Collaborative dialogue and deliberative communication: Reading circles with Young Adult novels and adolescent learners of English as a Second Language

Strobel, Madeleine (2023) Collaborative dialogue and deliberative communication: Reading circles with Young Adult novels and adolescent learners of English as a Second Language. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Learning a second language (L2) requires extensive input, and interaction in the target language can allow learners to notice and adjust their language use. Pedagogical activities that involve small-group discussions around literary texts have the potential to provide such learning opportunities. There is limited empirical research in the fields of L2 learning and teaching, however reader response research demonstrates that in-depth exploration of interpretations can be facilitated and suggests that critical pedagogies where learners act as problem-posers and problem-solvers may facilitate democratic dialogue (Short, 2011). This interdisciplinary shared goal of negotiation of meaning follows the Education 2030’s (UNESCO, 2016) global aims of furthering democracy. This qualitative study aims to provide insights into how reading circles can facilitate opportunities for interaction in L2 English and responses to literary texts. Data was generated from classroom observations and transcripts of audio recordings of learner-led reading circles with roles, Young Adult (YA) novels, and adolescent learners of English as a Second Language at a Swedish middle school. Selected purposively to draw insights from established communicative practices, this school implements reading circles regularly with their L2 English learners. Framed by sociocultural theory and the concept of languaging (Swain & Watanabe, 2013), the iterative linguistic and reader response analysis generated an analytical framework that draws on findings from Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research and reader response studies with picturebooks and younger learners. Main findings demonstrate how the learners co-constructed collaborative dialogue that involved appropriation of lexis and selfand other-repair of form, lexis, and narrative details. Supporting previous SLA research, this suggests how learner-led reading circles can provide opportunities for noticing form and lexis and adjustment of language in interaction. It also contributes to understanding how they can allow for negotiation of narrative details and regulation of reading comprehension. Adding to reader response research with adolescent L2 learners and YA novels, a typology of responses was developed that demonstrate how the learners made intertextual links within the novels and between the novels and their own narratives of life. This contributes to the discussion of the potential of literary texts to foster empathy by providing insights into how the learners drew on emotional responses to express compassion for or reject the characters’ actions. In sum, the learners’ interactions and negotiation of meaning suggest they were involved in deliberative communication, a pedagogical pursuit that aims to facilitate democratic processes (Englund, 2006).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: MacDiarmid, Dr. Carole and McAdam, Dr. Julie
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83593
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 15:28
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2024 13:58
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83593

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