Teachers’ reaction to silence and teachers’ wait time in video and audioconferencing English lessons: Do webcams make a difference?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Olga Kozar


System, p.- (2016)






Online language teaching


Abstract There is a mismatch between an increasing number of people teaching languages via video or audioconferencing tools, and the amount of research available to such teachers to guide their practice. One particular pedagogical question that research does not provide guidance on teachers’ treatment of during videoconferencing and audioconferencing lessons. This study uses Conversation Analysis to compare lessons conducted by the same teacher-student dyads in audio and videoconferencing. The findings show distinct differences in teachers’ treatment of silence and teachers’ and students’ pausing behaviour in video and audioconferencing. Specifically, teachers tended to wait longer in videoconferencing and took the conversational floor faster in audioconferencing, thus leading to a higher number of overlaps with students’ emergent turns. This suggests that teachers need to be trained for conducting lessons via audio and video conferencing, and that teachers and teacher trainers need to identify specific pedagogical behaviours for each of these contexts.