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Understanding synchronous online and face-to-face communication with EFL learners

, University of Alberta , Canada

University of Alberta . Awarded


This study investigated how L2 discourses were differed in computer-mediated communication (CMC) and face-to-face (FTF) communication. Incorporating insights from social-interactionist and discourse-analytic perspectives, this study investigated the conversations of Korean English teachers engaging in two activities: an information gap task and role playing, both common second language classroom activities. In particular, this research focused on the conversations of triad groups whose pedagogical advantages in CMC have not been investigated until now, even though small group work has often been employed in FIF.

This study revealed that L2 discourse patterns constantly changed on their own in every activity, regardless of communication modes, activity types, or the amount of negotiation. This indicates that L2 practices were not singularly conditioned by the influences of a particular factor, and were rather constantly shaped by multiple factors and their relationships to each other. The qualitative analysis of the data also demonstrated that the different activities in distinct learning contexts provided diverse opportunities for negotiating meaning as well as for divergent qualities of discourse to the participants. The different activities in the two different learning contexts led L2 participants not only to use a varied quality of L2 discourses, but also to engage in a dissimilar quality of negotiations in FTF and CMC.

The examination on those factors provided some useful insights on how the CMC triad group conversations should be employed for effective L2 learning. This study concluded that in order to broaden the rich learning opportunities of CMC small group activities, it would be critical to consider the constraints of CMC and to give more careful attention to the questions concerning how CMC influences the learners' language, behavior, and their relationship, as well as developing CMC group work practices that focus on learners as agents who have varying interests and motivational responses.


Kim, K.S. Understanding synchronous online and face-to-face communication with EFL learners. Ph.D. thesis, University of Alberta. Retrieved April 24, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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