Interaction in Language ClassroomUnderstanding the Language Classroom March 2011
InteractionWhat is interaction?What types of interaction are there inlanguage classrooms?Why is interaction important?What theoretical frameworks areavailable?How can interaction help us understandlanguage learning processes?
Classroom InteractionMind Your Languagehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtKqaQZ2gaQSeedhouse (1996): Natural, and genuine,or ‘typical’ and ‘traditional’ classroomcommunication?
Why is L2 interaction important? Interaction plays an important role in the development of L2 Interaction shapes and facilitates L2 acquisition Classroom interaction is one of the primary ways in which learners obtain data to construct their interlanguages Successful pedagogy involves the successful management of classroom interaction
Interaction in actionExample 1: T: What colour is this, Sarah? S: blue T: Is it blue or green? S: em green T: well done!Example 2: S: why he want this house? T: why does he want this house? S: yeah, why? T: I don’t know. What do you think?
What shapes Interaction in a language classroom? pedagogic goals (what is to be taught) methodological goals (how is it going to be taught) social goals (what kind of social relationship is to encourage) classroom settings and teacher action zone Type of task being used Students’ willingness to communicate …. ….
Characteristics of T-S interaction T-Natural, authentic and/or pedagogicTeacher talk (motherese) (motherese) slower paced, clearly enunciated, and syntactically less complexTeacher questions Display vs. authentic questions IRF IRF- IRF-RFeedbackError-Error-treatment interactionMain question: How does interaction relateto learning?
S-T interactionExample 3:T: and how do you get to the bank?S: bank ?T: yes. Can you tell me the way to the bank?S: you go straightT: straight, you mean straight along this road?S: straight this road, den traffic lightT: oh, the traffic lights?S: yeahT: okayS: and em (long pause)T: straight along this road till the traffic lightsS: tir?? tir??T: till, till the traffic lightsS: yes, till traffic light. And den right
Some Theoretical Perspectives to InteractionThe Input Hypothesis (Krashen, 1980)A Psycholinguistic Perspective (Long, 1991)A Socio-cultural Perspective (Lantolf, 2000) Socio-
The Input HypothesisComprehensible input will bring languageacquisition aboutComprehensible input is (i + 1)The interaction between language learnerand the comprehensible input is thenecessary condition for interlanguage todevelop
A Psycholinguistic Perspectivelanguage acquisition is facilitated when learnersobtain comprehensible inputComprehensible input results from theopportunity to negotiate meaning (N of M) whencommunication breakdown occursN of M helps learners process language andlearn through other ways of interaction such as Feedback Recast confirmation checks clarification requests
Interaction from a Psycholinguistics PerspectiveNegotiation for Meaning (N for M)Confirmation check:Making sure that you have understood what the learner meansComprehension check:Making sure that the learner has understood what you meanClarification request:Asking the learner to clarify their point by explaining or rephrasingRepetition:Repeating your words or those of the learnerReformulation:Rephrasing the content of what you have saidBacktracking:Returning to a point in the conversation up to which you believe the learnerhas understood you.Recast:Repeating a learner’s utterance correcting the error s/he has made
S-T interactionExample 3:T: and how do you get to the bank?S: bank ?T: yes. Can you tell me the way to the bank?S: you go straightT: straight, you mean straight along this road?S: straight this road, den traffic lightT: oh, the traffic lightsS: yeahT: okayS: and em (long pause)T: straight along this road till the traffic lightsS: tir??T: till, till the traffic lightsS: yes, till traffic light. And den right
Interaction from a Socio-cultural Socio- PerspectiveSocial interaction influences developmentCognitive development is a life-long life-process dependent on social interactionZPD is the distance between the actualdevelopment level and the level ofdevelopment as determined throughproblem solving under adult/teacherguidance or in collaboration with peersLearning best takes place in ZPD
A Socio-cultural Perspective Socio-Learning is a socially situated activityLearning occurs in and through interactionLearners are not just processors of input orproducers of output: they are speaker/hearersinvolved in developmental processes which arerealised in interactionGuidance and collaboration (scaffolding) wouldenable learners to do something she/he mightnot have been able to do otherwise
References:Ellis, R. (2000). Task-based research and language pedagogy. Language Task-Teaching Research, 4(3), 193-220. 193-Gass, S. (2003). Input and interaction. In Doughty, C. & Long, M. (eds.) Thehandbook of second language acquisition. Oxford: Blackwell PublishingKrashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition.Oxford: PergamonLantolf, J., & Appel, G. (1994). Vygotskyan approaches to second languageresearch. New Jersy: Albex.Long, M. (1983). Linguistic and conversational adjustments to non-native non-speakers. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 5, 177-193. 177-Lynch, T. (1996). Communication in the language classroom. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press.Ohta, A. (2000). Rethinking interaction in SLA: Developmentally appropriateassistance in the zone of proximal development and the acquisition of L2grammar. In J. Lantolf (ed.) Sociocultural theory and second languagelearning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Vygotsy, L. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.