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 journalJournal articlepeer-review

50 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
Pages (from-to)114-128
Number of pages15
JournalRELC Journal
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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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