Edited by Anna Filipi and Numa Markee
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 295] 2018
► pp. 165–182
Group-work discussion, as a speaking task without the teacher’s tight control of turn-taking, establishes a flexible speaking environment for language learners. However, our understanding of the micro-details of learners’ languages in use when they co-construct meaning to achieve task completion, especially in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts, is still limited. This study investigates the language alternation practices of undergraduate university EFL students in a Vietnamese context as they participate in a group discussion task. The findings show that the students’ switch to Vietnamese is a backup resource to help them in word searches. The language alternation marks the transition between talk on language and talk on topic. This is also reflected in a transition in the sequence structure where the word search is contained in a side-sequence that momentarily disrupts the main or base sequence.
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