Videoconferencing as access to spoken French

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Abstract

This article analyzes a classroom interaction taking place between language learners in the U.S. and France via international videoconferencing. The videoconferencing event is described in its technical and discursive dimensions; its pedagogical value is evaluated in terms of the American learners' putative Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Much of the language use that took place during the conference was beyond these learners' capability, due in part to heightened language classroom anxiety, and in part to differences between the variety of French learned in American schools and the French spoken by educated native speakers (NSs). A return to the learners' ZPD was achieved by using the videotaped record of the conference to provide access to a corpus of the spoken language as it is used in contemporary France. The aim of this exercise was observation and awareness of the morphosyntactic and discourse difficulties experienced by American second language learners interacting with NSs of French.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-513
Number of pages12
JournalModern Language Journal
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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