Emma Betz

Associate Professor
Emma Betz
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Applied linguistics (conversation analysis, interactional linguistics)


  • PhD, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Dr. Betz joined the University of Waterloo in 2012. In the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, she teaches linguistics and German language courses at all levels and contributes to training language teachers.

Dr. Betz's interests are in conversation analysis and interactional linguistics. She explores how interaction is organized and how language, embodied conduct, and social action shape each another. This research sheds light on the relationship between the linguistic choices we make in real time and core aspects of human sociality: displaying knowledge, managing understanding and affect, and building relationships. A particular focus of her research is the spectrum of functions of little words (response tokens, discourse markers, modal particles, address and reference terms) in different varieties of German and in cross-linguistic comparison.

She applies findings from research on spoken interaction to language teaching/learning contexts, to inform the teaching and testing of interactional competence in second-language classrooms and to guide language teacher training.

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Teaching interests

Conversation Analysis and Interactional linguistics, German language, Applied linguistics

Recent courses:

  • GER 101, GER 102: Elementary German
  • GER 201, GER 202: Intermediate German
  • GER 262/REES 262: Multilingualism
  • GER 331: Exploring German Language and Literature: "Kleine Wörter im Gespräch"
  • GER 601/701: Approaches in Linguistics: Studying Interaction
  • GER 613/713, with ANTH 661: Questions and Answers in Social Interaction
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Research interests

Conversation analysis, Interactional linguistics, Language learning and teaching

Recent research:

Selected publications

Find Emma Betz' publications at her own website.