Social Actions for Classroom Language Learning Author: John Hellermann

Hardback - 192 pages
Related Formats:
Paperback EPUB
11 Jan 2008
New Perspectives on Language and Education
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


Drawing on recent socio-cultural approaches to research on language learning and an extensive corpus of classroom video recording made over four years, the book documents language learning as an epiphenomenon of peer face-to-face interaction. Advanced technology for recording classroom interaction (6 cameras per classroom) allows the research to move the focus for analysis off the teacher and onto learners as they engage in dyadic interaction. The research uses methods from conversation analysis with longitudinal data to document practices for interaction between learners and how those practices change over time. Language learning is seen in learners’ change in participation in their in social actions that occur around and within teacher-assigned language learning tasks (starting the task, non-elicited story tellings within tasks, and ending tasks). Web links are provided so the reader can see the data from the classroom that is the subject of the analyses.


This book offers one of the most persuasive and empirically rich arguments for considering second language acquisition in terms of changes in participation within a community of practice.

- Simona Pekarek Doehler, Professor of Applied Linguistic, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, President of the European Second Language Association (EUROSLA)

This book makes a timely contribution to the ongoing debate as to how CA, either alone or combined with a learning theory, can capture language learning. Hellermann’s study proposes one model to follow in this endeavour, and, at the same time, it triggers further questions regarding learners’ life outside of the classroom.

- Studies in Second Language Acquisition 6th July 2008 Junko Mori University of Wisconsin-Madison

Author Biography:

John Hellermann is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University where he was a researcher for the National Labiste for Adult ESOL for four years. He previously taught in public school and community college settings in Wisconsin and Hungary. His research has investigated the prosodic organization of classroom talk, conversation analytic approaches to language learning, and immigrant identity and language learning.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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