Click if You Want to Speak: Reframing CA for Research into Multimodal Conversations in Online Learning

Click if You Want to Speak: Reframing CA for Research into Multimodal Conversations in Online Learning

Marie-Noëlle Lamy
DOI: 10.4018/jvple.2012010101
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This paper addresses the lack of formalised methodology for analysing learner interaction data created in conversations on audiographic platforms. First the author shows the importance of conversations in language learning and the need for researchers to understand how users learn from these interactions. Then the author establishes that appropriate methodologies for investigating interaction data collected from online platforms have as yet emerged neither from the field of computer-assisted language learning nor from conversation analysis (CA). Three brief multimodal conversations involving language learners in platform-based tutorials are analysed. The author shows that linguistic means of communication are only one way in which to achieve learning aims and other communication modes are identified. The author concludes that the analysis and interpretation of such exchanges can be improved by a crossdisciplinary approach which consists of augmenting constructs drawn from CA with selected constructs from social semiotics.
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Researching Language Learner Exchanges In Technological Environments

However, teachers as well as researchers often fail to take proper account of the nature of the new environments in which exchanges occur. For example, noting teachers’ preference for linguistic communication over other means available in such environments, Karabulut and Correia (2008) judiciously warn them that “if not carefully designed, web-based videoconferencing sessions may turn into mediocre lectures because not full advantage of the medium is taken. Converting in-class interactions into synchronous environments requires extensive design considerations” (Karabulut & Correia, 2008, p. 481).

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