Analysis of Individual Conversational Volatility in Tandem Telecollaboration for Second Language Learning

by   Alan F. Smeaton, et al.

Second language learning can be enabled by tandem collaboration where students are grouped into video conference calls while learning the native language of other student(s) on the calls. This places students in an online environment where the more outgoing can actively contribute and engage in dialogue while those more shy and unsure of their second language skills can sit back and coast through the calls. We have built and deployed the L2L system which records timings of conversational utterances from all participants in a call. We generate visualisations including participation rates and timelines for each student in each call and present these on a dashboard. We have recently developed a measure called personal conversational volatility for how dynamic has been each student's contribution to the dialogue in each call. We present an analysis of conversational volatility measures for a sample of 19 individual English-speaking students from our University who are learning Frenchm, in each of 86 tandem telecollaboration calls over one teaching semester. Our analysis shows there is a need to look into the nature of the interactions and see if the choices of discussion topics assigned to them were too difficult for some students and that may have influenced their engagement in some way.


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