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Zhejiang Normal University, China
Grounded in sociocultural theory (SCT), this study examines interactions among beginning Learners of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL). Through video-recordings of learner interactions during task-based activities, microgenetic analysis of the data indicates that beginning CFL learners draw on mutual assistance, correction, co-construction, and a shared L1 to solve linguistic problems encountered during classroom tasks. Learner to learner interaction leads to a higher level of performance that cannot be accomplished by either of them alone. Also, variations are identified in the interactional process among different pairs. This study indicates that beginning learners benefit from peer interaction during task-based activities. Moreover, it is suggested that this benefit relates to various contextual factors such as individual learner difference in linguistic ability, the characteristics of the target language, task design, and groupings. As such, it highlights the need to consider context when observing the nature of learner interaction. Implications for CFL teaching are also discussed.
Sociocultural perspective, the zone of proximal development, learner-learner interaction, Chinese as a foreign language