Communication Between Learners

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The central argument in the study is that learning is a social process where learners engage in joint endeavors with others to co-construct knowledge. In this sense, learners are the ‘active participants in the practices of social communities and constructing identities in relation to these communities’ (Wenger’s, 1998: 4). In language classrooms, the importance of interaction and communication between learners have been gradually recognized, and group work has been put into wider use. Despite a great amount of research that investigates the negotiation of meaning in the linguistic sense during group work, less has been devoted to uncovering the configurations of relations and the forging of identities when learners participate in group work.…show more content…
Since learners bring in their own experience into the classroom and develop relations with others, the analysis of interactions should not be limited to linguistic ones. Besides, despite the emphasis on communicative ability and students’ active participation in the current New Syllabuses for English in China (Jin and Cortazzi, 1998a), a great many schools still refrain from using interactive activities in classroom. From my experience in schools, some teachers were concerned about the practicality and effectiveness of using group work. I also found out that learners were not equally engaged in group work and it was sometimes difficult to manage activities. For my MA report, I have looked into how learners interact with each other in group work and discovered that learners’ community, the relationship between learners, learner autonomy, and the role of teacher contributed to the success of group work. However, given the limited time span, I could only gain a relatively superficial understanding of the learners’ experience of group work. Meanwhile, research on identity has become increasingly central within sociolinguistics and related fields (Bucholtz and Hall, 2005). Therefore, for my PhD study, I would like to explore the role of learners’ identities and relations in affecting the effectiveness of group…show more content…
The successful adoption of group work does not merely depend on the comprehensibility of input, form of feedback, or other linguistic factors. Learners bring their own experience and perceptions into classrooms, and their identities affect and are affected by the interactional processes in group work. By investigating the issue of identities in group work, the study might provides some insights for teachers about what to consider while designing group activities and how to manage group activities in class. The study can be especially inspiring in China, for ELT there is still confronted with the problem of how to make language classrooms more communicative and interactive. As for future research development, the research may deepen current understandings the sociocultural aspects in language

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