Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Second Language Acquisition

First Advisor

Liskin-Gasparro, Judith E

Second Advisor

Alessi, Stephen M

First Committee Member

Liskin-Gasparro, Judith E

Second Committee Member

Alessi, Stephen M

Third Committee Member

Otto, Sue E

Fourth Committee Member

Muñoz, Kristine L

Fifth Committee Member

Niño-Murcia, Mercedes


This dissertation examines the discourse produced by beginning learners of Spanish using social media. Specifically, it looks at the use and development of interactional resources during two video-mediated conversations. Through a combination of Conversation Analysis tools and quantitative data analysis, the use of turn-taking strategies, repair trajectories, and alignment moves was examined to discover how beginning language learners manage videoconferencing exchanges and develop their interactional capabilities in this new interactional setting. The goal of this investigation was twofold: 1) to describe and explain how students construct, manage and maintain conversations via videoconferencing, and 2) to gain a better understanding of the links between technology-based social media and language learning.

The results of this study indicate that instructional videoconferencing conversations display their own clearly delimited and idiosyncratic organization of interactional features. In terms of turn-taking, the results of the analyses demonstrate that beginning learners are fully capable of participating competently in speaker selection to manage a conversation with a peer of similar proficiency level. In the area of repair, the analyses show that, during instructional videoconferencing exchanges, beginning learners orient to both the communication of personal meaning and the accuracy of their discourse. They enact this orientation through the use of self-initiated self-repair. Finally, with regard to the use of alignment moves, the analyses reveal that, in tune with their nascent linguistic and interactional abilities, beginning learners use primarily acknowledgement moves.


Computer assisted language learning, Computer mediated communication, Conversation Analysis, Interactional Competence, Videoconferencing


viii, 266 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 245-256).


Copyright 2013 Marta Tecedor Cabrero