Le développement de la compétence d'interaction en L2 (TRIC-L2) (FNS subside n° 100012_126860/1 du 01.03.2010 au 31.07.2013)

The present project investigates the development of interactional competence in a second langue (L2). Although a growing number of studies set out to describe the interactional mechanisms underlying second language interactions, an operational definition of the notion of interactional competence is still lacking to this date. A better understanding of how this interactional competence changes over time is also needed in the field of second language acquisition (SLA).

This set-up is designed to

(a)   identify and empirically validate an initial set of components of interactional competence that are fine-grained enough for capturing speakers L2 capacities more precisely than the general categories such as ‘participation’ or the ability to ‘handle  social exchanges’ currently used in language testing and SLA research.

(b)   provide empirically based insights into the development of interactional competence over time, and

(c)   offer an initial analysis of how linguistic (e.g. lexicon, morphosyntax), sequential (e.g. turn-taking) and social abilities (e.g. exhibiting alignment or shared orientation) interact in the development of interactional competence.

Two contrastive sets of audio and video-taped data are analyzed, one comprising classroom interactions, the other spontaneous every-day conversations. The first set of data consists of a corpus of 40 hours of classroom interactions involving lower intermediate and advanced learners of French L2 at secondary I and secondary II level in German-speaking Switzerland (cross-sectional design). The second set consists of 40 hours of dinner table conversations recorded across 10 months by 10 participating Swiss-German L1 speakers sojourning in a francophone region (longitudinal design).

The project proposes to study, within each of these datasets, a series of recurrent communicative micro-activities (which we will call “actional microcosms”), such as disagreeing, introducing a story, opening or closing a conversational episode. Analyses will be carried out onto how the way these micro-activities are organized by the learners at different moments in time in both context (institutional and non-institutionnal). Differences in practices that we observe across time are taken as indicators of a possible development of interactional competence.  



  • Farina , C., Pochon-Berger, E. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (2012), Le développement de la compétence d’interaction vu à travers le travail lexical. Actes du Colloque de Logopédie de Neuchâtel, TRANEL (Travaux Neuchatelois de linguistique), 54 : 101-119.
  • Fasel Lauzon , V. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (à paraître), Focus on form as an interactional accomplishment. IRAL – International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching.
  • Fasel Lauzon , V. & Pochon-Berger, E. (en prép.): On-line and retrospective orientations to someone else’s display of emotion in dinner table conversations. In G. Kasper & M. Prior (eds.), Doing emotion in multilingual talk. Special issue.
  • Hall , J.K., Hellermann, J. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (eds.): L2 Interactional Competence and Development. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  • Hall , J. K. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (2011): Introduction: Interactional competence and development. In Hall, J. K., Hellermann, J. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (eds): L2 Interactional Competence and Development. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. p. 1-15
  • Pekarek Doehler, S. (2010): Conceptual changes and methodological challenges: on language and learning from a conversation analytic perspective on SLA. In Seedhouse, P. Walsh, S. & Jenks, C. (eds.): Conceptualising Learning in Applied Linguistics. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 105-127.
  • Pekarek Doehler , S. (sous presse): CA-SLA: conversation analysis and second language acquisition. C. A. Chappelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Lingusitics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Pekarek Doehler, S. & Pochon-Berger, E. (2010): Le format-tying comme technique de gestion du désaccord : l’exemple des interactions en classe. In Rabatel, A. (éd.): Reformulations polysémiotiques. Presses Universitaires de Franche Compté, 117-133.
  • Pekarek Doehler, S. & Pochon-Berger, E. (2011): Developing ‘methods’ for interaction: a cross-sectional study of disagreement sequences in French L2. In Hall, J. K., Hellermann, J. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (eds): L2 Interactional Competence and Development. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. p. 206-243.
  • Pochon-Berger , E. (2011) : Analyse conversationnelle comme approche “sociale” de l’acquisition des langues secondes: une illustration empirique. TRANEL (Travaux Neuchatelois de Linguistique), 53: 122-141.
  • Pochon -Berger, E. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (2011): Le développement de la compétence d’interaction en langue seconde : une comparaison entre deux groupes d’apprenants du français. In P. Trévisiol et al. (éds.) : Quand les sciences du langage se mettent à dialoguer – échanges en linguistique, didactique et acquisition des langues. Paris : Orizons. p.243-260.
  • Pochon-Berger , E. & Pekarek Doehler, S. (en prép.): Constructing reported dialogues, indexing category membership: direct reported speech in storytelling during dinner table conversations in French. In M. Prior & G. Kasper (eds.). Represented talk and thought across activities and languages. Special issue.