chapter  7
20 Pages

Interactional Competence and Study Abroad

Empirical Methods, Findings and Pedagogical Implications
WithKate White

This chapter provides an overview of studies that have explored the development of Interactional Competence (IC) and related topics in study-abroad settings. It addresses pedagogical and programmatic implications from research findings on the development of IC in study abroad. Research on IC in study abroad may seem, on the surface, to have much in common with research on the development of pragmatic competence. The empirical focus is often similar in these studies: interactions with other speakers of the second language (L2). When IC is investigated, language ability is understood “as a dialogic construct, locally situated and jointly constructed by participants in discourse”; such research generally takes a sociocognitive approach rather than a cognitive approach, expecting L2 learning to occur through “participation in social practices”. In the few studies where IC has been the main focus, researchers are more likely to gather audio or video recordings of students’ interactions in the target language.