NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1157354
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2191-611X
Conversational Interaction and the Development of Conversational Competence in Additional Languages in Higher Education: Considerations for Students, Language Centres, and Language Policy Developers
Meyer, Stephan; Blondel, Valérie; Mall-Grob, Beatrice
Language Learning in Higher Education, v7 n2 p239-274 Oct 2017
This article addresses the questions: why is the development of conversational competence important within higher education? And how might this goal be pursued? We offer answers that may aid a broad range of stakeholders (language learners, course designers, lecturers, language development managers, and policy makers) in thinking through these issues. Our point of departure is the view that, whilst conversational interaction is significant, prevalent and complex, the development of conversational competence receives insufficient attention. We propose that this indispensable skill can be enhanced through dedicated development in the process of learning additional languages. To illustrate how this could be done, we provide extended examples from three conversation courses that are informed by a broad and normative definition of conversation that is coupled with a didactics of conversation rooted in critical theory and critical discourse analysis. The three courses are: a French conversation class in which conversation serves as mediator of identity and difference in an imagined community; conversations between learners of German who are paired with residents of a retirement home where conversation serves to fortify auto/biographical, intercultural and intergenerational contracts; and an English conversation group in which learners combine topic-oriented conversations with shaping the conversations that in turn shape them. Combined, these courses foreshadow fragments of an explicit curriculum aimed at developing conversational competence.
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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A