How do L2 student moderators facilitate a peer-led discussion forum?

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Zhong, Qunyan (Maggie)
Norton, Howard
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2021-10
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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China
English language students in China
online discussion forums
student-moderated discussion
peer feedback
student facilitation strategies
educational technology in language learning
corporate social responsibility (CSR)
second language acquisition (SLA)
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Zhong, Q.,& Norton, H. (2021, October). How do L2 student moderators facilitate a peer-led discussion forum?. Paper presented at the 17th National Conference for Community Languages and ESOL (CLESOL)
Abstract
Assigning students as moderators in online discussion forums is considered to be an effective strategy; however, a review of the literature indicates that previous studies have primarily focused on instructors as facilitators. Inquiries into the behaviours of student facilitators are under-researched, especially in the field of SLA. This presentation reports findings of a study conducted at a university of China. Based on the posted messages of seven student moderators of a L5 English for Academic Purposes course, the study reveals that they employed sixteen strategies and performed four major roles during the process of leading an online discussion: a knowledge constructor, a team builder, a motivator and an organiser. The results suggest that allocating students a facilitating role is a viable and effective strategy to foster learner autonomy and nurture student leaders. The presentation will conclude with pedagogical implications and recommendations which might be useful to educators in a similar context.
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