The development of videoconferencing technology has enabled new modes of combining in-person and remote teaching. In this article, we investigate interactional practices in hybrid language classrooms that combine on-site and remote participation by way of telepresence technology. Telepresence robots are videoconferencing tools that can be remotely controlled and moved in the ‘local’ space during video-mediated interaction. In our video-based study, we investigate recordings from university-level foreign language classes (Finnish, German, Swedish and English) involving robot-mediated participants as part of an otherwise on-site classroom student cohort. We draw on multimodal conversation analysis (CA) and analyse a selection of data extracts with a focus on how participants use the robot’s mobility as an interactional resource in moments of transition between whole-class and group-based activities. The analysis explores how moving the robot enables the remote student to demonstrate competent participation and to contribute to the progression of the activity transition. We also analyse how teachers make sense of the remote students’ engagements by monitoring the positioning and movements of the robot, and how they individually support the remote students in moments that can potentially be interactionally challenging in hybrid environments. These findings expand CALL literature by demonstrating how telepresence robots can enhance the multimodal range of meaning-making resources of remote students within everyday classroom practices in hybrid language teaching. As practical implications, we outline some ways in which social interaction provides both a rich resource base for participants and a site in which many pedagogical questions relevant to hybrid education play out.
- Jufo-taso 2
!!ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Computer Science Applications