This study explores dynamic relationships between students and student-facilitators, aiming to explore how student expectations influence their relationship and thus language learning experience and outcomes in No-Level Brick (NoLBrick) dialogic Japanese as a foreign language course at an Italian university. This research focuses on participants’ expectations toward language education as they profoundly influence their learning processes and outcomes (Bernat & Gvozdenko 2005), in particular, their expectations towards language teachers. In adult language education, facilitators are expected to ‘support’ student learning achievement while respecting their autonomy and thus allowing students to take responsibility within the learning process (Umeda 2005; Balboni 2014). However, the facilitators are often seen to fulfill the role of the teachers who often take an initiative in guiding student learning. The NoLBrick dialogic Japanese language course in this research asks us to reconsider such aforementioned expectations towards ‘facilitators’ in language classrooms when the facilitators are peer-students whose role is to promote its dialogic approach in and outside the classroom. This qualitative case study (Duff 2008) explores the data from the reports produced by students and student-facilitators, relating it to researcher’s participant observation and own experience as a facilitator within the course. This research found that the student expectations toward the facilitators were dynamically negotiated and changed or unchanged. Findings highlight a variety of relationships among the participants, ranging from friendship to evasive ones, which differently impacted the cooperativeness and the quality of dialogues in the class.
Chiara Alessandrini, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
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