1 Both Sides of the Conversation: The Interplay between Mediation and Learner Reciprocity in Dynamic Assessment
Matthew E. Poehner [+]
The Pennsylvania State University
Poehner’s chapter, ‘Both Sides of the Conversation: The Interplay between Mediation and Learner Reciprocity in Dynamic Assessment,’ acknowledges the considerable attention in ZPD and DA research that has been devoted to elaborating the kinds of mediation that may successfully promote development but argues that this must be balanced by simultaneously focusing on learners’ contributions. He identifies the construct of learner reciprocity , first proposed by Lidz (1991), as a way of interpreting learner behaviors during DA. His chapter develops reciprocity beyond its original conceptualization as an indicator of learners’ receptiveness to mediation and he offers examples of L2 French learners who actively negotiate and even refuse mediation as they struggle to gain greater autonomy. Poehner concludes that just as the quality of mediation learners require reveals much about their abilities, analysis of their reciprocating behaviors completes the picture of their development. The implication for the classroom is that learner development from one interaction to the next may not result in improved performance or even in changes to the mediation learners require but might be apparent as they implicitly and explicitly seek, respond to, negotiate and refuse mediator support.