Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This study investigated the effects of a computer-mediated (CM) interaction task on university level ESL learners' lexical development while doing collaborative dialogues using MSN instant messenger in non-native student to non-native student (NNS-NNS) dyads. Specifically, the study examined the learners' interaction by looking at MSN messenger scripts to find the negotiation routines. Also, the mean pre-test and two post-test scores were compared to assess the acquisition of new lexical items. This study investigated whether the learners used an online dictionary and whether they selected the most appropriate words in the given context. The participants were 10 (6 male, 4 female) native Koreans who were enrolled in Iowa State University. The research design included a pre-test, a treatment activity, an immediate post-test, and a 3 week delayed post-test. The pre-test containing 35 vocabulary words whose referents were food and kitchen items was given to choose the target items. The type of treatment activity used in this study was an information-gap activity in which the students were required to request and obtain information from each other to complete the task. Two post-tests were administered 1 day and 3 weeks after the treatment activity to assess the acquisition of new lexical items. Finally, each student completed a follow-up survey regarding the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) task they had performed. The result showed that the CM interaction task helped the students to acquire new lexical items, especially when they interacted with the words. Moreover, all of the students were able to negotiate the meaning of new lexical items while completing their tasks, especially on the first day activities. All of the eight target lexical items prompted negotiation for all of the dyads. In addition, most of the students reported a positive attitude towards CM interaction and that they found synchronous chat as an interesting way of learning. Moreover, the data suggested that the CM interaction task encouraged the students to use various types of interactional modifications. The online dictionary was actively, and in some instances creatively, used by the students. However, the online dictionary did not sufficiently help the learners to understand the words.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Soh Youn Kim



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

87 pages