Sway Students in the Foreign Language Classroom


  • Christian Jan Faltis

    1. The University of Alabama
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      Christian Jan Faltis (Ph.D., Stanford University) is Assistant Professor of Second Language and Multicultural Education in the College of Education, University of Alabama, University, AL.


ABSTRACT A sway student in the foreign language classroom is a student who is not only capable of displaying linguistic knowledge, but also knows when and how to interact appropriately with the teacher. This study examines how six sway students affected the organization of interaction and language development in a traditional high school Spanish class. *The data indicate that the teacher selectively organized interaction around sway students at key points in the development of a lesson as well as when non-sway students made errors. The overall effect of sway students was that they allowed the teacher to progress effectively through the lesson, with the result of increased amounts of comprehensible input for the entire class.