Word (and other) search sequences initiated by language learners

Irene Koshik, Mi Suk Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study uses a conversation analytic framework to analyze practices by which language learners display that they are searching for language they have not yet fully acquired, i.e., words, word forms, syntactic structure, or pronunciation. Learners can present their solutions with rising intonation as candidate solutions to be confirmed or corrected by another speaker. They can also elicit a specific lexical item by presenting a more general term with rising intonation. When learners receive an ambiguous response to these search turns, they can initiate repair to disambiguate the import of that response in order to pursue linguistic accuracy, even when communication is displayed as otherwise successful. These search sequences therefore display an orientation to language learning, showing how the participants situated identities as language learner/student and language expert/teacher are contingently constructed and negotiated in and through their talk and other semiotic resources as the local context evolves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-189
Number of pages23
JournalText and Talk
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012


  • L2 interaction
  • conversation analysis
  • language learner
  • second language interaction
  • word search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Word (and other) search sequences initiated by language learners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this