My PhD dissertation is now available online!

I have just uploaded my dissertation to ResearchGate and Academia. It will also appear in Hacettepe University open access servers and be made accessible on Google Scholar. Find the title of the dissertation and the abstract below:

A Conversation Analytic Study on the Development of Interactional Competence in English in an Online Task-Oriented Environment

Tasks have long been used in order to promote interactional skills of learners in L2 settings including online environments. However, the nature of learning and development in these contexts have largely remained unexplored due to theory-driven, researcher-oriented, and coding-based treatments of online interaction data informed by cognitivist/interactionist accounts of SLA. Yet, a conversation analytic study has the potential to explicate the affordances of these environments through data-driven, participant-oriented emic treatments of naturally occurring interaction data by focusing on the participants’ emergent accomplishments of social actions on a longitudinal basis. To this end, this study aims to present the longitudinal development of interactional competence in L2 English based on conversation analytic examinations of participants’ online task-oriented interactions. For the purpose, a special task interface was designed for the delivery of online tasks to a group of participants who are undergraduate students and members of a free-time conversation club. The participants met online on Google Hangouts video-chat software for collaborative completion of the tasks once a week for a 20-week-long period. Their online task-oriented interactions were captured through a screen-recording software, thus the data includes their talk-in-interaction as well as on-screen activities such as web searches, candidate answer trials, scrolling, clicking, and highlighting. A database of 30 hours of online task-oriented L2 interactions was examined line-by-line and turn-by-turn using conversation analysis. The findings showed that the participants developed interactional competencies for collaborative task accomplishment. Their development was documented in two main interactional practices: (1) repair sequences and (2) epistemic positioning behaviors. The longitudinal tracking of the interactions revealed that the participants’ negotiation, co-construction of, and orientation to task rules unfolded with the use of language and rule policing actions (Amir & Musk, 2013) in the form of other-initiated other-repairs and evolved into self-initiated self-repairs over time in a way to evidence their developed abilities to anticipate and avoid breakdowns in communication (Martin 2004; 2009; Martin & Sahlström, 2010). Furthermore, the findings demonstrated that the participants developed new interactional resources in the L2 for collaborative task accomplishment. Their deployment of these emergent L2 resources for enacting congruent epistemic positioning with a growing diversification over time also decreased the number of disruptions of progressivity of online task-oriented interactions, which brings concrete evidence to the development of interactional competence in an L2 (Pekarek Doehler & Pochon-Berger, 2015). All in all, this study brings new insights into a variety of research strands that feed into the theoretical and pedagogical background of foreign language education such as L2 interactional competence, task-oriented interaction and TBLT, CALL and technology-mediated TBLT, epistemics in L2 interaction, and online interaction. As the first study to bridge L2 interactional competence, online interaction, and epistemics, the findings also have implications for the growing body of research on conversation analysis for second language acquisition (Markee & Kasper, 2004; Kasper & Wagner, 2011). Finally, the study revisits some mainstream cognitivist/interactionist SLA findings based on the emergent cases and resources.

Keywords: conversation analysis, L2 interactional competence, policing, epistemics, online interaction, task-oriented interaction, technology-mediated TBLT, CALL, SLA, foreign language education

Download at ResearchGate and Academia

All the best,

Dr. Ufuk Balaman

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