• Jiannan Jia School of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
  • Mahani Stapa School of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.


Background and Purpose: Previous studies have examined the efficacy of the cooperative learning approach to enhance speaking outcomes, but little is known about what happens in the interaction process of cooperative learning and how cooperative learning works to promote speaking interaction. The current study examines Chinese college students’ interaction strategies in cooperative learning activities and how cooperative learning instruction influenced their interaction strategy use.


Methodology: This research adopted the sequential explanatory design. Thirty students from an intact class at a Chinese public university participated in a 12-week cooperative learning instruction and kept learner diaries over time. One cooperative learning team of four members was randomly chosen for observing their interaction strategy use throughout the semester fortnightly. The frequencies of their interaction strategies employed in the transcribed recordings were analysed through descriptive statistics and the learner diaries were analysed through thematic analysis.


Findings: The findings indicated that the four students’ Modified-Interaction strategies were employed much less frequently than Social-Interaction strategies when they worked cooperatively, and training in Modified-Interaction strategies was greatly needed for promoting students’ effective interaction and language development. It has also been found that cooperative learning instruction was helpful in promoting students’ Social-Interaction strategy use as it provided a natural and conducive environment for students to socialize and cooperate towards the group goals.  


Contributions: This study can provide insights into implementing cooperative learning activities and training interaction strategies in a formal language classroom context.


Keywords: Cooperative learning, peer interaction, interaction strategies, modified interaction, social interaction.


Cite as: Jia, J., & Stapa, M. (2024). The use of English interaction strategies in cooperative learning: A case study of four Chinese college students’ spoken discourse.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 9(1), 25-52.


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