Synchronous VCMC with TalkAbroad: Exploring noticing, transcription, and learner perceptions in Spanish foreign-language pedagogy






This mixed-methods study investigates the use of synchronous video computer-mediated communication (SVCMC) in a U.S. university’s Spanish-as-a-foreign-language curriculum. Using the SVCMC platform TalkAbroad, the university’s Spanish program required second-year students to participate in five, 30-minute, SVCMC conversations with Spanish first language (L1) speakers. Students then reflected on their SVCMC conversations by replaying the recorded audio from those sessions and transcribing passages of their conversations. Using an interactionist perspective, this research explores the utility of: (1) the SVCMC conversations, and (2) the subsequent listening/transcription activity by examining students’ reported noticing of linguistic items (e.g. L1 speaker vocabulary, grammar, etc.). Additionally, we report students’ general perceptions of engaging in SVCMC with TalkAbroad. Students’ noticing and perceptions were investigated using a combination of two questionnaires (N = 35) that were administered following (1) the SVCMC, and (2) the listening/transcription activity, along with semi-structured interviews (n = 10). Findings suggest both the SVCMC and listening/transcription activities are effective in promoting the noticing of vocabulary and content, but not grammar. Finally, students generally reported positive perceptions of engaging in SVCMC for the purposes of L2 learning. Related implications for pedagogy and curriculum design are discussed.

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