Digital transcription for EM/CA research

There aren’t any good tools specifically designed for EM/CA work, so researchers have to make do with tools and user interface metaphors designed with other methodological priorities and research practices in mind. I wrote a short blog about the reasons for creating this course.

The exercises on this page are part of a 3-hour workshop that is designed to introduce EMCA researchers to using different kinds of digital transcription tools. You can use and adapt the powerpoint slides for this workshop (PDF version) to run it yourself.

I will update this page with how-to videos and additional tips after the workshop so you can refer back to it afterwards and share it with collaborators/research assistants. If you’ve used this workshop/tutorial – please fill in the feedback form to help me improve it.

Step 1: Get your computer set up

Step 2: Test your installation of CLAN and ELAN

Once you’ve installed CLAN and ELAN on your computer, go to the ‘test’ folder in the workshop materials and open test.cha and test.eaf in CLAN and ELAN and check that they’re working as below.

Part 1: Getting started with CLAN

Part 2: More advanced work with CLAN

Part 3: Getting started with ELAN

Part 4: Working with CLAN and ELAN together

Credits & links

Thanks very much to Prof. Hansun Waring of the LANSI Bunch for inviting me to give this workshop, and to the National Centre for Research Methods, Loughborough’s Discourse and Rhetoric Group, and the EMCA Doctoral Network for asking me to run digital transcription workshops (of varying success) that fed into this one.

I recommend watching the TalkBank project’s own tutorial videos, which are very useful and very in-depth, going far beyond this EMCA-specific tutorial

There is also a great set of CLAN (and related) tutorials by the Social Objects team at SDU on YouTube

I highly recommend the Mobile Labs tutorials on youtube.

I also recommend this very comprehensive CLAN how-to by Spencer Hazel, which I found very useful in putting this tutorial together.

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