A Study of the Frequency of Language Related Episodes (LREs) in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Dyadic Interaction and its Comparative Role in Improving EFL Learners’ Writing Ability
The study compared the relative frequency of the Language Related Episodes (LREs) in the pair talk data of homogenous and heterogeneous pairs of English learners and investigated the effect of two types of dyadic interaction on the learners’ writing ability. Ninety-eight female students of TEFL participated in the study. The participants’ English language proficiency was initially tested by First Certificate English (FCE) test the results of which were the basis for designing two groups of pairs. In the heterogeneous group, 15 participants who had low scores were paired with partners who had high scores in the test while in the homogeneous group, 15 participants were paired with partners who had similar English proficiency test scores. The pairs in both groups were assigned to perform six oral pair works including picture description and table description tasks. The transcribed pair-talks were analyzed for the frequency of the LREs. The Independent-groups t-test analysis showed a significantly higher occurrence of LREs in the heterogeneous pairs. Furthermore, the participants’ writing scores in the writing section of the FCE test, as the pretest, were compared with their writing scores in another version of FCE test considered as the posttest. The Paired samples t-test and the Univaiate Analysis of Variance analyses showed significant increases from pretest to posttest for both groups but no significant difference between the two groups’ gains. The findings of the study were explained in reference to Vygotsky’s notion of ZPD within the Socio-cultural theory. The study had several pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research.
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