Using activity theory to explain differences in patterns of dyadic interactions in an ESL class
Source TitleCanadian Modern Language Review
PublisherCANADIAN MODERN LANGUAGE REV
University of Melbourne Author/sStorch, Neomy
AffiliationLinguistics And Applied Linguistics
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsStorch, N. (2004). Using activity theory to explain differences in patterns of dyadic interactions in an ESL class. CANADIAN MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW-REVUE CANADIENNE DES LANGUES VIVANTES, 60 (4), pp.457-480. https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.60.4.457.
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C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
Variations in how L2 learners work in pairs/groups have been noted by a number of researchers. However, explanations for such variations are often made in terms of differences in L2 proficiency or culture. What has often been overlooked is the participants' orientation to an activity and, in particular, their motives and goals. The importance of human motives and goals in explaining human behaviour is encapsulated in activity theory (Leont'ev, 1981). It is this theoretical perspective that guided the study reported in this article. The study attempted to explain variations found in the ways students interacted in pairs in a university ESL class. The data consist of interviews with eight participants who formed four case study pairs, each case exemplifying a distinct pattern of dyadic interaction. The findings suggest that patterns of dyadic interaction can be traced to the nature of the participants' goals and to whether or not members of the dyad share these goals.
KeywordsEnglish as a Second Language; Languages and Literacy
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