Wednesday Seminar: The chat function as a resource in learning-related sequences in video-mediated L2 interaction

Jenny Gudmundsen (Doctoral Research Fellow, MultiLing) will discuss how the chat function is used for language learning in online language cafés.

Please note this is a closed event for MultiLing members only.

Jenny Gudmundsen smiling and wearing a beige top and glasses

Jenny Gudmundsen


Language cafés are informal arenas where second language users (or LX users, cf. Dewaele, 2018) can practice a new language with first language users. Using Conversation Analysis (CA) with a multimodal approach, I explore a longitudinal set of video recordings of naturally occurring interactions from a language café on Zoom.
When participants in a video-mediated setting encounter problems identifying or understanding specific words or phrases, they often mobilize the chat function to provide the written form of the vocabulary item. This study sets out to analyse how participants treat the vocabulary item as a ‘learnable’ (Majlesi and Broth, 2012) after its written form is visible in the chat, and thus how the chat function’s affordances contribute to the participants’ mutual understanding and orientation to language learning. Furthermore, I study how understanding and learning-related practices vary over time. Initial findings show that the chat function’s affordances help to 1) identify the word’s form as a first step in the process of understanding the meaning of the word, 2) understand spelling and pronunciation errors, 3) find new words, and that these practices diversify over time (Wagner et al., 2018). This study sheds light on how participants utilize technological resources to solve various vocabulary related problems within the multisemiotic ecology of video-mediated interaction (Arminen et al., 2016).


Arminen, I., Licoppe, C., & Spagnolli, A. (2016). Respecifying Mediated Interaction. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 49(4), 290–309.

Dewaele, J.-M. (2018). Why the Dichotomy ‘L1 Versus LX User’ is Better than ‘Native Versus Non-native Speaker’ Applied Linguistics39(2), 236–240.

Majlesi, A. R., & Broth, M. (2012). Emergent learnables in second language classroom interaction. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction1(3-4), 193–207.

Wagner, J., Pekarek Doehler, S. and González Martínez, E. (2018). Longitudinal Research on the Organization of Social Interaction: Current Developments and Methodological Challenges. In: Doehler, S.P., Wagner, J. and González Martínez, E. (Ed.), Longitudinal Studies on the Organization of Social Interaction (pp. 3-35). London: Palgrave Macmillan.


Jenny Gudmundsen is a Doctoral Research Fellow at MultiLing – Center for Multilingualism in Society Across the Lifespan. She holds an MA in Rhetorics and Communications. Before starting her PhD, she worked as a communication consultant at Gambit Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and has previously worked as a communication advisor at the Public Affairs division of the Royal Norwegian Air Force staff. Her research focuses on informal language learning at language cafés.

Published Nov. 4, 2021 9:58 AM - Last modified Nov. 4, 2021 9:58 AM