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Playing to learn: A qualitative analysis of bilingual pupil-pupil talk during board game play

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Heather Smith


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This paper explores what happens when bilingual learners come together to play a board game specially designed to facilitate an interactive context in which the learning of English as a second or additional language is promoted. An example of the interactive behaviour of one group of bilingual learners is then presented in order to illustrate such language learning 'in action' within this game playing context. Interactive episodes, analysed in detail from within a sociocultural framework, reveal the mechanisms by which pupils support and mediate one another's learning. Such analysis reveals second/additional language learning as a process, an aspect of learning often overlooked and undervalued in classrooms, given the quest for ever more standardised and summative forms of assessment in the UK today. It is argued that the resulting information on how bilingual pupils learn English is useful in suggesting subsequent teaching strategies. © 2006 H. Smith.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Language and Education

Year: 2006

Volume: 20

Issue: 5

Pages: 415-437

ISSN (print): 0950-0782

ISSN (electronic): 1747-7581

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.2167/le639.0


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