The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

Current Issue

Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 20

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.157-179
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Mar 2020
Received 02 Feb 2020 Revised 30 May 2020 Accepted 30 Jun 2020

Increased Usage of Syntactic Resources in Turn-taking as the Indicators for IC Development
Kim, Du Re
Jamsin High School

Copyright 2020 KASELL
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Responding to a call by Pekarek Doehler and Pochon-Berger (2015) to investigate the relationship between L2 syntax in turn-taking and interactional competence (IC), the main purpose of this empirical study is to find the evidence of IC construct and its development by comparing how L2 users of different proficiency apply syntactic resources for constructing turn construction units (TCUs) and for projecting possible turn-taking points in talk-in-interaction. The study shows that novice L2 participants depended on a single word or simple repeats in the formation of turn construction units (TCUs) and applied limited syntactic resources for projecting turn transition places. Intermediate L2 speakers, on the other hand, utilized more complicated syntactic resources in constructing TCUs and in projecting possible completion points so that the co-participants could find sequentially relevant places to take turns. The result of the study also displays that TCU construction without evident and substantial syntactic resources required further decoding work for the recipients to disambiguate speakers’ actions. The study argues turn-taking practice significantly rely on L2 users’ affordedness to use syntactic resources for constructing TCUs, as it clearly demonstrates speakers’ current action under way, which confirms that IC development is closely interrelated to L2 syntactic development.

Keywords: second language acquisition, conversation analysis, turn-takings, turn construction unit (TCU), interactional competence

