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