Type Forum
License CC BY 4.0

Interactional behavior of foreign language learners in synchronous CMC: Are they really interacting?

Abstract

The aim of this exploratory study was to better understand some of the factors that influenced language learning using asynchronous computer-mediated communication, by analysing interactional behaviour of foreign language learners. The participants were learners of Japanese at an Australian secondary school and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners at a Japanese high school, who communicated through a bulletin board system (BBS) using Japanese and English, to complete weekly tasks designed to develop understanding of the participants’ cultures. The messages on a BBS were analysed to see if meaningful interactions occurred between the participants, by determining whether the learners actually referred back to previous messages to provide appropriate answers, or whether learners simply wrote a series of monologues without reference to messages written by their interlocutors. The findings show that the threads of messages were often incoherent, and students did not always reply to requests for information posted by their overseas counterparts.

Citation

Tanaka-Ellis, N. (2011). Interactional behavior of foreign language learners in synchronous CMC: Are they really interacting?. The JALT CALL Journal, 7(3), 391-408.