Classroom Interaction in Story-Based Lessons with Young Learners

| June 24, 2010
Classroom Interaction in Story-Based Lessons with Young Learners

Keywords: EFL research, story-based approach, classroom discourse, conversation analysis, primary school, storytelling

Chen-Ying Li
Fooyin University, Taiwan

Paul Seedhouse
Newcastle University, UK

Bio Data
Chen-Ying Li is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Director of Language Education Center at Fooyin University, Taiwan. She received her PhD degree in education from Newcastle University, UK. Her research interests include classroom interaction, language teaching methodology, and English for specific purposes.

Paul Seedhouse is Professor of Educational and Applied Linguistics in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK. His monograph The Interactional Architecture of the Language Classroom was published by Blackwell in 2004 and won the Modern Languages Association of America Mildenberger Prize.

This study evaluated the innovative introduction of a story-based approach in EFL classrooms with young learners in Taiwan. This article presents the features of classroom interaction in the story-based lessons through detailed analyses of classroom discourse in a teacher-fronted classroom setting. Transcripts of lessons were examined using the conversation analysis approach combined with Cameron s task framework. The results show that in the story-based lessons, compared with the baseline data (the standard lessons), there are more variations of interaction patterns, and overlapping occurs more frequently. A lot more pupil initiations, expressing a wide range of language functions, were also found and these might occur anytime in a lesson. Pupil initiations, however, are mainly in the L1 Chinese. Two teachers storytelling styles are identified and the different storytelling styles seemed to affect pupils production. The findings suggest that the story-based approach create an entertaining environment which stimulates a higher level of intrinsic motivation and engagement from pupils. What and how the pupils learn from the story-based lessons is related to how the teacher uses the story in the classroom and what he/she expected his/her pupils to learn from listening to the story.

See pages: 288-312

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 12 Issue 2