Interactional practices to manage epistemic stances in online searches during a computer-mediated conversation-for-learning




conversation analysis, online searches, second language interaction, stance management


Despite rising interests in the manifestations of second language (L2) interactional competence (IC) in online language learning activities (e.g., Balaman & Sert, 2017a, 2017b; González-Lloret, 2016), the intersection between epistemic and affective stancetaking in the online space remains largely unexplored. This paper examines how an intermediate-level learner jointly managed epistemics and affect with a tutor in a teleconference session designed as a conversation-for-learning. The analysis focuses on web search sequences occasioned by emergent asymmetries in the ongoing talk, and how the participants leveraged resources to negotiate knowledge positions and index emotions during online searches. Findings reveal that epistemic and affective stance management actions are a prominent aspect of online search sequences. For example, during an online search, the tutee demonstrates his L2 IC by citing and attributing responsibility to the source in response to epistemic primacy challenges. In the process, he also utilised affective resources such as laughter and a term of endearment to delicately manage disagreements. By focusing on the management of epistemic and affective stances, this study informs pedagogical decisions about the use of online searches in L2 learning activities.


Metrics Loading ...


Asmuß, B. (2011). Proposing shared knowledge as a means of pursuing agreement. In S. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.), The morality of knowledge in conversation (pp. 207–234). Cambridge University Press.

Balaman, U., & Sert, O. (2017a). Development of L2 interactional resources for online collaborative task accomplishment. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(7), 601–630.

Balaman, U., & Sert, O. (2017b). The coordination of online L2 interaction and orientations to task interface for epistemic progression. Journal of Pragmatics, 115(2017), 115–129.

Balaman, U., & Pekarek Doehler, S. (2021). Navigating the complex social ecology of screen-based activity in video-mediated interaction. Pragmatics.

Burch, A. R., & Kasper, G. (2016). ‘Like Godzilla’: Enactments and formulations in telling a disaster story in Japanese. In M. Prior & G. Kasper (Eds.), Emotion in multilingual interaction (pp. 57–85). Benjamins.

Burch, A. R., & Kley, K. (2020). Assessing interactional competence: The role of intersubjectivity in a paired-speaking assessment task. Papers in Language Testing and Assessment, 9(1), 25–63.

Cekaite, A. (2012). Affective stances in teacher-novice student interactions: Language, embodiment, and willingness to learn in a Swedish primary classroom. Language in Society, 41, 641–670.

Cekaite, A. (2016). Emotional stances and interactional competence: Learning to calibrate disagreements, objections, and refusals. In M. Prior & G. Kasper (Eds.), Emotion in multilingual interaction (pp. 131–152). Benjamins.

Cekaite, A. (2017). What makes a child a good language learner? Interactional competence, identity, and immersion in a Swedish classroom. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 37, 45–61.

Drew, P. (2003). Comparative analysis of talk-in-interaction in different institutional settings: A sketch. In P. Glenn, C. LeBaron & J. Mandelbaum (Eds.), Studies in language and social interaction (pp. 293–308). Erlbaum.

Du Bois, J. (2007). The stance triangle. In R. Englebreston (Ed.), Stancetaking in discourse. Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction (pp. 139–182). Benjamins.

González-Lloret, M. (2016). The construction of emotion in multilingual computer-mediated interaction. In M. Prior & G. Kasper (Eds.), Emotion in multilingual interaction (pp. 289–311). Benjamins.

Hall, J. K. (2018). From L2 interactional competence to L2 interactional repertoires: Reconceptualizing the objects of L2 learning. Classroom Discourse, 9(1), 25–39.

Hall, J. K., & Pekarek Doehler, S. (2011). L2 interactional competence and development. In J. K. Hall, J. Hellermann, and S. Pekarek Doehler (Eds.), L2 interactional competence and development (pp. 1–15). Multilingual Matters.

Have, P. t. (2007). Doing conversation analysis, 2nd Ed. Sage.

