Mobile application use in technology-enhanced DCTs

Catherine Rockey, Jessica Tiegs, Julieta Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In response to calls for improving the quality of DCTs as data-gathering instruments, this study investigates the effectiveness of technology-enhanced discourse completion tasks (TE-DCTs) as a method for eliciting nonverbal speaker data. We used a mobile application to administer four TE-DCTs to native speakers (L1) and intermediate and advanced second-language (L2) speakers of Spanish. Each TE-DCT contained two scenarios with the goal of capturing nonverbal devices used in the speech act of attention-getting (i.e., devices used to draw the interlocutor’s attention). The written description of each DCT scenario was supplemented with a short video clip to provide participants with nonverbal factors such as distance to interlocutor, bodily stance, and orientation of interlocutors. To capture nonverbal cues as part of the participant responses, the participant video recorded their oral responses to each scenario. The mobile application used was successful in capturing a variety of attention-getting elements, including nonverbal devices, in the majority of both L1 and L2 participant responses for all DCT scenarios. Drawing on this data, we argue for the use of mobile applications as an ecologically valid way to measure one type of pragmatic ability. In addition, we advocate their integration into L2 pedagogical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalCALICO Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention-getting devices
  • Discourse completion task
  • Gestures
  • TE-DCTs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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