The Interactional Dimension of LOA: Within and Beyond the Classroom

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Anna Ciriani Dean


Learners, teachers and peers constantly interact in classroom settings. Indeed, within the framework of learning-oriented assessment (LOA), the interactional dimension plays a critical role in bridging learning gaps (Purpura & Turner, 2014). For this reason, this dimension resounded throughout the talks at the 2014 Roundtable in Second Language Studies on Learning-Oriented Assessment. Although certain speakers discussed it as a component of classroom-based assessment (CBA), others proved that interaction applies not only to unplanned, oral exchanges in the classroom, but also to elicitations not involving the traditional agents of LOA. Technology can facilitate continued exchange beyond the classroom, and it can even provide a substitute for human interaction. Furthermore, as large-scale testing companies shift their focus to LOA, they recognize the importance of creating authentic scenarios which emulate real interactions. This paper surveys the different modes of interaction discussed by the speakers as facilitated in the classroom but also in these other interactional contexts.

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