Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139


This study seeks to examine variations in patterns of interactivity as they are displayed in the ongoing discourse construction of high and low self-efficacy learners of Spanish in the context of computermediated-communication. The paper specifically focuses on the analysis of synchronous text chats of six university students of Spanish at intermediate level over the course of two semesters as they carried out semi-directed discussions. The analytical framework is drawn from Eggins and Slade’s (2006) model of speech functions within Systemic Functional Linguistics which, to our knowledge, has never been applied to second language online chat discussions. This approach highlights how general patterns of dominance, sustainability and dependence in the management of discourse behaviour are displayed through the participants’ contributions. The analysis suggests in particular that the realisation of interactivity can be traced back to the negotiation of exchanges concerned with social and interpersonal relations. These findings become particularly relevant when considered within the wider educational debate of participation and acquisition (Sfard, 1998), as the interpersonal relations of people who engage in collaborative activities are normally considered peripheral to second or foreign language learning (Pavlenko & Lantolf, 2000). On the basis of the present analysis, a further elaboration of the model is proposed to take account of the relational perspective that would need to be tested in future studies using similar data.


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