NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1141844
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2191-611X
A Multimodal Analysis of Lexical Explanation Sequences in Webconferencing-Supported Language Teaching
Wigham, Ciara R.
Language Learning in Higher Education, v7 n1 p81-108 May 2017
Higher education institutions are increasingly interested in offering more flexible teaching and learning delivery methods that are often independent of place. Where foreign language learning is concerned, telecollaboration is gaining ground. This paper focuses on synchronous webconferencing-supported teaching and examines how different semiotic resources are used during lexical explanation sequences. The context is a telecollaborative exchange between Business students learning French and trainee teachers on a Master's programme in Teaching French as a Foreign Language. Using multimodal transcriptions of interaction data from two sessions, the sequential analysis provides access to different combinations of semiotic resources. These include using the visual mode to project active listening strategies and the complementary role of the text chat to secure common ground concerning the target item. The analysis sheds light on a "thinking break" strategy employed by the trainees. Descriptive examples demonstrate how verbal explanations were accompanied, firstly, by deictic and iconic gestures and, secondly, by metaphoric gestures used to help forefront different properties of the target item. Finally, changes in gaze and proximity were observed as playing a role in interaction management and in signalling which verbal modality was forefronted. The study illustrates emerging pedagogical and multimodal communication strategies for "doing vocabulary teaching".
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 121 High Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 857-284-7073; Fax: 857-284-7358; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France; Ireland (Dublin)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A