Visiting Researcher Presentation: Socio-cognitive Strategies in Tandem Context

Sociocognitive Strategies in Tandem Context: Misunderstanding in Brazilian Portuguese as an Additional Language (BPAL)

Foreign language learning in-tandem involves pairs of native (or competent) speakers of different languages working collaboratively in order to learn the language of the other. But the spoken is not comprehensible all the time. It means we need to face the misunderstanding situation while learning a new language such as BPAL. Given this, what kind of sociocognitive strategies can ensure understanding in BPAL?

The study is based on information of my doctoral thesis project in Linguistics. The research aims to investigate the sociocognitive strategies that nine learners of Brazilian Portuguese as an Additional Language (BPAL) use to solve misunderstandings, to exchange social and cultural experiences, and concomitantly, to develop autonomy as well as to strengthen social interactions of the participants. This research demonstrates how the response of the participants concerning the misunderstandings is and how they apply sociocognitive strategies ensures understanding of multimodal text and oral production in BPAL. A group of nine students from the Portuguese for Spanish Speakers Class at Georgetown University worked online and collaboratively with nine Brazilian students, who wanted to improve their English and were students at the Federal Institute of Education, Science, and Technology of Goias (IFG-campus Valparaíso) in Brazil. Each pair of students played the role of learning the language of the other in eight tandem sessions during the fall semester of 2017 by means of online computer. The data was collected from different instruments such as a software called Zoom, eight tracking sheets, one pretest, one posttest, and two written reports. Ms. Costa hopes the results might map the sociocognitive strategies that learners of BPAL use to solve misunderstandings in a tandem context.

Nívia Maria Assunção Costa is a CLAS Visiting Researcher and PhD Candidate of Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics, Portuguese, and Classical Languages in the Program of Postgraduate studies in Linguistic of Brasilia University.

Lunch will be provided for all attendees. If you have any dietary restrictions or require reasonable accommodation, email your request to

Tuesday, January 16 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 450
37th and O St., N.W., Washington


Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Public


Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Center for Latin American Studies






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