Online interaction: negotiation of meaning and strategies used among learners of Spanish


Online interactive exchange offers learners many opportunities to use the target language to negotiate both meaning and form in a social context that is crucial for second language acquisition (SLA). This paper discusses the interaction between non-native speakers (NNSs) and the types of communication strategies employed during the online communication. A total of forty students participated in online discussions using a private chatroom. Data from this study suggest that interactive strategies facilitate comprehension of input and output. The results show that regardless of proficiency level, students used a variety of communication strategies. However, students tended to use more comprehension checks, clarification checks, requests and self-repairs to negotiate with each other. The quick interactions taking place in cyberspace impeded students from producing correct and coherent discourse, especially during the learner-learner interaction. Pedagogically, students need to be advised of the need to write correctly to maintain a balance between function, content, and accuracy. One of the corrective techniques is to make students re-examine and revise their exchanges with guided instruction. The current study focused on online interaction among NNSs. To claim the effectiveness of online interaction in SLA with certainty, future studies on online negotiation must include both NNSs and native speakers.


Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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Cambridge University Press

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