5. Collaborative dialogue in a two-way Spanish/English immersion classroom

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This chapter contributes to the field of language education by comparing peer interaction patterns during homogeneous and heterogeneous (based on language proficiency) small group work in a two-way immersion context. Using Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory as a theoretical framework, researchers analyzed 16 audio-recorded sessions of student Spanish interactions in a 5th grade (10 to 11 year-old students) two-way immersion classroom. Centered on four focal students, the study explored the relationship between group composition, student interaction, and collaborative dialogue. While homogeneous group work produced more collaborative dialogue, a micro discourse analysis using positioning theory, found student interactions were affected by expert and novice positioning leading to marginalization and silencing of less proficient students during heterogeneous group work. The study recommends ways teachers and students can facilitate collaborative interactions in two-way immersion contexts.


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