On the Practicality of Group Dynamic Assessment: A Seminal Enterprise Deserving Closer Scrutiny

Andisheh Saniei, Parviz Birjandi, Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh


This paper is a preliminary study designed to scrutinize the way Group Dynamic Assessment (G-DA), suggested by Poehner (2009), has been implemented in L2 classrooms regarding its basic premise: moving the group forward in its ZPD while benefiting individuals as well. Since the one-to-one interaction that characterizes DA framework represents an unrealistic model for classroom teachers who must manage classes of 15 to 30 learners, Poehner (2009) suggests the use of DA with groups of L2 learners rather than individuals and offers examples of two approaches to G-DA: concurrent and cumulative. However, the development of group ZPD cannot be easily traced in the presented approaches, and the process of shifting the activity from the individual to the group is not clarified either. To present a more realistic model of G-DA, this paper suggests the application of small group DA to L2 classrooms. To this end, it has initially delved into the concepts of 'group learning', 'group ZPD', and 'group DA'. Next, the areas of ambiguity in the two suggested approaches to G-DA have been identified. Finally, a less complicated model of classroom DA, namely small group DA is presented.



Group learning, group ZPD, G-DA, small group DA, pair DA

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.2p.39


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