Heath, C., Lehn, D. v., Cleverly, J., & Luff, P. (2012). Revealing surprise: The local ecology and the transposition of action. In A. Peräkylä & M-L, Sorjonen (Eds.), Emotion in interaction (pp. 212–234). Oxford University Press.

Hellermann, J. (2011). Members’ methods, members competencies: Looking for evidence of language learning in longitudinal investigation of other-initiated repair. In J. K. Hall, J. Hellermann & S. Pekarek Doehler (Eds.), L2 interactional competence and development (pp. 147–172). Multilingual Matters.

Heritage, J. (1984). A change-of-state token and aspects of its sequential placement. In J. M. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of Social Action: Studies in conversation analysis (pp. 299–345). Cambridge University Press.

Heritage, J. (2013). Epistemics in conversation. In J. Sidnell & T. Stivers (Eds.), The handbook of conversation analysis (1st ed., pp. 370–394). Blackwell.

Jefferson, G. (1988). On the sequential organization of troubles-talk in ordinary conversation. Social Problems, 35(4), 418–441.

Jefferson, G. (2004). Glossary of transcript symbols with an introduction. In G. Lerner (Ed.), Conversation analysis: Studies from the first generation (pp. 13–31). Benjamins.

Kangasharju, H. (2009). Preference for disagreement? A comparison of three disputes. In M. Haakana, M. Laakso & J. Lindström (Eds.), Talk in interaction. Comparative dimensions (pp. 231–253). Studia Fennica Linguistica.

Kärkkäinen, E. (2003). Epistemic stance in English conversation. A description of its interactional functions, with a focus on I think. Benjamins.

Kasper, G. (2006). Beyond repair: Conversation analysis as an approach to SLA. AILA Review, 19, 83–99.

Keevallik, L. (2011). The terms of not knowing. In S. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.), The morality of knowledge in conversation (pp. 184–206). Cambridge University Press.

Kim, Y. (2017). Topic initiation in conversation-for-learning: Developmental and pedagogical perspectives. English Teaching, 72(1), 73–103.

Kim, S. (2019). “We limit ten under twenty centu charge okay?”: Routinization of an idiosyncratic multi-word expression. In J. Hellermann, S. Pekarek-Doehler, S. W. Eskildsen & A. Piirainen-Marsh (Eds.), Conversation analytic research on learning-in-action: The complex ecology of second language interaction ‘in the wild’ (pp. 25–49). Springer.

Lamb, G. (2016). Smiling together, laughing together: Multimodal resources projecting affect in L1/L2 conversational storytelling. In M. Prior & G. Kasper (Eds.), Emotion in multilingual interaction (pp. 29–56). Benjamins.

Lerner, G. (1996). Finding “face” in the preference structures of talk-in-interaction. Social Psychology Quarterly, 59(4), 303–321.

Mondada, L. (2011). The management of knowledge discrepancies and of epistemic changes in institutional interactions. In S. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.), The morality of knowledge in conversation (pp. 27–57). Cambridge University Press.

Nguyen, H. t. (2011). A longitudinal microanalysis of a second language learner’s participation. In G. Pallotti & J. Wagner (Eds.), L2 learning as social practice: Conversation-analytic perspectives (pp. 17–44). National Foreign Language Resource Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Nguyen, H. t. (2012a). Developing interactional competence: A conversation analytic study of patient consultations in pharmacy. Palgrave Macmillan.

Nguyen, H. t. (2012b). Social interaction and competence development: Learning the sequential organization of a communicative practice. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 1(2), 127–142.

Nguyen, H. t. (2017). The sequential organization of text and speech in multimodal synchronous computer-mediated communication. Text & Talk, 37(1), 93–116.

Nguyen, H. t. (2019a). Developing interactional competence in a lingua franca at the workplace: An ethnomethodologically endogenous account. In H. t. Nguyen & T. Malabarba (Eds.), Conversation analytic perspectives on English language learning, teaching and testing in global contexts (pp. 59–84). Multilingual Matters.

