The progression of collaborative argumentation among English learners: A qualitative study

Yanfang Su, Kanglong Liu, Chun Lai, Tan Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Argumentation, the process of making claims and using evidence and reasoning to support those claims, is essential to academic literacy. Collaborative argumentation is the social process of working together to construct arguments, and may benefit the development of students’ argumentation ability. How collaborative argumentation in the L2 context progresses over time is largely unknown. To address this research gap, this study adopted a qualitative approach to examine how a group of college English learners engaged in collaborative argumentation in a blended learning context over the period of a semester. Analysis of the participants’ face-to-face discussion, online collaborative writing, and interview data revealed the developmental trajectories of collaborative argumentation with regard to its structural, social, and linguistic aspects in both the face-to-face discussion and the online writing. In each phase of argumentation, students exhibited distinct features in argument structure and interaction patterns. The role of English as the second language shifted from impeding argumentation to facilitating argumentation over time. The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the developmental model of students’ collaborative argumentation and influencing factors, and inform the design of tailored pedagogical scaffolds in response to the developmental stages of collaborative argumentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102471
Early online date25 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Blended language learning
  • Collaborative argumentation
  • Development of collaborative argumentation
  • Qualitative study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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