The asymmetries of knowledge and information seeking are the normative warrants of spoken interaction (Goodwin, 1979; Heritage 2012). This may also be claimed to be the basis for pedagogical activities. Drawing on CA, we analyze L2 speakers’ use of “how do you say X?” and the related family of questions: “how to say X”, “what do you call X?”, etc. when the speakers show some difficulties in knowing the substitution for X and producing their turns.
Our analyses are based on two sets of data involving educational and non-educational settings. The data consists of videotaped Swedish L2 classroom interaction, and audiotaped dinner-table conversations between au-pair girls learning French and their host families.
We have focused on sequences in which the use of “how do you say”-questions by the L2 speakers provides the other interlocutors with a slot for answering, and this, in turn, gives a possibility to initiate a side sequence (Jefferson, 1972; De Pietro et al., 1989) in which an opportunity for learning emerges. To exemplify our phenomenon, the following is an extract in which the host mother (Mom) offers the au-pair girl (Julie) a cup of tea:
International Conference of Conversation Analysis (ICCA), UCLA, U.S., 25-29, June.