Internalizing Interactions

Use of the Dominant Language and an Inanimate Expert


  • Nicholas Carr Deakin University



Activity Theory, corrective feedback, internalization


This study uses Activity Theory to explore how knowledge is constructed during peer-to-peer interactions and how this knowledge is used in individual output. Adopting a case study approach, two participants collaboratively processed feedback on jointly produced texts on four occasions. Data were collected through video recordings of participants processing feedback; collaborative writing tasks; individual writing and speaking tasks; and retrospective interviews. I investigated how participants used their dominant language and an inanimate expert (such as online dictionaries) to construct knowledge when responding to feedback, and then examined individual output to explore how this knowledge was drawn upon in similar, but not identical, tasks. Findings indicate use of the dominant language and an inanimate expert was interdependent with other aspects of the activity, in particular the rules and language learning beliefs. While participants’ individual output indicates this knowledge was drawn upon, it also shows that not all learning was evidenced in output.

Author Biography

Nicholas Carr, Deakin University

Nicholas Carr is a recent PhD graduate from Deakin University. Nicholas lecturers in Pedagogic Grammar, EAL/D Pedagogy, Sociolinguistics, English for Specific Purposes and Academic Writing. His research explores feedback in language learning, collaborative learning and writing processes. Nicholas is now at the University of Electro-Communications, Japan.


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How to Cite

Carr, N. (2022). Internalizing Interactions: Use of the Dominant Language and an Inanimate Expert. Language and Sociocultural Theory, 8(2), 180–205.