This conversation analytic study explores the language alternation patterns enacted by students of Italian as a Foreign Language as they engage in planning a classroom presentation. The data consist of 13 planning sessions conducted by two groups of students enrolled in a third semester course and two groups of students enrolled in a sixth semester course at a US university. The analysis shows how the participants achieve a local interactional order (Cromdal 2005) where the alternation between the L1 and the L2 embodies the distinction between planning process (in L1-English) and planning product (in L2-Italian) and achieves the transition between such components of the planning activity. Overall, the study demonstrates that language alternation is a discursive skill that constitutes a resource for planning for students at different proficiency levels.
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