ERIC Number: ED252082
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Interaction Processes in Group Work.
Kramsch, Claire J.
Some aspects of foreign language classroom discourse are examined from a social theoretical perspective, and an attempt to raise the learners' awareness of the social reality created in interaction with other learners in the foreign language being taught is described. Through peer observation and the retrospective evaluation by the participants of interaction patterns in group discussions, three aspects are examined: the turn-taking mechanism, the management of topics, and repair patterns. The subjects were three groups of seven undergraduate students in a fourth semester German course participating in a task-oriented discussion in the absence of a teacher on the second day of the fall term. In each group, three students were observers and four were participants, and all responded to questionnaires after the discussion. The results suggest that adult learners at this level can observe and evaluate their interaction in group work, and the interactional metalanguage in the second language seems to be linguistically accessible to them, permitting a process-oriented discussion. However, the learners' ability to focus on process seems determined by the amount of control they perceive themselves to have over the group's discourse. It is suggested that this ability to reflect on interactional features could be helpful to students in (1) viewing their own performance in light of short- or long-term, explicit or implicit goals set for themselves; (2) reducing anxiety by qualitative differentiation of tasks and functions in discourse; and (3) broadening learners' options in group work through comparison with peers. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Turn Taking
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (18th, Houston, TX, March 6-11, 1984).