1. Bella, S. 2011. Mitigation and politeness in Greek invitation refusals: Effects of length of residence in the target community and intensity of interaction on non-native speakers’ performance. Journal of pragmatics 43, 1718-40.
2. Carroll, D. 2005. Restarts in novice turn beginnings: Disfluencies or interactional achievements. In R. Gardner and Jo Wagner, eds., Second Language Conversation. 201-220. London: Continuum.
3. Cekaite, A. 2007. A child’s development of interactional competence in a Swedish L2 classroom. The Modern Language Journal 91(1), 45-62.
4. Couper-Kuhlen, E. 2001. Interactional prosody: High onsets in reason-for-the-call turns. Language in Society 30(1), 29-53.
5. De Ruiter, J. P., H. Mitterer, and N. Enfield. (2006). Projecting the end of a Speaker’s Turn: A cognitive cornerstone of conversation. Language 82(3), 515-535.
6. Ford, C. E., Fox, B. A., and Thompson, S. A. (1996). Practices in the construction of turns: The “TCU” revisited. Pragmatics 6(3), 427-454.
7. Galaczi, E. D. 2014. Interactional competence across proficiency levels: How do learners manage interaction in paired speaking tests? Applied Linguistics 35(5) 553-574.
8. Gardner, R. and J. Wagner. 2005. Second Language Conversations. A&C Black.
9. Goodwin, C. 2000. Action and embodiment within situated human interaction. Journal of Pragmatics 32(10), 1489-1522.
10. Hellermann, J. 2008. Social Actions for Classroom Language Learning. New York: Multilingual Matters.
11. Kasper, G. and S. J. Ross. 2007. Multiple questions in oral proficiency interviews. Journal of Pragmatics 39(11), 2045-2070.
12. Konzett-Firth, C. 2019. Co-adaptation processes in plenary teacher-student talk and the development of L2 interactional competence. Classroom Discourse.
13. Kim, D. R. 2019. Emergence of proactive self-initiated self-repair as an inidicator of L2 IC development. Applied Linguistics.
14. Knox, L. 1994. Repetition and relevance: Self-repetition as a strategy for initiating cooperation in nonnative/native speaker conversations. In B. Johnstone, ed., Repetition in Discourse, 195-206. Norwood: Ablex.
15. Lam, D. 2018. What counts as “responding?” Contingency on previous speaker contribution as a feature of interactional comptence. Language Testing 35(3), 377-401
16. Lantolf, J. P. and K. E. Johnson 2007. Extending Firth and Wagner’s (1997) Ontological Perspective to L2 Classroom Praxis and Teacher Education. The Modern Language Journal 91(s1), 877-892.
17. Lerner, G. H. 1996. On the “semi-permeable” character of grammatical units in conversation: Conditional entry into the turn space of another speaker. In E. Ochs, E. A. Schegloff and S. A. Thompson, eds., Interaction and Grammar, 52-133. New York: Cambridge University Press.
18. Levinson, S. C. 2016. Turn-taking in human communication: Origins and implications for language processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20(1), 6-14.
19. Lindstrom, J. (2006). Grammar in the service of interaction: Exploring turn organization in Swedish. Research on Language and Social Interaction 39(1), 81-117.
20. May, L. 2009. Co-constructed interaction in a paired speaking test: The rater’s perspective. Language Teaching 26(3) 397-421
21. May, L., F. Nakatsuhara, D. Lam, and E. Galaczi. forthcoming. Developing tools for learning oriented assessment of interactional comptence: Bridging theory and practice.
22. McCarthy, M. 2010. Spoken fluency revisited. English Profile Journal 1(1), 1-15
23. Mondada, L. 2007. Multimodal resources for turn-taking: Pointing and the emergence of possible next speakers. Discourse Studies 9(2), 194-225.
24. Ochs, E., E. A. Schegloff and S. A. Thompson 1996. Interaction and Grammar. New York: Cambridge University Press.
25. Pekarek Doehler, S. (2018). Elaborations on L2 interactional competence: The development of L2 grammar-for-interaction. Classroom Discourse 9(1), 3-24.
26. Pekarek Doehler, S. and E. Pochon-Berger 2015. The development of L2 interactional competence: Evidence from turn-taking organization, sequence organization, repair organization and preference organization. In T. Cadierno and S. Eskildsen, eds., Usage-Based Perspectives on Second Language Learning, 233-270. Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.
27. Pekarek Doehler, S. and E. P. Berger 2018. L2 interactional competence as increased ability for context-sensitive conduct: A longitudinal study of story-openings. Applied Linguistics 39(4), 1-25.
28. Roever, C. and G. Kasper 2018. Speaking in turns and sequences: Interactional competence as a target construct in testing speaking. Language Testing 35(3), 331-355.
29. Rühlemann, C. 2013. Narrative in English Conversation: A Corpus Analysis of Storytelling. New York: Cambridge University Press.
30. Sacks, H., E. A. Schegloff and G. Jefferson 1974. A simplest systematics for the organization of turn taking for conversation. Language 50, 696-735.
31. Schegloff, E. A. 1996. Turn organization: One intersection of grammar and interaction. In E. Ochs, E. A. Schegloff and S. A. Thompson, eds. Interaction and Grammar, 52-133. New York: Cambridge University Press.
32. Skogmyr Marian, and U. Balaman 2018. Second language interactional competence and its development: An overview of conversation analytic research on interactional change over time. Language and Linguistics Compass 12: e12285.
33. Smagorinsky, P. and P. K. Fly. 1993. The social environment of the classroom: A Vygotskian perspective on small group process. Communication Education 42(2), 159-171.
34. Thompson, S. A. and E. Couper-Kuhlen 2005. The clause as a locus of grammar and interaction. Discourse Studies 7(4-5), 481-505.
35. Watanabe, A. 2017. Developing L2 interactional competence: Increasing participation through self-selection in post-expansion sequences. Classroom Discourse 8(3), 271-293.
36. Wong, J. and H. Z. Waring 2010. Conversation Analysis and Second Language Pedagogy: A Guide for ESL/EFL Teachers. New York: Routledge.
37. Young, R. F. 2008. Language and Interaction. New York: Routledge.
38. Young, R. F. 2011. Interactional competence in language learning, teaching, and testing. In E. Hinkel, ed. Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning, 426-443. New York: Routledge.
39. Young, R. F. 2014. What is interactional competence? AL Forum: The newsletter of the TESOL applied linguistics interest section.

Du Re Kim (High School Teacher)Jamsin High School, Jamsil-ro 22, Songpa-gu, Seoul(02)417-8771,