Practicing Vocabulary Explanations In The Language Classroom
Which Opportunities In Which Activities?
The ability to organise talk-in-mteraction appeals to a competence which articulates linguistic, discursive and interactional resources. Studying explanations in interaction is a way to learn more about this competence, which constitutes a resistant object in the acquisition of a second language, even at an advanced level of proficiency. Analysing vocabulary explanations, this article discusses the opportunities given to advanced learners of French L2 to practice and improve their mastering of talk-in-interaction in the language classroom. Stating that discursive complexity is an indicator of a rich and challenging learning environment, the article provides some key features to determine the level of complexity in the learners' explanations. It then shows that discursive complexity does not depend on the kind of didactic activity, but on the participants' orientations towards the object to be explained and on the interaction formats.
Published online: 24 March 2014