Exploring Discourse Patterns in Literature Circles
This study explores the discourse patterns produced by a group of ESL students and the roles played by the group discussion leaders in literature circles that effectively enhance their comprehension of the stories in graphic and non-graphic novels. Six ESL students were selected in this study and seven literature circles were conducted to gather data to address the research questions. Data were gathered from direct observation, interviews and transcripts of literature circles. The data obtained from the transcripts of literature circles showed that the students used different comprehension strategies during discussions such as questioning, evaluating, using prior knowledge, interpreting and summarising that effectively enhance their understanding of the texts. Turn-taking in discussions also showed that students with better language proficiency in English language dominated the discussions and could comprehend the stories more effectively. Data collected from the transcripts of the students’ participation in literature circles and direct observation showed that the group discussion leader played an important role in assisting the group members to understand the graphic and non-graphic novels by paraphrasing the questions asked, initiating the conversation and motivating quiet group members to give personal responses and opinions during the discussions. Discourse patterns produced by the students and the group discussion leaders’ roles in literature circles were analysed as to determine whether literature circles assisted the students in comprehending the graphic and non-graphic novels. The findings help teachers to improve literature circles as they know the important aspects in literature circles that should be emphasised to enhance students’ comprehension.