Case study of collaborative learning in two contexts: what do English language learners gain?

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Ashton-Hay, S & Pillay, HK 2010, 'Case study of collaborative learning in two contexts: what do English language learners gain?', in E Luzzatto & G DiMarco (eds), Collaborative learning: methodology, types of interactions and techniques, Nova Publishers, Hauppage, New York, ISBN: 9781608760763.


This chapter describes the use of collaborative learning as an approach to enhance English language learning by students from non-English speaking backgrounds. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) principles were applied to two case studies, one comprising of undergraduate English as Foreign Language Learners in Turkey and the other involved English as Second Language learners in Australia. Social constructivism inspired communicative language teaching using collaborative learning activities such as team work, interactive peer-based learning, and iterative stages of learning matrix were incorporated to enhance students' learning outcomes. Data collected after the CLT intervention was made up of field notes, reflective logs and focus group interviews which revealed complementarities, as well as subtle differences between the two cases. The findings were summarized as learning dispositions; speaking fluency and confidence; learning diagnostics and completion deficiencies; task engagement, flow theory and higher order thinking skills; in addition to self efficacy and development of student identity. CLT has the potential to provide a more inclusive and dynamic education for diverse learners through vital outcomes and benefits which resonate with the real world