Nguyen, H. t. (2019b). Turn design as longitudinal achievement: Learning on the shop floor. In J. Hellermann, S. W. Eskildsen, S. Pekarek Doehler & A. Piirainen-Marsh (Eds.), Conversation analytic research on learning-in-action: The complex ecology of second language interaction ‘in the wild’. Springer.

Nguyen, H. t., Choe, A. T., & Vicentini, C. (in press). Opportunities for second language learning in online search sequences during a computer-mediated tutoring session. Classroom Discourse.

Nielsen, M. F. (2019). Adjusting or verbalizing visuals in ICT-mediated professional encounters.’ In D. Day., & J. Wagner (Eds.), Objects, bodies and work practice (pp. 191–215). Multilingual Matters.

Pekarek Doehler, S., & Petitjean, C. (2017). Introduction: Interactional competences in institutional settings—Young people between school and work. In S. Pekarek Doehler, A. Bangerter, G. de Weck, L. Filliettaz, E. González-Martinez, & C. Petitjean (Eds.), Interactional competences in institutional settings: From school to the workplace (pp. 1–26). Palgrave Macmillan.

Pekarek Doehler, S., & Pochon-Berger, E. (2015). The development of L2 interactional competence: Evidence from turn-taking organization, sequence organization, repair organization and preference organization. In T. Cadierno & S. W. Eskildsen (Eds.), Usage-based perspectives on second language learning (pp. 233–267). Mouton de Gruyter.

Pekarek Doehler, S., & Berger, E. (2019). On the reflexive relation between developing L2 interactional competence and evolving social relationships: A longitudinal study of word-searches in the ‘wild.’ In J. Hellermann, S. W. Eskildsen, S. Pekarek Doehler, & A. Piirainen-Marsh (Eds.), Conversation analytic research on learning-in-action: The complex ecology of second language interaction ‘in the wild’ (pp. 51–75). Springer International Publishing.

Pomerantz, A. (1984). Giving a source or basis: The practice in conversation of telling ‘how I know’. Journal of Pragmatics, 8, 607–625.

Pouromid, S. (2020). Oiling the epistemic engine in intercultural L2 talk with short tokens of surprise. The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7(1), 130–140.

Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis (vol. 1). Cambridge University Press.

Sert, O. (2013). ‘Epistemic status check’ as an interactional phenomenon in instructed learning settings. Journal of Pragmatics, 45(2013), 13–28.

Sert, O., & Walsh, S. (2013). The interactional management of claims of insufficient knowledge in English language classrooms. Language and Education, 27(6), 542–565.

Sorjonen, M-L., & Peräkylä, A. (2012). Introduction. In A. Peräkylä & M-L. Sorjonen (Eds.), Emotion in interaction (pp. 3–15). Oxford University Press.

Stevanovic, M., & Peräkylä, A. (2014). Three orders in the organization of human action: On the interface between knowledge, power, and emotion in interaction and social relations. Language in Society, 43, 185–207.

Stivers, T. (2008). Stance, alignment, and affiliation during storytelling: When nodding is a token of affiliation. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 41(1), 31–57.

Stivers, T., Mondada, L., & Steensig, J. (2011). Knowledge, morality and affiliation in social interaction. In T. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.), The morality of knowledge in conversation (pp. 3–24). Cambridge University Press.

Watanabe, A. (2017). Developing L2 interactional competence: Increasing participation through self-selection in post-expansion sequences.” Classroom Discourse, 8(3), 271–293.

Young, R. F. (2009). Discursive practice in language learning and teaching. Wiley-Blackwell.




How to Cite

Interactional practices to manage epistemic stances in online searches during a computer-mediated conversation-for-learning. (2022). TESOL in Context, 30(2).
Share |

Similar Articles

1-10 of 74

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.