6. Peer interaction in F2F and CMC contexts

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The current chapter adopts an interactionist perspective to investigate various characteristics of L2 learners’ interaction in three different communication modalities: face-to-face, oral synchronous computer-mediated communication, and written synchronous computer-mediated communication. Forty-eight intermediate proficiency L2 learners of English engaged in three different interactive tasks in one of the three communicative contexts. Characteristics of interaction that are considered to be beneficial for L2 development, namely negotiation for meaning, recasts, and language-related episodes, were identified in the discourse and compared across the three modalities. In addition, task effects on interaction were compared. Results indicated that interaction during the face-to-face and oral synchronous computer-mediated communication was similar, but differed from written synchronous computer-mediated communication in terms of a greater number of confirmation checks and language-related episodes. However, no differences in interactional features were found across the three different tasks. These results suggest that different communication modalities may afford different opportunities for learners.


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