Extending talk on a prescribed discussion topic in a learner-native speaker eTandem learning task

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Opportunities for language learners to access authentic input and engage in consequential interactions with native speakers of their target language abound in this era of computer mediated communication. Synchronous audio/video calling software represents one opportunity to access such input and address the challenges of developing pragmatic and interactional competence (Barron and Black 2015, Constructing small talk in learner-native speaker voice-based telecollaboration: A focus on topic management and backchanneling. System 48. 112-128). The synthesis of telecollaborative technology with the development of pragmatic and interactional competence is an area of burgeoning research (Taguchi 2011, Teaching pragmatics: Trends and issues. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 31. 289-310). The present study represents a contribution to this growing area set in the particular context of an eTandem partnership. Data is drawn from Language LINC, a corpus of telecollaborative eTandem interactions between German-speaking learners of English and English-speaking learners of German. The eTandem meetings that comprise this corpus were centred around tasks to be completed for the students' respective language classes. The study investigates how learners and native speakers manage a prespecified discussion topic set for the English portion of an eTandem meeting. As the topic is prescribed, it imposes constraints on the students' interactions and requires them to continue talk on this topic for an extended amount of time. Student participants delimit their talk by clearly initiating and later closing down the topic. Within these boundaries, questions are used as a resource to confront the interactional problem of extending talk on the prescribed topic.

ZeitschriftLanguage Learning in Higher Education
Seiten (von - bis)161-184
Anzahl der Seiten24
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 05.2017