Optimizing Interaction in the Second Language Classroom. (Linguistics)

By Pawlak, Miroslaw | Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies, Annual 2000 | Go to article overview

Optimizing Interaction in the Second Language Classroom. (Linguistics)


Pawlak, Miroslaw, Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies


1. Introduction

In recent years we have witnessed a significant shift of emphasis as far as second language acquisition research is concerned. This shift is reflected in the fact that many researchers have started to recognize the importance of the processes taking place in the classroom in second language development. Such a change of heart was effected by the failure of most input-output studies to produce conclusive results on the efficiency of various teaching methods and, consequently, by the recognition of the second language classroom as a cultural entity in which the whole learning process is predetermined by the interaction taking place between its participants as well as by the context in which this interaction occurs (cf. Allwright 1988; Allwright -- Bailey 1991).

As a result, a considerable amount of research has been carried out on interaction in second language classrooms as well as the factors that influence it. Researchers have focused their attention on participation which constitutes a direct manifestation of interactional processes. In an attempt at discovering the participation structure in an instructional context, much attention has been paid to turn-taking, initiative, teacher talk, learning strategies and repair. A considerable amount of research has also been directed towards pinpointing the differences in interaction between naturalistic settings and the second language classroom and finding out what sort of influence these differences can exert on second language development (cf. Allwright -- Bailey 1991; Ellis 1992, 1994; van Lier 1988).

The main goal of this study is to explore the ways in which the quality of interaction taking place in a typical polish high school second language classroom affects the teaching of speaking skills. An attempt will also be made to determine how different aspects of educational discourse can be shaped in order to make the acquisition of these skills as effective as possible. At the outset the relationship between the notions of input and interaction will be addressed, and a few comments will be made on the facets of classroom interaction to be investigated. Then an analysis of two sets of transcribed data will be carried out in accordance with the ethnographic tradition. The first set of transcripts, or the baseline data, will make it possible for us to determine to what extent the interactional patterns found in an instructional setting deviate from those encountered in general conversation, and in what ways they can be altered to promote real-life interaction and negotiation of meaning. The data collected in the second stage of the study come from English language classrooms in which some aspects of interaction were modified to make discourse more similar to communication in naturalistic settings. The patterns of interaction found in those classes will be analyzed and some comments will be made as to whether the modifications made the classes more conducive to the development of the speaking skills.

2. Input and interaction in second language acquisition

Research theory and practical experience all point to the fact that the samples of target language that learners are exposed to, often referred to as input, play a crucial role in second language acquisition. The recognition of the second language classroom as a social setting in which language learning takes place by means of "meaningful interaction", however, made it necessary for researches to explore the relationships between input and interaction. Although the indispensability of exposure to the target language was not called into question, some researchers argue that input in itself can no longer be regarded as the only factor determining the route and rate of second language acquisition.

The paramount importance of input, and to be more precise "comprehensible input" in language learning was emphasized by Krashen and later became the cornerstone of the so-called natural approach. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Optimizing Interaction in the Second Language Classroom. (Linguistics)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.