In this archived webinar — “A Practical Approach to Applied Conversation Analysis” — held on September 7, 2018, Jessica Lester and Michelle O’Reilly address the definition and uses of conversation analysis, which they define as a qualitative methodology focused on talk-in-interaction, and specifically on the sequential order of who talks. Usually, this involves analyzing everyday conversations (as opposed to researcher generated data) and looks more at the process and details of the interaction. As a result, how things are said matter as much as what is said.
Lester and O’Reilly co-wrote the new SAGE Publishing book, Applied Conversation Analysis: Social Interaction in Institutional Settings. Lester has provided sample syllabi for those wishing to cover conversation analysis in a qualitative course:
Lester is an associate professor of inquiry methodology (qualitative research) in the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous books and book chapters focused on discourse and conversation analysis, disability studies, and more general concerns related to qualitative research. Lester is a founding member of the Microanalysis of Online Data international network, the associate director of the Conversation Analysis Research in Autism group at the University of Leicester, and the former co-program chair and current chair of the Qualitative Research Special Interest Group for the American Educational Research Association.
O’Reilly is an associate professor at the University of Leicester and a research consultant for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. A qualitative methodologist, she works within a range of specialist areas including discourse and conversation analysis, doing research with children, and research ethics. Her research interests include child mental health, neurodevelopmental conditions, family therapy, and research ethics, while working with clinical professionals has allowed for practical application of the work.