Group cohesion and learning opportunities in peer interaction

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Abstract

The present study investigates peer to peer oral interaction in two task basedEnglish as a foreign language classrooms, one of which was a self-declared cohesive group,and the other a self-declared less cohesive group. The objective of the study was to investigate how learning opportunities were talked into being through peer to peer interactions inthese two groups and to determine how the cohesive or less cohesive nature of the class influenced the number of learning opportunities in peer interaction. The study was classroombased and was carried out over the period of an academic year. Research was framed within asociocognitive perspective of language learning and data was collected from questionnairesand audio recorded talk of dyads, triads and groups of four students completing a total ofeight oral tasks. Using conversation analysis, these audio recordings were transcribed andanalysed quantitatively for learning opportunities and qualitatively for interactions which encouraged a positive social dimension and which may have led to the creation of learning opportunities. Analysis of interactions revealed the many ways in which learners in both thecohesive and less cohesive class created learning opportunities. Further qualitative analysisof these interactions showed how the affective relationship between participants influencedthe number of learning opportunities created.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-265
Number of pages20
JournalPorta Linguarum
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • peer oral interaction
  • cohesive groups
  • learning opportunities
  • sociocognition
  • situated nature of language learning

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