Co-creation of Knowledge in Technology-Enhanced Communities of Learning

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Publication type: 
English

The Social and Discursive Spectrum of Peer Talk

Date: 
2004

The study aims to lay the groundwork for systematically investigating children's peer discourse at different age levels with a view to delimiting the role of peer talk for pragmatic development. An interdisciplinary stance to the study of children's peer talk is argued for, considering it simultaneously as the arena for the co-construction of childhood cultures as ell as an arena for development. We propose a four-dimensional model of discursive events, meant to capture both dimensions simultaneously. The model takes into account the dynamic interplay among the type of (imposed or self-selected) activity children are engaged in, the overall thematic frame of the event, its internal framing by the children themselves (keying) and genre(s) used. the model is applied to the analysis of natural peer talk at two age levels, preschoolers and fourth graders, focusing mainly on variation along the dimension of keying. The two age groups studied are shown to share a rich repertoire of keyings and genres, but to differ in their relative salience and modes of realization by age. Our analysis suggests that peer talk offers children ample opportunities to listen in, practice and display converstional as well as academic discursive skills, and hence may very well prove a crucial site fore pragmatic development. 

cite: 
Blum-Kulka, S., Huck-Taglicht, D., & Avni, H. (2004). The Social and Discursive Spectrum of Peer Talk. Discourse Studies, 6, 307-328.