Group discussions : the teacher's role?

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Reinders, Hayo
Lewis, Marilyn
Tsang, Rebecca
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Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
second language acquisition (SLA)
English teacher's roles
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Reinders, H. , Lewis, M. , & Tsang, R. 2003. Group discussions : the teacher's role? Asian Journal of English Language Teaching (AJELT) 13, 61-73. NOTE: This is research undertaken prior to the author being affiliated with the Unitec Institute of Technology.
Group discussions are a popular way of increasing the opportunities for authentic talk by language learners. However groups can also present problems: one or two learners may dominate talk or teachers may have difficulty in adapting to a less up-front teaching role. This article reports a small action-research project which shows how teachers can monitor and adjust their roles. The teacher-researcher wanted to adapt her directive teaching style to a more facilitative role with small groups. She analysed her own language and its effects on learners’ talk over three sessions in which three different groups of students were discussing a movie. On each occasion this analysis led to her modifying her language in the next session. This study suggests a process whereby other teachers could carry out action research in order to monitor their teaching. The actual effect of a teacher reducing her own intervention suggests that while a decrease in teacher talk may be helpful, this is not the only consideration. Teacher intervention may sometimes be important to maintain interaction levels.
The Chinese University Press
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The Chinese University of Press
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This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Asian Journal of English Language Teaching © The Chinese University of Hong Kong 2003. Only the abstract is available online at this time: Asian Journal of English Language Teaching
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