Co-construction of Word Search Activities in Native and Non-native Speaker Interaction

Innhwa Park


This paper examines the co-construction of word search activities between native and non-native speakers of English. Word searching occurs when two interlocutors use joint resources to retrieve a word that is alluding one of the interlocutors in conversation. Word searches are highly prevalent in interaction, often becoming a central activity in non-native discourse. The focus of this article is twofold: first, on the sequential organization of the word earch activity, and second, on the public structure of word searches. Using video recordings of English tutoring sessions and social gatherings of native and non-native speakers of English, the detailed practice of word searching was analyzed in this study. It examines the interactional process through which a distributed responsibility of participants for sequential coherence, meaning, and events is co-constructed (Jacoby & Ochs, 1995). This article argues that a word search activity is a social action, and interactions between native and non-native speakers of English demonstrate the ways through which participants coordinate this sequential and public action.


Conversation Analysis; Gesture; Co-Construction

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