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Interactive peer-based learning in a comparative case study : what do students gain?

Ashton-Hay, Sally Ann (2011) Interactive peer-based learning in a comparative case study : what do students gain? .

Abstract

As English increasingly becomes one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world today for a variety of economic, social and cultural reasons, education is impacted by globalisation, the internationalisation of universities and the diversity of learners in classrooms. The challenge for educators is to find more effective ways of teaching English language so that students are better able to create meaning and communicate in the target language as well as to transform knowledge and understanding into relevant skills for a rapidly changing world. This research focuses broadly on English language education underpinned by social constructivist principles informing communicative language teaching and in particular, interactive peer learning approaches. An intervention of interactive peer-based learning in two case study contexts of English as Foreign Language (EFL) undergraduates in a Turkish university and English as Second Language (ESL) undergraduates in an Australian university investigates what students gain from the intervention. Methodology utilising qualitative data gathered from student reflective logs, focus group interviews and researcher field notes emphasises student voice. The cross case comparative study indicates that interactive peer-based learning enhances a range of learning outcomes for both cohorts including engagement, communicative competence, diagnostic feedback as well as assisting development of inclusive social relationships, civic skills, confidence and self efficacy. The learning outcomes facilitate better adaptation to a new learning environment and culture. An iterative instructional matrix tool is a useful product of the research for first year university experiences, teacher training, raising awareness of diversity, building learning communities, and differentiating the curriculum. The study demonstrates that English language learners can experience positive impact through peer-based learning and thus holds an influential key for Australian universities and higher education.

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ID Code: 46111
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Carrington, Suzanne, Pillay, Hitendra , & Tangen, Donna
Keywords: communicative language teaching, English as a second language (ESL), English as a foreign language (EFL), higher education, inclusive education, international students, peer-based learning
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2011 16:51
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2011 17:05

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