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LINGUIST List 22.1519

Sat Apr 02 2011

Diss: Applied Ling: Priego: 'An E-mail Tandem Learning Project ...'

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        1.     Sabrina Priego , An E-mail Tandem Learning Project Involving ESL and FSL Secondary School Students: A Sociocultural Perspective

Message 1: An E-mail Tandem Learning Project Involving ESL and FSL Secondary School Students: A Sociocultural Perspective
Date: 02-Apr-2011
From: Sabrina Priego <sabrina.priegolli.ulaval.ca>
Subject: An E-mail Tandem Learning Project Involving ESL and FSL Secondary School Students: A Sociocultural Perspective
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Institution: Université Laval
Program: Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Translation
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Sabrina Priego

Dissertation Title: An E-mail Tandem Learning Project Involving ESL and FSL Secondary School Students: A Sociocultural Perspective

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            French (fra)

Dissertation Director:
Susan Parks

Dissertation Abstract:

This study examined project-based, e-mail tandem exchanges between ESL and
FSL secondary school students. Drawing on a sociocultural perspective
(Lantolf, 2000; Parks, 2000; Wells, 1999), it sought to investigate (a) the
strategies employed by secondary ESL and FSL students to provide
scaffolding to their e-mail tandem partners, (b) the resources used by
students when composing their e-mails, (c) the use of the feedback provided
by their e-mail tandem partners when revising their reports, (d) the
usefulness of the notion of motive, as defined by sociocultural theory, to
explain the differences in the way the tandem partners oriented to the
exchanges (i.e., how they engaged and invested themselves in the e-mail
exchanges), and (e) the teachers' perceptions of the use of tandem e-mail
as a language learning tool. One group of 30 intermediate-level
French-speaking ESL students in a secondary school (Secondary 4) in Quebec
was paired up with two groups of intermediate-level English-speaking FSL
students (total 30) in a secondary school (Grade 11) in Ontario. The joint
reading of articles taken from newspapers and magazines of interest to
teenagers formed the basis for the e-mail discussions. Data, collected over
an 18-week period during the 2004-2005 academic year, were obtained from
four main sources: written documents, observations, questionnaires, and
interviews. The main findings were the following: (1) Using a taxonomy
adapted from Villamil and De Guerrero's (1996) taxonomy of substrategies
for providing scaffolding, analysis of e-mails showed that both ESL and FSL
students provided scaffolding to one another by resorting to various
strategies. In both groups, giving explicit feedback was the most salient
strategy employed by the students when functioning as the NS tutor. (2)
Findings from various sources of data collection methods showed that during
the composing of their e-mails, both groups drew on a variety of resources.
(3) An analysis of first and second drafts revealed that ESL students
incorporated 91 % of the corrections provided by their tandem partners,
while the FSL students incorporated 74 %. (4) Although the findings showed
that the majority of the students participating in the e-mail tandem
project had minimally completed the basic course requirements, the analysis
of eight case study participants revealed individual differences in the way
the latter oriented to the tasks and subsequently carried them out. These
results were linked to the notion of motive, as defined by sociocultural
theory. (5) Although the teachers reported that their students had
benefited from the authentic communication with native speakers and from
the feedback they received from them, data also revealed that they had been
confronted with a number of challenges. In contrast to previous research
that has focused on adult L2 learners (e.g., Appel, 1997; Appel & Gilabert,
2002; Belz, 2001, 2002a, 2002b, 2003; Belz & Kinginger, 2002, 2003; Lee,
2004; Liaw & Johnson, 2001; Müller-Hartmann, 2000; O'Dowd, 2003), this
study sheds light on the degree to which L2 secondary school students are
capable of giving each other feedback.



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This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $67,000. This money will go to help 
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