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Title: The Talk Skills project : improving dialogic interaction in the Korean adult foreign language classroom
Author: Skuse, George E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 6172
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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The purpose of this study was to develop the Talk Skills pedagogic intervention, implemented in the Korean adult L2 learning context, which aims to raise awareness of effective L2 talk and teach oral communicative strategies that help students to achieve it. The study is underpinned by theories that foreground the importance of language use in L2 classrooms, focusing, most importantly, on the relationship between interaction and second language acquisition, and sociocultural theory for language learning. Review of the literature showed that students had the best opportunities for language learning when classroom talk embodies characteristics such as students giving opinions, offering reasons, sharing information, respectfully challenging each other, attempting to reach agreement, negotiating meaning, noticing and building upon gaps in their language and promoting language learning through scaffolding and emergent language. This type of talk is termed here exploratory talk for language learning. However, research into the Korean context showed that Korean L2 learners encounter problems with classroom group oral interaction that inhibit the production of this kind of talk and that may lead to unfulfilled potential for learning. This led to the hypothesis that adult Korean L2 learners could benefit from lessons that raise awareness of this kind of talk and learn strategies to help achieve it. Drawing on previous attempts at metacognitive awareness raising of effective classroom talk, as well as literature on oral communicative strategy training, the Talk Skills intervention was developed using a design-based research (DBR) methodology. The scope of the project was limited to exploring the soundness and local viability of the intervention, using lesson transcript data, student interview feedback, my own field notes and expert appraisal from my course tutors to refine the intervention across two iterations. Initial impact of the project was also explored by analysing feedback from a small number of teachers who have used elements of the intervention in their adult English language courses. Taken as a whole, this thesis argues that Korean adult L2 learners can benefit from metacognitive awareness raising of exploratory talk for language learning and the learning of oral communicative strategies to help achieve this kind of talk. The thesis further argues that this aim can successfully be achieved using a design-based research methodology to both develop the Talk Skills intervention as a pedagogic tool, and further offer specific insight into instructional techniques, student engagement and teacher’s interactional roles that aid the success of its implementation. Finally, this thesis argues that as DBR is an underutilized methodology in the field of L2 research, the Talk Skills project offers a useful example of DBR for practitioner researchers wishing to embark on intervention design and development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education ; PE English