EDITORIAL WELCOME FOR VOLUME 5 ISSUE 1 (APRIL 2011)

SPECIAL ISSUE: CONVERSATION ANALYSIS IN EDUCATIONAL AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS
Edited by Paul Seedhouse and Olcay Sert

We are delighted to welcome you to the fifth volume of Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language). This first issue of volume five is a special issue on Conversation Analysis in Applied Linguistics and it brings together research carried out in different parts of the globe including Australia, the USA, and countries in the north, south and east of Europe. The aim of publishing this special issue is to contribute to the acknowledgement of the recent contributions of Conversation Analysis to Applied Linguistics; in particular to research in educational settings. Our aim is to publish innovative studies that will create an awareness of the ways Conversation Analysis can influence the direction of research in Eurasia, the Middle East and beyond.

The research settings include early learning environments (Mashford-Scott and Church), second/foreign language learning contexts (Pochon-Berger; Jacknick; Mortensen and Hazel; Sandlund and Sundqvist), university lectures (Christodoulidou) and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) classrooms (Kupetz). The languages investigated include French, Danish, English, and Greek; both as L1s and L2s. All authors apply CA to the analysis of interactions in order to uncover a wide range of topics like child and learner agency, language learning tasks, Round Robins, language proficiency assessment, collaborative explanations and use of discourse markers. The special issue also includes a paper on the contribution of CA to the study of literary dialogue (Bowles).

In the first paper, Olcay Sert and Paul Seedhouse (Newcastle University) present an up-to-date account of CA work within the field of Applied Linguistics by reviewing recent studies in classroom interaction, materials development, proficiency assessment and language teacher education. The second paper, by Angela Mashford-Scott and Amelia Church (The University of Melbourne), identifies features of teacher-child interactions that enable opportunities for children’s active participation in early learning environments. The authors demonstrate how knowledge and insights gained through CA contribute to understanding the ways teachers and children collaboratively achieve opportunities for agency.

Christine M. Jacknick (Borough of Manhattan Community College) focuses on the occurrence of post-expansion in student-initiated sequences. She shows how learners of English as a second language become agents in their own learning. In the fourth paper, in English as a foreign and Danish as a second language contexts, Kristian Mortensen (University of Luxembourg) and Spencer Hazel (Roskilde University) investigate initiation of round robins, which is a specific way of organizing and managing tasks in plenary L2 classrooms. They describe the sequential position in which round robins are initiated and how this is talked into being and embodied by the participants.

Evelyne Pochon-Berger (University of Neuchâtel) investigates the relationship between task instruction, pre-task planning and task completion based on a corpus of French as a Foreign Language classroom interactions. She shows how six different groups that have received identical instructions organize and carry out a classroom task. In the sixth paper, Erica Sandlund and Pia Sundqvist (Karlstad University) examine the relationship between ratings of students’ performance in an oral proficiency test and the social practice of conducting ‘test talk’. They demonstrate that different types of task-related trouble (TRT) reveal diverse understandings of the test task and that ‘doing-being a successful task manager’ is connected to a moderate orientation to the task and test format.

Based on a single case analysis, Maxi Kupetz (University of Potsdam) shows how a detailed sequential analysis of video-recordings of naturally occurring classroom interaction enables us to understand the ways an explanation can be accomplished collaboratively by participants in a specific language-learning environment like CLIL. She reveals that it is the cooperation between all participants which helps students accomplish an activity, where language and content problems are displayed through pauses, facial expression, pointing, and gesture, and resolved by fellow students through prompts and additional comments.

The eighth study is an investigation of the use of three discourse markers in Greek in university lectures. Maria Christodoulidou (Frederick University) analyses the communicative purpose of these discourse markers within spoken academic discourse. The last paper, which is intended for discussion and to generate interest in the relationship between CA and literary dialogue, is based on the general observation that poeticity seems to be a phenomenon of natural talk. Hugo Bowles (University of Rome "Tor Vergata") suggests that the existence of poeticity in conversation has consequences for the analysis of dialogue in literature and that CA may have a role to play in this kind of study.

We are deeply grateful to the reviewers of this special issue, who contributed to our publication by giving critical and constructive feedback to the authors. Special thanks to Adam Brandt, Andrew Harris and Steve Walsh (Newcastle University), Christopher Jenks and Wei Zhang (City University of Hong Kong), Simona Pekarek-Doehler (University of Neuchâtel), Keith Richards (University of Warwick), Rod Gardner (Griffith University), Don Carroll (Shikoku Gakuin University), Elisabeth Holt (University of Huddersfield), Arja Piirainen-Marsh and Leila Kääntä (University of Jyväskylä), Gudrun Ziegler (University of Luxembourg), Joachim Appel (PH Ludwigsburg University of Education), F. Scott Walters (City University of New York), and Chryso Hadjidemetriou (University of Essex).

We thank all the contributors who have submitted their articles to Novitas-ROYAL.

On behalf of the Editors,

Olcay Sert
Associate Editor
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Paul Seedhouse
Guest Editor
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK