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Although researchers have begun to explore the implementation of dynamic assessment (DA) with foreign language learners, few of these studies have occurred in the language classroom. An important difference between contexts of DA research and the classroom concerns the feasibility of one-to-one interactions. That is, while DA has often been framed as dyadic in nature, classroom settings rarely afford this possibility. The present study follows Poehner's (2009) proposal of group DA (G-DA), wherein classroom activities exceed the current capabilities of all learners and the teacher endeavors to provide mediation, aimed at the class as a collective, in order to diagnose and promote development. This presentation reports data from a combined fourth and fifth grade elementary Spanish classroom as students studied interrogative use and formation. After a pre-test determined no student could use and form interrogatives independently, a DA program was designed to provide mediation attuned the zone of proximal development of the group of students as a whole. During this ten day G-DA program, the development of nine focal students was tracked as they participated in large group and small group instruction. Video recordings of class sessions in which G-DA was implemented were transcribed and analyzed to follow ways in which the teacher negotiated mediation with the class to meet their needs as these were made manifest. Learner development was further examined based on students’ scores on a post-test, near transcendence task and far transcendence task. Findings suggest that while some students moved from assisted to unassisted performance during G-DA, other students continued to require peer mediation provided during small group work to develop interrogative use and formation.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.