Waves of Change: Shaking Up Interactional Practices in Digital Environments
Interaction occurs when interlocutors exchange messages through spoken and written language (Nik, 2010; Ziglari, 2008). It has been conceptually and operationally categorized from different frameworks: as conversational and instructional exchanges, as computer-mediated communication, and through social connections. Following sociocultural theory (SCT), interaction is the key to success in language learning, which is viewed as a process of social interaction (Vygotsky, 1978). Recently, the forced and sudden shift to remote teaching and learning brought on by the pandemic has obligated language teachers to rethink face-to-face (f2f) dialogic processes and to (re)define the various forms of interaction in a computer-mediated online environment so as to ensure learning. In this context, technology does not only enable social interaction, but it plays an active role in attempting to improve the quality and value of communication in the virtual language classroom.
One of the aims of this panel is to bring together expertise and experience in second language instruction to address the construct of interaction in the context of online learning environments. We invite second language practitioners and researchers to share their findings based on study cases or documented experiences related to the construct of interaction through educational technology and remote teaching and learning. The panel will prioritize studies in higher education that inform the construct of online interactions and include theories and empirical research in intercultural communication, face-to-face interaction, collocated interaction, collaboration, cooperation, and co-creation. The ultimate aim is to unfold how learners in the video and text-SCMC (synchronic computer-mediated communication) contexts behave, and how this new environment impacts their interactions, speaking performance, and willingness to communicate.