Capstone/Dissertation Title

Increasing Interaction among Novice Elementary School Second Language Learners: A Preliminary Study

Term

Fall 10-22-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Michelle Benegas

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Anne DeMuth

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Meghan Grossman

Abstract

This mixed-methods case study was designed to measure the effectiveness of two-way information gap activities (IGAs) at increasing target language interaction among novice elementary school second language learners. The motivation for this study came from wanting to make my classroom more student-centered and communicative. Through a modified time-series design, two baseline pair activities and three, two-way IGAs were implemented with two students in a tutoring setting. The two-way IGAs were designed following Pica et al.’s (2009) framework. Data was collected to compare target language interaction among the activities. Students also participated in a semi-structured interview. The key findings include: 1) two-way IGAs are more effective than traditional partner activities at promoting interaction among novice elementary-aged second language learners; 2) several types of two-way IGAs are effective; and 3) students enjoy and learn from two-way IGAs.

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