Liam Doherty’s PhD Proposal Presentation

Liam Doherty will present his PhD proposal on Tuesday, October 3rd, 1-2 pm at Ponderosa Commons. The presentation will be held in conjunction with Dr. Guofang Li’s PhD seminar (LLED 601) but will be open to all who are interested for that hour.

Date: Tuesday, October 3rd
Time:  1 – 2 p.m.
Location: Ponderosa Commons | Room 1302

Supervisory Committee:
Dr. Patsy Duff (Research Supervisor, LLED)
Dr. Duanduan Li (Asian Studies)
Dr. Maureen Kendrick (LLED)

“Peer mentoring among learners of Chinese in an online affinity space”
Liam Doherty


Students in formal language classes often have little or no chance to interact and mediate their language learning experience with their peers. This is due partly to the “isolating” nature of the second language (L2) classroom (Reinhardt & Thorne, in press), and partly due to the lack of resources and support for peer mentoring of L2 learners. Digital platforms may offer a virtual location in which learners can meet synchronously or asynchronously to create “affinity spaces” (Gee, 2005) where learning and knowledge creation occur collaboratively in an open environment. At the same time, there has been very little research on the L2 peer socialization of Chinese language learners, and of learners in digital contexts in general. This multiple case study aims to look at the peer mentoring roles adopted by a group of L2 Chinese learners using online team collaboration software, and to see to what extent the use of affinity spaces allows learners to co-construct meanings on the shared platform. Over the course of four months, participants will share their experiences in relation to language learning, and the extent to which mentorship relationships develop on the platform will be documented and analyzed.