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Learners’ language use during task-based peer interaction in second language class of primary school

An, Sukyoung; (2019) Learners’ language use during task-based peer interaction in second language class of primary school. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study sets out to explore Second Language (L2) learners’ language use during peer interaction for performing L2 tasks in the primary L2 classroom from the sociocultural perspective. Professional and pedagogical impetus for an enquiry into L2 learners’ language use is provided by the dilemma caused by the gap between an L2 only policy and classroom practice. The issue of L2 learners’ use of L1 within L2 classrooms has been a controversial topic in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), yet to date there has been little research conducted in the primary L2 learning contexts. Therefore, there was a need to examine the actual language use of L2 learners in the primary L2 classroom to gain pedagogical insights and implications related to learners’ language use. To this end, this study conducted a collective case study in intact primary L2 classrooms of two different institutional types: English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes at a state primary school in Seoul, and Korean as a Heritage Language (KHL) classes at a Korean Saturday School in London. Multiple evidence of learners’ language use was gathered and analysed via thematic analysis in terms of distinct features and overall functions. The findings reveal that primary L2 learners frequently codeswitched their language, i.e. shifted their linguistic code between L1 and L2, as budding bilingual speakers; used language strategically through repetition; and used the economy of language through interjections, onomatopoeias, and hesitation fillers. The findings also provide evidence that learners’ language mediated the completion of L2 tasks, serving communicative, cognitive, and socio-affective functions on the interpersonal or the intrapersonal plane. These findings call for several pedagogical reconsiderations: reconceptualising views of L2 learners from imperfect monolinguals to developing bilinguals; reconsidering pedagogical decisions on the L2 only policy; improving L2 textbooks and instructional resources; developing balanced L2 tasks between learners’ L2 competence and cognitive development; enriching and expanding learners’ vocabulary; and finally enhancing teachers’ teaching practice in order to bridge the gap between the policy and learners’ use of language.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Learners’ language use during task-based peer interaction in second language class of primary school
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077040
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