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Traces of interactional competence in the digital wild

In this PhD project, I investigate how new patterns of interaction emerge and develop in digital language cafés.

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Jenny Gudmundsen (photo: Nadia Frantsen/UiO)

About the project

When moving to another country, many language learners have few opportunities to practice their new language. At language cafés, second language users (L2) can practice informal language learning by talking with volunteering first language users of Norwegian (L1). In the integration strategy (Kunnskapsdepartementet, 2019), language cafés are mentioned as an arena for the integration of immigrants with the purpose of “lowering the threshold of participation in the Norwegian society”. Because of distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, many language cafés moved to digital settings. This PhD-project deals with how people interact in such video-mediated environments (Arminen et al., 2016), and how their social conduct changes over time. 

The primary data for the study consists of video recordings of naturally occurring interactions. Using a method called longitudinal Conversation Analysis (CA) with a multimodal approach (Deppermann, 2013), I trace how new practices emerge and develop as part of speakers’ interactional competence (Wagner et al., 2018; Deppermann and Pekarek Doehler, 2021). Currently, my research focus is on how the chat function is oriented to and utilized in order to achieve mutual understanding and learn in language-oriented sequences. The study aims to add new insights into (language) learning in digital settings (Balaman, 2021; Uskokovic & Talehgani-Nikazm, 2022). With a few remarkable exceptions (Balaman, 2016; Pekarek Doehler & Balaman, 2021; Sert & Balaman, 2018), there is yet little longitudinal work done in video-mediated settings. 


March 2020 - April 2023. 


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

Balaman, U. (2016). A conversation analytic study on the development of interactional competence in English in an online task‐oriented environment. Doctoral thesis, Hacettepe University.

Balaman, U. (2021). The Interactional Organization of Video‐Mediated Collaborative Writing: Focus on Repair Practices. TESOL Quarterly, 55(3), 979–993.

Depperman, A. (2013). Introduction. Multimodal interaction from a conversation analytic perspective. Journal of pragmatics, 46, 1-7.

Kunnskapsdepartementet (2019, 7. August). Integrering gjennom kunnskap: Regjeringens integreringsstrategi 2019-2022 [Strategy]. Downloaded from:

Pekarek Doehler, S., & Balaman, U. (2021). The Routinization of Grammar as a Social Action Format: A Longitudinal Study of Video-Mediated Interactions. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 54(2), 183–202.

Sert, O., & Balaman, U. (2018). Orientations to negotiated language and task rules in online L2 interaction. ReCALL, 30(3), 355–374.

Uskokovic, B., & Talehgani-Nikazm, C. (2022). Talk and Embodied Conduct in Word Searches in Video-Mediated Interactions. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 5(1).

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.


Tags: Multilingual language practices
Published Aug. 7, 2020 4:18 PM - Last modified June 21, 2022 11:44 AM