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On the Contingent Nature of Language Learning Tasks
Classroom Discourse (2010)
  • John Hellermann, Portland State University
  • Simona Pekarek Doehler
Using methods from conversation analysis, this paper explores ways that teacher‐designed language‐learning task interactions can vary in their performance due to the nature of face‐to‐face interaction. The analysis describes three task interactions from language‐learning classrooms, showing how the contingencies that are necessitated by learners working in small groups provide for different task performance as well as different potentials for language learning. The video‐recorded interactions come from two different classroom contexts: adult English‐language learners in the USA and adolescent learners of French in Switzerland. In each context, the learners are engaged in a directions‐giving task. Participants’ individual and group orientations to these similar teacher‐designed tasks lead to different co‐constructed performances of the task and, in each case, unique learning potentials.
  • Language‐learning tasks,
  • Classroom interaction,
  • Conversation analysis,
  • Small group teaching
Publication Date
May, 2010
Citation Information
John Hellermann and Simona Pekarek Doehler. "On the Contingent Nature of Language Learning Tasks" Classroom Discourse Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2010)
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