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Telecollaborative Exchanges and Higher Education: Negotiation of Meaning in Interactions between Spanish and Japanese Students (pp. 53-79)

Patricia Guill-Garcia

University of Valencia


This article presents an analysis of Negotiation of Meaning (NoM) episodes found in three audiovisual telecollaborative interactions. The study was conducted within the VELCOME project, which carried out a telecollaborative partnership between Japanese (Kwansei Gakuin University) and Spanish (Universitat de València) students. The main objective is to ascertain the presence of NoM episodes in these audiovisual telecollaborative experiences, together with determining the relevance and nature of said episodes. 

A mixed methodology is employed in this study, since the quantitative results provide the basis for the subsequent qualitative analysis of the data. The NoM episodes were analysed based on Smith’s (2003, 2005) expansion of the model of Negotiation of Meaning formulated by Varonis and Gass (1985). In addition, the triggers found in the corpus were later on classified into two categories: attended and unattended. Then, so as to determine if students avoid attending mistakes or issues of a specific nature, the attended and unattended triggers were classified into different categories (linguistic, content-related, technical problems, material-related, and overlapping). Finally, the attended triggers were likewise classified as resolved or unresolved as a manner to determine the success of students at solving these breakdowns.The findings obtained suggest that NoM episodes represent a relevant portion of the interactions, emphasising the significance of these breakdowns in communicative processes. Hence, this may imply that further insights into the presence of these NoM episodes and their pedagogical implications are needed, especially in the context of highly communicative activities such as telecollaboration.

Keywords: Collaboration; tertiary education; Negotiation of Meaning; foreign language learning; communication


Patricia Guill-Garcia is currently a second-year PhD student in Applied Linguistics at the University of Valencia. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies and a Master’s Degree in Advanced English Studies, which she carried out at the same university. Her research is mainly focused on the area of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, with a specific interest in technology and interaction in the foreign language classroom.

e-mail address: patricia-guill@hotmail.com


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