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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press
Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

Chinese EFL Learners’ Verbal Behaviors and Perceptions of In-Class Group Discussions in an English-Medium University

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DOI: 10.25236/ieesasm.2023.018


Yi Yang

Corresponding Author

Yi Yang


This study explored verbal interactions and perceptions of undergraduate students in cooperative learning groups within English as a medium of instruction (EMI) classrooms. Fifteen first-year students, organized into gender-mixed groups, were observed and interviewed. Classroom observations highlighted common verbal behaviors such as explanation, proposition, and agreement expression. Groups were categorized as proactive, active, or passive based on participation levels in knowledge co-construction. Interviews revealed positive student impressions, citing benefits in academic achievement, social skills, and self-confidence. However, the study noted diverse responses to the teacher's intervention and language shift: while stimulating for some, it reduced confidence in others. Despite this, students generally enjoyed collaborative learning, emphasizing its positive impact on their overall development. The findings offer insights for language teachers, suggesting ways to facilitate student-centered classrooms, bridging the gap between EMI instruction and students' confidence levels.


group discussion, cooperative learning, knowledge co-construction, English as a medium of instruction, higher education