigates the relationship of native speakers' (NSs) personality traits and experience interacting with non-native speakers (NNSs) to the use of conversational adjustments and differences in word frequency and speech rate. Eight ESL instructors and eight persons who had no regular contact with NNSs were asked to view a film, then tell a NS and a NNS partner its story. Transcripts of the subjects' film narratives to the listeners were examined for differences in word frequency, rate, and conversational adjustments. Although the ESL instructors used certain conversational adjustments significantly more with NNSs than did the inexperienced subjects, the two groups did not differ in terms of word frequency or rate. When subjects were grouped according to the personality traits of interpersonal affect and social participation, they did not differ in overall usage of conversational adjustments, but significant differences were found in both word frequency and speech rate.




How to Cite

Derwing, T. M. (1991). The Role of NS Personality and Experience in NS-NNS Interaction. TESL Canada Journal, 9(1), 09–28.