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Academic Paper


Title: Liminality in Multitasking: Where Talk and Task Collide in Computer Collaborations
Author: Mike Levy
Institution: School of Languages and Comparative Cultural StudiesThe University of Queensland
Author: Rod Gardner
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis
Abstract: This article investigates the effect of computer activity on talk during collaboration at the computer by two pairs of high school students during a web-based task. The work is located in relation to research in the wider world of the workplace and informal settings where multitasking involving talk and the operation of artifacts is known to occur. The current study focuses on how, when two students are working at the computer, talk continues or is disrupted during multitasking. Five examples are described in detail, beginning with a relatively straightforward case of serial multitasking and leading up to an example of complex simultaneous multitasking. Overwhelmingly in our data, only routine on-screen actions accompany talk, whereas complex actions occur with hitches or restarts in the talk, and true simultaneous multitasking happens on just three occasions in the data set. (Collaborative activity, computers, Conversation Analysis, interaction, language and technology, multimodality, multitasking)

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This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 41, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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