A review of peer interaction and second language learning for ELL students in academic contexts


  • Vander Tavares York University


This review explores the relationship between language proficiency and ELL (English Language Learners) students’ experiences in higher education contexts, with specific reference to the role of conversational peer interaction. The two major concerns that guide this review are the academic challenges faced by students from an ELL background in relation to conversational interaction, and the impact of conversational language proficiency on their overall academic experience. Findings suggest that insufficient language proficiency results in several challenges for ELL students, most notably the inability to share their expertise and knowledge with their peers, and participate successfully in classroom oral discussions. In addition, however, the literature suggests that language proficiency has a strong impact on the overall experiences of students and on their abilities to navigate the social structures of the academic community and to establish their own identity.

Author Biography

Vander Tavares, York University

Vander Tavares is a PhD candidate in the Linguistics and Applied Linguistics program at York University. His doctoral research examines the experiences of multilingual international students in higher education with a focus on identity development, language learning, and inter-group contact. He is currently an instructor of academic communications skills at Sheridan College in Mississauga, Canada.






Literature Review/Revue de la documentation