Edited by Emma Betz, Taiane Malabarba and Dagmar Barth-Weingarten
[Applied Pragmatics 5:2] 2023
► pp. 240–272
Interactional competence (IC) is a crucial component of teaching and assessing speaking in second/foreign languages in general. However, SLA research based on Conversation Analysis (CA) has shown that IC is a complex phenomenon, and while a qualitative approach to assessing IC is needed, it is time-consuming. At the same time, assessment in the foreign-language classroom has to be both manageable for teachers and it should provide learners with reliable and supportive feedback about their specific strengths and weaknesses. This paper offers some solutions for these issues. It will draw on previous proposals in CA to employ generic organizations of practice as a way to manage the complexity of the IC concept. Second, it will show how one of these organizations – action accomplishment – can be operationalized for assessment purposes in public-school classrooms. This includes a discussion of the CEFR Companion’s approach to ‘action’. Finally, it will present a possible rubric for action accomplishment. Our approach to assessing will be illustrated through the analysis of a sample role play with two foreign-language learners from a corpus of 14 2–4 minute role plays, recorded with beginning-to-intermediary-level learners of English as a foreign language in two German secondary schools.