Conversation Analysis in L2 classroom research: the need for a comparative re-production research agenda to understand the needs of learners and teachers

“…a conversation analytic investigation of interactional processes in L2 classrooms in a given context will uncover what teachers and students need in order to create L2 classrooms that are engaging and that facilitate student participation, which is key to learning. Such research, in addition to revealing interactional practices and teacher competencies that are conducive to learning, will inform policy makers and materials designers on the needs of the learners and teachers” (Sert, 2015, p. 175).

Easier said than done… But those who are already familiar with it already know that CA research has great potential to showcase both potentially “good” and “problematic” instances of language learning and teaching, based on empirical data. Yet, one may also argue that what is considered as “good teaching” in one context can be regarded as “problematic teaching” in another. Fair enough… Then maybe what we need is to follow a comparative re-production research agenda (Markee 2015) and see whether we can come up with some universals to contribute to describing “fruitful”, “acquisition-rich” teaching/learning practices. What is then needed is to integrate such findings into language teacher education. But can we?

Markee, N. (2015). Are replication studies possible in qualitative second/foreign language classroom research? A call for comparative re-production research. Language Teaching. 1-17 DOI:

Sert, O. (2015). Social Interaction and L2 Classroom Discourse. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

L2 classroom


A review of “Social Interaction and L2 Classroom Discourse” is now available at EJAL!

A comprehensive review of “Social Interaction and L2 Classroom Discourse” is now available online in the latest issue of the Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics! The review has been written by Maria Vanessa aus der Wieschen (University of Southern Denmark) and is available online at

“The cutting-edge research is presented in a clear and comprehensive manner; not only the book as a whole but every individual chapter is notably well-structured, and – knowing that not all of his readers are familiar with CA – Sert guides the readers through his arguments step-by-step. The book makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of classroom interactional competence and thereby paves the way for improved L2 teaching and teacher education… With the diverse instructed language learning settings investigated and its strong focus on practical implications for language teaching and language teacher education, I can definitely recommend Sert’s book to anyone interested in classroom research, teacher education, language learning, and social interaction – researchers and practitioners alike”.
(aus der Wieschen, 2015, p.109)
Logo of the book
Logo of the book