Nicolson, Margaret and Adams, Helga
Travelling in space and encounters of the third kind: Distance language learner negotiation of speaking activities.
Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 2(2),
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Debates on language learner identity, sociocultural aspects of language learning and,as Homi Bhaba says in J. Rutherford’s Identity: Community, Culture, Difference, the ‘third space, the domain created as a result of interaction between people or between a person and a new experience’ have become increasingly relevant in research inteaching and learning, often in the search for better student integration and success. Most of the focus has been on students in conventional institutional settings or students living in a different culture or country to the one from which they originate.This paper aims to add to the debate by critically examining the interplay between learner identity and methods used in the management of speaking activities in thelanguage classroom, specifically with regard to the adult distance context. It offers discussion on the challenges that confront teachers who have to undertake occasional face-to-face teaching with distance students. It focuses on how to create a positive third space for students in this setting by critically examining commonly held views on task types, task content, group management and classroom language use.
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