Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-662rr Total loading time: 0.707 Render date: 2022-05-19T00:24:41.081Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

7 - Practising Online with Your Peers: The Role of Text Chat for Second Language Development

from Part III - Productive Practice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2018

Christian Jones
University of Liverpool
Get access


Written synchronous computer mediated communication (SCMC or text-chat) is a pervasive means of human interaction in modern society – in particular, among generations using social media. Smith (2005: 34) identified text chat as ‘the ideal medium for students to benefit from interaction’ due to its specific nature: a hybrid between ephemeral interactive spoken and slow long-lasting written communication. In the context of meaningful interaction written SCMC creates relevant opportunities for learners to practise their L2 and to attend to and reflect on both the form and the content of an L2 message. Little is known, however, in regard to how adolescents perceive peer interaction via SCMC as a medium of instruction and how it affects their language learning. This chapter aims to address these issues. Data from an exploratory classroom-based study into practising L2 German via SCMC will be presented. Eighteen English high-school students performed a series of SCMC tasks and reported on their language learning motivation and anxiety as well as perception of the chat tasks. Chat logs were analysed for target structure use and accuracy. The discussion highlights the benefits and challenges of peer text chat interaction in the classroom as a context for second language practice
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Adams, R. 2007. ‘Do second language learners benefit from interacting with each other?’, in Mackey, A. (ed.), Conversational Interaction in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2952.Google Scholar
Adams, R., Alwi, N. A. N. M. and Newton, J. 2015. ‘Task complexity effects on the complexity and accuracy of writing via text chat’, Journal of Second Language Writing 29: 6481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baralt, M. and Gurzynski-Weiss, L. 2011. ‘Comparing learners’ state anxiety during task-based interaction in computer-mediated and face-to-face communication’, Language Teaching Research 15(2): 201229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beauvois, M. H. 1992. ‘Computer-assisted classroom discussion in the foreign language class-room: Conversation in slow motion’, Foreign Language Annals 25(5): 455464.Google Scholar
Blake, R. 2000. ‘Computer mediated communication: A window on L2 Spanish interlanguage’, Language Learning & Technology 4(1): 120136.Google Scholar
Chapelle, C. A. 2009. ‘The relationship between second language acquisition theory and computer-assisted language learning’, The Modern Language Journal 93(s1): 741753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chun, D., Smith, B. and Kern, R. 2016. ‘Technology in language use, language teaching, and language learning’, The Modern Language Journal 100(S1): 6480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Collentine, J. and Collentine, K. 2013. ‘A corpus approach to studying structural convergence in task-based Spanish L2 interactions’, in McDonough, K. and Mackey, A. (eds.), Second Language Interaction in Diverse Educational Contexts. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 167187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Costa, A., Pickering, M. J. and Sorace, A. 2008. ‘Alignment in second language dialogue’, Language and Cognitive Processes 23(4): 528556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cumming, A. 2001. ‘Learning to write in a second language: Two decades of research’, International Journal of English Studies 1(2): 123.Google Scholar
DeKeyser, R. (ed.) 2007. Practice in a Second Language: Perspectives from Applied Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, R. 2009. ‘Task-based language teaching: Sorting out the misunderstandings’, International Journal of Applied Linguistics 19(3): 221246. doi: 10.1111/j.1473–4192.2009.00231.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gass, S. M. and Mackey, A. 2007. ‘Input, interaction, and output in second language acquisition’, in VanPatten, B. and Williams, J. (eds.), Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence, 175199.Google Scholar
Gass, S. and Varonis, E. 1989. ‘Incorporated repairs in nonnative discourse’, in Eisenstein, M. (ed.), The Dynamic Interlanguage: Empirical Studies in Second Language Variation. New York: Plenum Press, 7186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
González-Lloret, M. and Ortega, L. 2014. ‘Towards technology-mediated TBLT: An introduction’, in González-Lloret, M. and Ortega, L. (eds.), Technology-mediated TBLT: Researching Technology and Tasks. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 122.Google Scholar
Gurzynski-Weiss, L. and Baralt, M. 2015. ‘Does type of modified output correspond to learner noticing of feedback? A closer look in face-to-face and computer-mediated task-based interaction’, Applied Psycholinguistics 36(6): 13931420. doi: 10.1017/S0142716414000320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kormos, J., Kiddle, T. and Csizér, K. 2011. ‘Goals, attitudes and self-related beliefs in second language learning motivation: An interactive model of language learning motivation’, Applied Linguistics 32(5): 495516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kern, R. 1995. ‘Restructuring classroom interaction with networked computers: Effects on quantity and characteristics of language production’, The Modern Language Journal 79: 457476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kern, R., Ware, P. and Warschauer, M. 2008. ‘Network-based language teaching’, in Hornberger, N. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Boston, MA: Springer, 13741385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lai, C. and Zhao, Y. 2006. ‘Noticing and text-based chat’, Language Learning and Technology 10(3): 102120.Google Scholar
