Designing Teaching Materials for Intercultural Interaction Learning: The Role of Conversation Analysis

Wai Lan Winnie Shum

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


CA, although more well-known as a discourse analytical tool, has been used for L2 (Barraja-Rohan, 1997) and intercultural interaction (Borghetti et al., 2015) teaching. CA not only understands interactions as co-constructed and context-dependent, but also puts great emphasis on discourse and language patterns. This aligns with Dervin and Liddicoat’s (2013) call for a more learner-centered, non-essentialist and linguistic approach towards intercultural interaction learning. Therefore, the current study aims at investigating the roles CA play in the design of a set of teaching materials developed for a virtual exchange programme participated by university students from Hong Kong and the UK.

The rationale and process of the teacher/researcher integrating the concept of CA into materials selection and activities design were documented leading to the generation of CA-related design principles. Examples of teaching material selection and activity design were then juxtaposed with the CA-related design principles to show how CA was being employed for material design and reflected the importance of language and intercultural aspects of learning. The use of CA in the design of teaching materials was further demonstrated through episodes of in-class activities during the virtual exchange programme.

The results of the study 1) demonstrate the potential of CA being used as a pedagogical tool for intercultural interaction learning, and 2) provide practical insights into how CA can actually be applied in teaching material design and classroom teaching.

Barraja-Rohan, A.-M. (1997). Teaching conversation and sociocultural norms with Conversation Analysis. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, Series S, 71-88.

Borghetti, C., Beaven, A., & Puglises, R. (2015). Interactions among future study aboard students: Exploring potential intercultural learning sequences. Intercultural Education, 26(1), 31–48.

Dervin, F., & Liddicoat, A. J. (2013). Linguistics for intercultural education. John Benjamins.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - 30 Jun 2021


  • Intercultural communication
  • conversation analysis
  • teaching materials design


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