A Comparison of Student Participation Levels by Group Size and Language Stages during Chatroom and Face-to-Face Discussions in German
Issue: Vol 21 No. 1 (2004)
Journal: CALICO Journal
This article seeks to contribute to the ongoing exploration of computer-assisted language learning (CALL), in particular synchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC) used in a university environment, and attempts to find answers to the following two research questions: (a) How is the level of participation in communicative interactions distributed among participants? and (b) What kind of language is the language learner engaged in during small chatroom sessions in comparison to small-group face-to-face sessions? This study compared the level of participation among 27 students and contrasted their written German chatroom discourse with their oral discourse produced in small face-to-face discussion groups. First, the level of participation was measured by coding the data with communication units, or c-units. Second, the overall level of participation among groups with five students was compared to groups with only four students. Finally, the study investigated the language levels produced in both discussion modes by applying a scale of language stages as described by Tschirner (1996).
Author: Olaf Böhlke