This paper compares, from the viewpoint of taiwa and kyowa, communication breakdown between native andnon-native speakers in an academic seminar setting. It aims to suggest a more effective strategy for repairing com-munication breakdown in the setting. In a seminar, students are required to exchange abstract ideas and convince other participants of the validity oftheir arguments. Because Japanese foreign students need to accomplish these difficult tasks in a foreign languageand without preparation, they are more likely to suffer a communication breakdown than they would in a similar sit-uation in which they could edit and formalize their arguments in their native tongue. This paper focuses on theprocess by which they try to repair such breakdowns and analyzes this process from the viewpoints of collaborativedialogue (kyowa), which is second nature for Japanese native speakers, and non-collaborative dialogue (taiwa).Qualitative description compares the efficiency of repaired breakdown with that of unrepaired breakdown.The results demonstrate that when both speakers use collaborative dialogue with various back channels, such asrepeating, paraphrasing, and guessing, the breakdown is successfully repaired. But when both or either speaker failsto use collaborative dialogue, the breakdown remains or takes longer to become repaired. Interestingly, aizuchi(such as “hai," or “ee") are categorized as one of the characteristics of collaborative dialogue, but do not help torepair breakdown in a seminar discourse, unlike the other back-channels.