Collaboration before Writing: Exploring How Student Talk Contributes to English L2 Written Narratives

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Kim McDonough
Teresa Hernández González


Previous studies of prewriting discussions have focused narrowly on classifying the type of student talk e.g., content, organization, language) that occurred during a short planning period. However, less is known about how  students’ interactions unfold across multiple prewriting discussions in an entire lesson. To gain further insight into the relationship between collaborative talk and individual writing, this case study explores how two ESL students, Lendina and Mateo, interact during three prewriting activities in one lesson. Data sources include transcripts of the students’ discussions, their narrative texts, and perceptions from the students, their teacher, and an observer. Findings revealed that their discussions were characterized by collaboration (e.g., equality, mutuality, and shared epistemic stance), with each activity contributing concepts and lexical expressions to the students’ narratives. Implications for instructors interested in integrating prewriting discussions into their classes are provided.


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McDonough, K., & Hernández González, T. (2020). Collaboration before Writing: Exploring How Student Talk Contributes to English L2 Written Narratives. REFLections, 27(1), 62–80.
Research articles


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