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Volume 11 Number 2, Summer 2014, Pages 1-148   

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How Newcomer English as Second Language Learners Become Experienced Learners Through Socialization in Classroom Sommunities

    Akiko Nagao

This study is a case study of language learning in the ESL classroom context, as demonstrated in Lave and Wenger's communities of practice (1991). The study examines the learning experiences of an international student learning a second language while being exposed to various new social practices and attempting to understand the role of participation in an English learning classroom community through interaction. A Japanese female student taking the General English for Academic Purpose course in Australia in a group of nine students was this study's primary subject. This study documents the participant's first self-reflection on her language learning to identify how she became accustomed to various social practices by interacting with people inside and outside the community. Discourses from the classroom observation were analyzed to explore how novice and experienced learners participate in peer discussions in a small community. Because learning occurs when students participate in tasks and use language for interpretation, one implication of this study is that the model of language learning education shifts from knowledge transmission to active participation to better account for how learning occurs in a classroom.

Keywords: Communities of Practice, Social Practices, Classroom Discourse Analysis, Sociolinguistics, Second Language Learning, Classroom Research