Li, S. 2010. ‘The effectiveness of corrective feedback in SLA: A meta-analysis’, Language Learning 60(2): 309365. doi: 10.1111/j.1467–9922.2010.00561.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loewen, S. and Reissner, S. 2009. ‘A comparison of incidental focus on form in the second language classroom and chatroom’, Computer Assisted Language Learning 22(2): 101114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Long, M. H. 1996. ‘The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition’, in Ritchie, W. T. and Bhatia, T. K. (eds.), Handbook of Language Acquisition, Vol. II: Second Language Acquisition. New York: Academic Press, 413468.Google Scholar
Loschky, L. and Bley-Vroman, R. 1993. ‘Grammar and task-based methodology’, in Crookes, G. and Gass, S. (eds.), Tasks and Language Learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 123167.Google Scholar
Mackey, A. and Goo, J. 2007. ‘Interaction research in SLA: A meta-analysis and research synthesis’, in Mackey, A. (ed.), Conversational Interaction in Second Language Acquisition: A Series of Empirical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 407452.Google Scholar
Mackey, A., Oliver, R. and Leeman, J. 2003. ‘Interactional input and the incorporation of feedback: An exploration of NS–NNS and NNS–NNS adult and child dyads’, Language Learning 53: 3566. doi: 10.1111/1467–9922.00210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manchón, R. (ed.) 2011. Learning-to-Write and Writing-to-Learn in an Additional Language. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michel, M. and Smith, B. 2018. ‘Measuring lexical alignment during L2 peer interaction via written synchronous computer-mediated communication: An eye-tracking study’, in Gass, S., Spinner, P. and Behney, J. (eds.), Salience and SLA. New York and London: Routledge, 244267.Google Scholar
Nik, A. A. N. M., Adams, R. and Newton, J. 2012. ‘Writing to learn via text chat: Task implementation and focus on form’, Journal of Second Language Writing 21(1): 2339.Google Scholar
Ortega, L. 2007. ‘Meaningful L2 practice in foreign language classrooms: A cognitive-interactionist SLA perspective’, in DeKeyser, R. (ed.), Practising in a Second Language: Perspectives from Applied Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 180207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Payne, J. S. and Whitney, P. J. 2002. ‘Developing L2 oral proficiency through synchronous CMC: Output, working memory, and interlanguage development’, CALICO Journal 20(1): 732.Google Scholar
Pelletieri, J. 2000. ‘Negotiation in cyberspace: The role of chatting in the development of grammatical competence’, in Warschauer, M. and Kern, R. (eds.), Network-based Language Teaching: Concepts and Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press, 5986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Philp, J., Adams, R. and Iwashita, N. 2013. Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning. New York: Taylor and Francis.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pica, T., Lincoln-Porter, F., Paninos, D. and Linnell, J. 1996. ‘Language learners’ interaction: How does it address the input, output, and feedback needs of L2 learners?’, TESOL Quarterly 30(1): 5984. doi: 10.2307/3587607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sauro, S. 2009. ‘Computer-mediated corrective feedback and the development of L2 grammar’, Language Learning and Technology 13(1): 96120.Google Scholar
Sauro, S. 2011. ‘SCMC for SLA: A research synthesis’, CALICO Journal 28(2): 369391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sauro, S. and Smith, B. 2010. ‘Investigating L2 performance in text chat’, Applied Linguistics 31(4): 554577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shekary, M. and Tahririan, M. H. 2006. ‘Negotiation of meaning and noticing in text-based online chat’, The Modern Language Journal 90(4): 557573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, B. 2005. ‘The relationship between negotiated interaction, learner uptake, and lexical acquisition in task-based computer-mediated communication’, TESOL Quarterly 39(1): 3358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, B. 2010. ‘Employing eye-tracking technology in researching the effectiveness of recasts in CMC in Directions and prospects for educational linguistics’, in Hult, F. M. (ed.), Directions and Prospects for Educational Linguistics. New York: Springer, 7997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, B. and Renaud, C. 2013. ‘Using eye-tracking as a measure of foreign language learners’ noticing of recasts during computer-mediated writing conferences’, in McDonough, K. and Mackey, A. (eds.), Second Language Interaction in Diverse Educational Settings. Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 147165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swain, M. 1995. ‘Three functions of output in second language learning’, in Cook, G. and Seidlhofer, B. (eds.), Principle and Practice in Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 125144.Google Scholar
Swain, M. and Lapkin, S. 1998. ‘Interaction and second language learning: Two adolescent French immersion students working together’, The Modern Language Journal 82(3): 320337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sykes, J. M. 2005. ‘Synchronous CMC and pragmatic development: Effects of oral and written chat’, CALICO Journal 22(3): 399431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ziegler, N. 2016. ‘Taking technology to task: Technology-mediated TBLT, performance, and production’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 36: 136163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats