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Multimodal strategies allowing corrective feedback to be softened during webconferencing-supported interactions

Abstract : This study examines how trainee-teachers, during synchronous webconferencing-supported interactions, use different multimodal semiotic resources whilst offering reactive negative feedback so that the feedback is not too face-threatening for their learners (Goffman, 1972; Brown et Levinson, 1978,1987; Kerbrart-Orecchioni, 1992). The pedagogical context is the ISMAEL telecollaboration project during which 12 trainee-teachers of French as a foreign language met for online sessions with 18 undergraduate Business students from an Irish university. The participants met for seven 40-minute online sessions via the webconferencing platform Visu (Bétrancourt, et al., 2011). Each session was thematic and focused on Business French. During the interactions, that took the form of a ‘pedagogical conversation’ (Guichon & Drissi, 2008), the trainee-teachers were asked to give feedback on their learners’ oral productions whilst both managing the interaction and maintaining an atmosphere conducive to learning. Reactive negative feedback is offered when the trainee-teachers wish to highlight differences between the target language and a learner’s output (Long, 1996). It may be more or less intrusive depending on whether it is explicit, in the case of overt error correction, or implicit, due to communication breakdown. We use a qualitative approach to explore how verbal softeners are employed during feedback sequences alongside other semiotic resources (Jewitt, 2009: Kress, 2010) in order to counteract the potential face damage of the feedback. Of relevance to the present study are the webcam recordings of two sessions for which multimodal transcriptions were made using ELAN (Sloetjes & Wittenburg 2008). Speech and text chat turns were transcribed, a collection of feedback sequences was delimited (cf. Varonis & Gass, 1985) and then multimodal resources under investigation (gaze, gestures, facial mimics...) were annotated. The study enables a better understanding of the interplay between the different semiotic resources in synchronous videoconferencing interactions and offers suggestions to enhance the content of teacher-training programmes for teachers.
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Contributor : Ciara R. Wigham Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 6:18:11 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 3:56:12 PM


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


  • HAL Id : edutice-01306907, version 1



Julie Vidal, Ciara R. Wigham. Multimodal strategies allowing corrective feedback to be softened during webconferencing-supported interactions. New Directions in Telecollaborative Research and Practice: The Second Conference on Telecollaboration in University Education., Apr 2016, Dublin, Ireland. ⟨edutice-01306907⟩



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