Learning opportunities in peer interaction and the influence of the social context.

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This study investigated peer oral interaction in two adult task basedlanguage teaching classrooms, both at B1 level, ffocusing on how learners createdlearning opportunities during peer interaction and the way in which the socialcontext shaped the provision of these opportunities. The study was carried out overthe period of one academic year with research being conducted in the classroomsas part of regular class work. The research was framed within a sociocognitiveperspective of second language learning and the data presented here comes fromaudio-recorded talk of dyads, triads and groups of four students completingoral tasks. These audio recordings were transcribed and analysed qualitativelyusing conversation analysis for interactions that led to learning opportunities andthose which encouraged a positive social dimension. Transcriptions were alsoanalysed quantitatively for language leading to learning opportunities. Analysisof interactions revealed the many ways in which learners in both groups createdlearning opportunities. Results showed that the social context influences the numberof learning opportunities created, and it is often the nature of the relationshipbetween the individual members of the small groups completing the tasks, whichinfluences the effectiveness of oral interaction for learning. This study contributes to our understanding of the way in which learners individualise the learning space and highlights the situated nature of language learning. It shows how individualsinteract with each other and how talk in interaction changes moment-by-momentas learners react to the here and now of the classroom environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-32
Number of pages19
JournalLinguarum Arena
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Peer oral interaction
  • learning opportunities
  • sociocognition
  • social dimension
  • situated nature of language learning
  • task based language learning


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