An Investigation Into Collaborative Behaviours In Task-Based Foreign Language Peer Interactions
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The present study investigated the effect of task type and group structuring on learners’ collaborative behaviours during L2 task-based peer interaction from a sociocultural perspective. A total of 15 learners who were studying English at an intensive language programme participated in a speaking club as an extracurricular activity in groups of four or five. They were assigned two different types of speaking tasks; namely convergent and divergent tasks, in two group structuring conditions; namely unstructured and structured. The emerging interactions from these tasks were analysed through applying a grounded qualitative analysis. The results suggest that learners employed 13 different collaborative behaviours which were grouped under language-related and taskrelated collaborative behaviours. There were eight language-related and five taskrelated collaborative behaviours. A frequency analysis of these collaborative behaviours was later conducted to draw conclusions on the effect of task type and group structuring. Overall, the quantitative findings showed that learners displayed language-related collaborative behaviours more frequently in convergent tasks. On the other hand, task-related collaborative behaviours were more frequently observed in divergent tasks. Additionally, learners displayed more collaborative behaviours during unstructured tasks than structured tasks. Language-related collaborative behaviours were more frequently employed in unstructured tasks while task-related collaborative behaviours were more frequently employed in structured tasks. These findings suggest both task type and group structuring had an impact on learners’ overall use of collaborative behaviours. Additionally, individual collaborative behaviours showed a difference in frequency between divergent and convergent tasks. Moreover, they showed a difference in frequency between unstructured and structured tasks.