Impact of Native-Nonnative Speaker Interaction Through Video Communication and Second Life on Students' Intercultural Communicative Competence

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© 2012


One of the key concerns of educators is to come to know what works in language teaching and under which conditions (Intercultural) Communicative Competence can be furthered. This concern is even bigger among professionals experimenting or willing to experiment with new media. Following socio-constructivist theories of learning (Vygotsky, 1978) and interactionist theories within SLA (Mackey & Polio, 2009) that put interaction at the heart of the learning process, we present the results of a case study in which interaction patterns and cultural and language related episodes (Swain & Lapkin, 1995) conducive to intercultural language learning are analysed in three research conditions: (1) foreign language learners (FLLs) interacting with native speakers through video communication; (2) FLLs interacting with native speakers through Second Life; and (3) FLLs interacting with each other in the classroom setting. The study analyses the impact that (1) bringing native speakers into the foreign language course through new media and (2) the use of different voiced synchronous tools (video communication v. Second Life) have on interaction patterns conducive to rich learning contexts.

Keywords: SCMC, second life, videocommunication, intercultural communication, negotiation of meaning.


Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Jauregi, K., Canto, S., de Graaff, R., Koenraad, T., & Moonen, M. (2011). Verbal interaction in Second Life: towards a pedagogic framework for task design. Computer Assisted Language Learning Journal, 24(1), 77-101. doi: 10.1080/09588221.2010.538699

Mackey, A., & Polio, C. (Eds.) (2009). Multiple Perspectives on Interaction: Second Language Research in Honor of Susan M. Gass. New York: Routledge.

Swain. M., & Lapkin, S. (1995). Problems in output and the cognitive processes they generate: A step towards second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 16(3), 371-91. doi: 10.1093/applin/16.3.371

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind & Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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Jauregi, Kristi; Canto, Silvia. (2012). Impact of Native-Nonnative Speaker Interaction Through Video Communication and Second Life on Students' Intercultural Communicative Competence. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 151-155).

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