“Their encouragement makes me feel more confident”: Exploring peer effects on learner engagement in collaborative reading of academic texts

Tan JIN, Yishi JIANG, Ming Yue Michelle GU, Jing CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although it has been well noted that peer interaction can affect language learning outcomes, how it specifically impacts the learning process in group reading tasks remains underexplored. This article reports on a longitudinal case study, examining how peer interactions influence the engagement of five first-year university students in collaborative academic reading tasks and tracing the changes of peer effects on learner engagement over one academic semester. Data from multiple sources were collected, including audiotaped recordings of group discussions, peer feedback forms, and semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that peers exerted influences on learners' behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional engagement in the collaborative academic reading tasks. Throughout the semester, the participants demonstrated a developmental change of peer effects on different dimensions of their peers' engagement, veering their influence on each other from behavioral engagement to cognitive engagement and social engagement. Peer effects on each other's emotional engagement remained stable. This study identifies that students' metacognitive knowledge, familiarity with group members, and leadership play a critical role in shaping learner engagement. The findings provide important insights for researchers and teachers on the connection of students' peer influence with learning process in collaborative learning tasks. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101177
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Volume60
Early online dateSept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Citation

Jin, T., Jiang, Y., Gu, M. M., & Chen, J. (2022). “Their encouragement makes me feel more confident”: Exploring peer effects on learner engagement in collaborative reading of academic texts. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 60. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2022.101177

Keywords

  • Peer effect
  • Learner engagement
  • Collaborative reading
  • Academic reading

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