Edited by Martin Bygate
[Task-Based Language Teaching 11] 2018
► pp. 223–254
Chapter 9. Second language learning through repeated engagement in a poster presentation task
This chapter reports on an ethnographic multiple-case study of EFL students’ language learning through repeated engagement in a poster presentation task. The study draws upon sociocultural and ecological perspectives to highlight the interpersonal processes that contribute to L2 students’ learning through a poster carousel (Lynch & Maclean, 2000, 2001) that involved three presentations by the same group on the same topic, each followed by a question-answer session. Participants were Japanese undergraduate students, and data were collected primarily through classroom observations, audio-recordings of task-related interactions, semi-structured interviews, and collection of relevant documents. Recorded discourse was analyzed mainly using an ethnography of communication approach (Duff, 2002) in order to trace the interactional trajectories that led to changes in students’ performances. The analysis showed that students benefited from their repeated experiences with the task in a variety of ways. Some students acted upon the feedback from their audience to refine their subsequent task performances. Other students used questions from their previous audience to invite contributions from the current audience. Importantly, not all students were willing to change their second and third performances because their main concern was to avoid risk-taking. The chapter concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for research and pedagogy.