Expert-novice interaction as the basis for L2 developmental activity
A SCT perspective
Keywords:Sociocultural theory, zone of proximal development, interaction, multimodality
This study investigated interaction between an adult EFL university student in Japan and her EFL tutor/researcher while they observed the student’s L2 writing event during a stimulated retrospective recall session. Interaction is considered both a methodological instrument to investigate the complex cognitive activity underpinning L2 writing and a pedagogic tool to encourage linguistic – as well as strategic – awareness and change. Informed by Sociocultural Theory, this paper argues that interaction which is sensitive to learners’ potential development can be a powerful tool to promote the co-construction of L2 knowledge. Data were collected through eye-tracking and real-time screen capture of the writing event and analysed using descriptive statistics and microgenetic multimodal interaction analysis. The paper aims to illustrate the potential value of a mixed-methods, multimodal, design to better understand the dual role of interaction: (a) to support development; and (b) as a methodological instrument to investigate the unfolding history of that development.
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