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This paper examines the sequential contexts where repetition is observed in NS-NNS interview interactions involving Chinese learners of English. Special reference is made to how repetition practiced by NS and NNS is differently distributed in ways consistent with their identities situated in the institutional setting of interview. The examination of data reveals that Chinese EFL learners frequently use repetition as a discourse strategy. They repeat the topically salient phrases or key words from the prior utterances of native speakers at the utterance initial position in adjacency pairs. Such an allo-repetition (repetition of others) is to index topicality, which helps signal cognitive, textual, and affective participation or involvement in contextualized discourse. Such a repetition also functions to buy time for the speaker to finish planning his/her next move without relinquishing the floor. Here, repetition is deployed as a means of creating joint cognition and as a strategy with which partially competent speakers can find room in interaction, while a competent speaker can provide scaffolded help collaboratively. We can see that repetition is a social activity, part of our everyday behavior and not just a marker of a "disfluency" or "sloppy speaker" (Schegloff 1987). Repetition clearly has the power as a communication and negotiation tool