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Conversation Analysis of Computer-Mediated Communication

CALICO Journal Volume 28, Number 2, ISSN 0742-7778


The potential of computer-mediated communication (CMC) for language learning resides mainly in the possibility that learners have to engage with other speakers of the language, including L1 speakers. The inclusion of CMC in the L2 classroom provides an opportunity for students to utilize authentic language in real interaction, rather than the more traditional institutionally asymmetric, nonnegotiable, and teacher controlled classroom discourse. However, still much research is needed addressing what happens during CMC interaction and the effectiveness of this tool for language learning. This article explores the potential of conversation analysis (CA) to contribute to the understanding of L2 CMC. It presents previous CA research on synchronous CMC (SCMC) and L2 interaction, and, as an illustration of how CA can be employed for the study of CMC, a longitudinal case study of a Spanish L2 learner engaged in interaction with a L1 Spanish speaker is microanalyzed using CA. Finally, the article outlines the strengths of CA for the analysis of CMC and identifies the limitations of the method both for the study of CMC as well as for language learning in general and provides future possible lines of research. (Contains 6 extracts and 6 notes.)


Gonzalez-Lloret, M. (2011). Conversation Analysis of Computer-Mediated Communication. CALICO Journal, 28(2), 308-325. Retrieved December 15, 2019 from .

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