E-Classroom Interactional Competencies: Mediating and Assisting Language Learning During Synchronous Online Lessons

Benjamin Luke Moorhouse*, Yanna Li, Steve Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Interaction is seen by many English language teachers and scholars as an essential part of face-to-face English language classrooms. Teachers require specific competencies to effectively use interaction as a tool for mediating and assisting learning. These can be referred to as classroom interactional competence (CIC). However, the situation created by the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic which began in early 2020, and the recent advancement in technologies have led to teachers conducting synchronous online lessons through video-conferencing software. The online environment is distinctly different from the face-to-face classroom and teachers require new and additional skills to effectively utilise interaction online in real time. This exploratory study used an online mixed-method survey of 75 university level English language teachers who had engaged in synchronous online teaching due to COVID-19, to explore the competencies that teachers need to use interaction as a tool to mediate and assist language learning in synchronous online lessons. Teachers were found to require three competencies, in addition to their CIC – technological competencies, online environment management competencies, and online teacher interactional competencies – which together constitute e-CIC. The findings provide greater insights into the needs of teachers required to teach synchronously online and will be of interest to teachers and teacher educators.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalRELC Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Classroom interactional competence
  • COVID-19
  • digital technologies
  • English language teacher competencies
  • synchronous online teaching


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