Topical Talk and Repair Practices Through Embodied and Multilingual Resources in L2 Arabic Conversation-for-Learning


  • Khaled Al Masaeed Carnegie Mellon University


L2 Arabic, topic management, word searches, L2 speaking practice, interactional competence, translanguaging, multidialectal practices, multilingual and embodied interactional resources


This article draws on conversation analysis as an analytical tool to examine the relationship between repair practices and topical talk in L2 Arabic conversation-for-learning as a language learning activity. Adopting a single-case analysis, the fine-grained analysis shows that while these repair practices seem to momentarily put topical talk on hold, they (1) create learning opportunities through participants’ orientations to their roles as a language learner and a language expert, and (2) contribute towards elaborating and extending topical talk by the learner. The analysis also illuminates how these repair practices tend to deploy embodied and multilingual resources during the learner’s extended response to a telling question, rather than in a response to a specifying question. This study has implications for the emerging area of CA-informed research to further our understanding of the relationship between repair work and topic management in L2 nonformal institutional talk.

Author Biography

Khaled Al Masaeed, Carnegie Mellon University

Khaled Al Masaeed is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, and Arabic Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His current research contributes to the areas of multidialectal and multilingual translanguaging practices, second language pragmatics, conversation analysis, and language ideology.