Edited by Emma Betz, Taiane Malabarba and Dagmar Barth-Weingarten
[Applied Pragmatics 5:2] 2023
► pp. 121–141
The contributions to this Special Issue employ conversation analysis to illustrate how detailed analysis of language use can lead to the identification of assessable features of second/foreign language Interactional Competence (L2 IC) and the development of institutional testing instruments and practices. L2 IC has been the focus of much research at the intersection of social interaction and second language acquisition. It has also been treated as a construct in the field of language assessment. However, scholars in each research branch have just begun to collaborate systematically. This Special Issue furthers this collaboration, connecting research on L2 IC in diverse learning contexts with practical questions regarding the assessment of individual learners. It adopts a dialogic ‘full paper–commenting paper’ structure: Four empirical papers are each paired with invited commentaries that provide critical discussion and a complementary view of the topics the full papers address. The final discussion papers take a broader perspective on the complex nature of L2 IC and assessment and propose ways to productively move forward. Besides introducing the notion of L2 IC and each individual contribution, this introductory article explains the rationale behind the Special Issue in relation to current research.