An exploratory case study of the participation and interaction among elementary school English language learners and native speakers in online discussions
Mei Lan Ma, University of Toronto , Canada
University of Toronto . Awarded
Research studies demonstrate that L2 learners participate more equally when using synchronous computer mediated communication (CMC). However, most of these studies have involved adult students only, in college or university settings. Few have explored the use of synchronous CMC with elementary school learners. Thus, this case study explored the participation of Grade 8 native speakers and English language learners as they interacted in the online environment. It examined the number of turns taken by each participant, the discourse functions used, as well as participants' perceptions of communicating online. This was accomplished through collection of chat transcripts, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. It was found that native speakers tended to take more turns in online discussions. Also, responses and questions were the discourse functions that were used most by participants in this research. Finally, the students viewed this mode of communication favourably, and believed that it aided their communication with one another.
Ma, M.L. An exploratory case study of the participation and interaction among elementary school English language learners and native speakers in online discussions. Master's thesis, University of Toronto.
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