Developing an empirically-driven aural multiple-choice DCT for conventional expressions in L2 pragmatics

Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig, Yunwen Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on the development of an aural multiple-choice discourse completion task (aural MC-DCT) for use with EFL learners for large-scale instructional needs assessment. The original version of the aural MC-DCT and an oral DCT were administered to 134 EFL learners from three universities in China. The aural MC-DCT was revised based on the results of the initial administration and completed by 251 EFL students and 89 native speakers of American English in a second administration. Both versions of the task used learner-generated options. The first version used digital files of learner production from an earlier oral DCT taken by ESL learners; the second version re-recorded the learner-produced options using native speakers of American English. The results from the second version show that the aural MC-DCT is a feasible format for exploring learner knowledge of conventional expressions by comparing learner selections to production on the oral DCT, which has been established as a reliable measure of L2 English conventional expressions. The aural MC-DCT provides teachers with a practical alternative to the transcription and analysis required by the oral DCT, allowing them to easily assess knowledge of target conventional expressions and preferred alternatives in order to facilitate decisions about instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-40
Number of pages40
JournalApplied Pragmatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 16 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • aural multiple-choice DCT
  • aural tasks
  • conventional expressions
  • DCT
  • oral DCTs
  • pragmatic routines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


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