L1 use in peer interaction: exploring time and proficiency pairing effects in primary school EFL

Alexandra Vraciu*, Elisabet Pladevall-Ballester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This longitudinal study explores the effects of time and proficiency pairing on the amount and purpose of L1 use in task-based peer interaction by EFL primary school learners. Most of the studies available to date on L1 use in peer interaction involve adult learners, and we have little empirical evidence on the role played by the L1 in child peer interaction, particularly in low exposure contexts. Oral production data was elicited from forty Catalan/Spanish bilingual children who performed a spot-the-differences task, paired up in mixed and matched proficiency dyads. The data were collected twice over the course of two academic years (i.e. when children were 9–10 and 11–12 years old). The results show time effects on the frequency of L1 use and the range of functions it fulfils in child peer interaction, but very limited effects of proficiency pairing. We discuss the implications of our findings for the EFL classroom practice.

Keywords

  • EFL
  • L1 use
  • peer interaction
  • proficiency pairing
  • task
  • young learners

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