In this study, both sociocultural and cognitive perspectives are used to investigate how learners in the primary foreign language classroom support each other’s learning during peer oral interaction, and how this is influenced by different interaction patterns. Learners were recorded taking part in 3 spot-the-difference tasks in a year 4 primary class, and Storch’s model of interaction patterns (2002) was used as a framework to classify learner interaction. Transcripts were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively, and show how learners used a variety of strategies to support their partner’s output. It also shows how the majority of learners worked collaboratively, how collaboration increased with task repetition, and how pairs who engaged in collaborative interaction provided most support for their peer. However, other dyads showed less mutuality and engaged little with each other’s contributions, with quantitative analysis showing these learners provided each other with the least support for language learning, as they were unlikely to ask their peer for help, one of the most common strategies used by other dyads.
- Support for language learning
- Peer interaction
- Interaction patterns
- Primary language learning
- Foreign language learning