The role of linguistic background in interaction: A comparison of mixed and matched second language and heritage language learner dyads

Florencia Henshaw, Lauren Hetrovicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the growing number of heritage language (HL) learners in language courses, the interaction between second language (L2) and HL learners has not been fully explored in the research, and thus, it still remains unclear whether mixed (L2-HL) or matched (L2-L2, HL-HL) dyads are more beneficial for language learning. This study investigates whether the three possible dyad types differ in terms of the form-focused episodes (FFEs) that arose while learners worked together, as well as learning gains as a result of the interaction. Research questions were addressed by analyzing the audio-recorded interactions of eight L2-L2, eight HL-HL, and eight L2-HL dyads engaged in a collaborative writing task, as well as the texts produced by the learners. Learning gains were assessed through the incorporation of linguistic information from FFEs in immediate and two-week delayed post-treatment individual writing tasks. There were no differences regarding the total number of FFEs, but dyads differed with respect to the linguistic focus and resolution of FFEs. Moreover, learning gains were greater for matched dyads than for mixed dyads, suggesting that working with a peer of similar linguistic background and proficiency might be more beneficial for both L2 and HL learners. AATSP

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
JournalHispania
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Focus on form/enfoque en la forma
  • Heritage learners/estudiantes de herencia
  • Mixed classes/ clases mixtas
  • Peer interaction/interacciones entre compañeros
  • Second language learners/estudiantes de segunda lengua

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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