Modern language: Interaction in conversational NS-NNS video SCMC eTandem exchanges

Strawbridge, Tripp
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
(co-sponsored by Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning, University of Texas at Austin)
This study investigates the interaction of native speaker–non-native speaker (NS-NNS) dyads engaged in conversational interaction as part of a video-based synchronous computer mediated communication (VidSCMC) eTandem language program. Previous work has indicated certain advantages of NNS-NS conversational interaction for language learning (e.g., Nakahama et al., 2001); however, this potential has not been tested empirically for interaction in voice-based synchronous computer mediated communication (SVCMC) platforms, despite their growing popularity among language learners (Yanguas & Bergin, 2018). Participants were 18 university students (9 L1 English-L2 Spanish; 9 L1 Spanish-L2 English) taking part in a VidSCMC eTandem language partnership between two universities, in the United States and Mexico. Building on previous interactionist work on synchronous computer mediated communication (SCMC), language related episodes (LREs) were analyzed for quantity, trigger type, initiator, reactive or preemptive status, instances of negotiation, and the provision of negative feedback. Results show a remarkably even distribution of LRE types and linguistic foci, with NSs and NNSs taking equal responsibility in promoting globally- and locally-focused target language (TL) comprehension and output through their engagement in LREs. These patterns are reflective of the simultaneously shared status of learner and expert by the members of NS-NNS eTandem exchange dyads. Results are discussed in light of the changing relationship between language and language learners brought on by modern technologies.
Computer Mediated Communication, Second Language Acquisition, eTandem, Interaction
Strawbridge, T. (2021). Modern language: Interaction in conversational NS-NNS video SCMC eTandem exchanges. Language Learning & Technology, 25(2), 94–110.
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