Interactional Competences and Practices in a Second Language

Mittwoch 18. Januar 2017 — Freitag 20. Januar 2017 — Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Interactional Competences and Practices in a Second Language

Prof. Dr. Simona Pekarek Doehler, Dr. Evelyne Berger, Dr. Virginie Fasel Lauzon, Dr. Cécile Petitjean

Throughout the past two decades, interactional competences and practices have gained unprecedented attention in research on second language (L2) acquisition, use and education. Following Dell Hymes’ conceptualization of communicative competence, various lines of research have for long been concerned with pragmatic development in an L2, mostly focusing on the realization of speech acts. Yet, it is only recently that research has started to systematically investigate how people's capacity to engage in social interaction is affected in their L2 and how their ability to participate in such interaction evolves over time.

When participating in social interactions, we orient to each other, we synchronize our mutual conducts, we make recognizable our actions to others and we finely monitor the trajectories of other people's actions. Opening a telephone conversation, launching a conversational storytelling, agreeing or disagreeing with others, or simply taking a turn at talk all involve highly organized socially coordinated procedures that, most typically, are experienced by participants as non-problematic in L1 talk. However, what happens when people move into an L2?

Under the heading ‘L2 interactional competences and practices in a second language’ (ICOP-L2), this conference brings together researchers from various horizons (e.g. linguistics, education, sociology) who investigate how people engage in second language talk-in-interaction: What are the basic ingredients of L2 interactional competence? How does such competence vary across situations and over time? How do L2 speakers use the linguistic resources at their disposal to accomplish social actions in coordination with others? How do linguistic and other resources (gaze, gesture, posture) work together in L2 talk? How does social interaction structure learning processes and learning products? How can L2 interactional competence and learning through interaction be addressed in educational contexts? These are among the questions that will be tackled during the conference.

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