Promoting Dialogic Action through the Expansion of English Language Learners’ Communicative Repertoires

Main Article Content

John Steven Gómez-Giraldo


This action research study sought to foster dialogic action through the expansion of English language learners’ communicative repertoires in a 6th-grade class at a public school in a Colombian town. During the first action research cycle, the restricted concept of communication of the grammar-based syllabus and the competitive and violent interactions between the learners were identified as key issues to address. From a critical perspective of pedagogy and literacy, this study understands that communication in language education should transcend the use of a standard target language, and include multiple linguistic codes and multimodal representative forms. Considering these principles and the issues identified, we designed an action plan for the second action research cycle. This plan consisted of activities that sought to expand English language learners’ communicative repertoires and promote reflections on violence and conflict resolution through the analysis and creation of different visual representations. Data were collected through journal entries, semi-structured interviews, and students’ artifacts. Findings show how the learners have a diverse and differentiated access to communicative repertoires and how they manipulated available representations to transform meanings. As a conclusion, not enough evidence of the emergence of dialogic action was found since competitiveness and violent interactions in the classroom did not significantly change during the intervention. Nonetheless, embracing the learners’ communicative practices created spaces for reflection on complex social and moral topics in the classroom, even if their English linguistic resources were still limited.


Article Details

How to Cite
Gómez-GiraldoJ. S. (2022). Promoting Dialogic Action through the Expansion of English Language Learners’ Communicative Repertoires. HOW Journal, 29(1), 84-104.
Research Reports
Author Biography

John Steven Gómez-Giraldo, Universidad de Antioquia

He holds a B. A. in Foreing Language Teaching from Universidad de Antioquia. He is a member of the “Semillero de Investigación InterAcción”. His research interests include interculturality in language education, critical literacies and multimodal communication. Currently, he works as an English teacher at different private institutions. This project was submitted as a requirement of the Bachelor of Education in Teaching Foreign Languages (English-French) at the Escuela de Idiomas, Universidad de Antioquia, in El Carmen de Viboral, Colombia.


Álvarez, J. (2016). Meaning making and communication in the multimodal age: Ideas for language teachers. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 18(1), 98-115.
Apple, M. W. (2004). Ideology and curriculum (4th ed.). Routledge.
Buitrago, A. C. (2016). Improving 10th graders' English communicative competence through the implementation of the task-based learning approach. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 18(2), 95-110.
Burns, A. (2009). Doing action research in English language teaching: A guide for practitioners. Routledge.
Canagarajah, S. (2017). Translingual practice as spatial repertoires: Expanding the paradigm beyond structuralist orientations. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 31-54. https://doi:10.1093/applin/amx041
Castro-Garcés, A. Y. (2021). Awakening sociocultural realities in pre-service teachers through a pedagogy of multiliteracies. GIST: Education and Learning Research Journal, 22, 173-197.
Contreras, J. J., & Chapetón, C. M. (2016). Cooperative learning with a focus on the social: a pedagogical proposal for the EFL classroom. HOW, 23(2), 125-147.
Contreras, J., & Chapetón, C. (2017). Transforming EFL classroom practices and promoting students’ empowerment: Collaborative learning from a dialogical approach. Profile: Issues in Teachers' Professional Development, 19(2), 135-149.
Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). “Multiliteracies”: New literacies, new learning. Pedagogies: An international journal, 4(3), 164-195.
Council of Europe. (2001). A common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching and assessment. Council of Europe, Language Policy Division.
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Pearson.
Curtain, C. (2020). QualCoder 1.9 [Computer Software]. Retrieved from
Dovchin, S., Pennycook, A., & Sultana, S. (2018). Popular culture, voice and linguistic diversity: Young adults on-and offline. Palgrave MacMillan.
Echeverri, P. A., & Pérez, S. (2014). Making sense of critical pedagogy in L2 education through a collaborative study group. Profile: Issues in Teachers Professional Development, 16(2), 171-184.
Freire, P. (2018). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing. (Original work published 1968)
Giroux, H. A. (2001). Theory and resistance in education: Towards a pedagogy for the opposition. Greenwood Publishing Group.
Herazo, J. D. (2010). Authentic oral interaction in the EFL class: What it means, what it does not. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 12(1), 47-61.
Janks, H. (2010). Literacy and power. Routledge.
Kramsch, C. (2008). Ecological perspectives on foreign language education. Language teaching, 41(3), 389-408.
Kress, G. R. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. Routledge.
Kubota, R. (2014). The multi/plural turn, postcolonial theory, and neoliberal multiculturalism: Complicities and implications for applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 37(4), 474-494.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2016). The decolonial option in English teaching: Can the subaltern act? TESOL quarterly, 50(1), 66-85.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL methods: Changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 59-81.
Lau, S. M. (2012). Reconceptualizing critical literacy teaching in ESL classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 65(5), 325-329.
Losada, J. J., & Suaza, D. A. (2018). Video-mediated listening and multiliteracies. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 20(1), 11-24.
Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Sage.
Mills, G. E. (2011). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher (with MyEducationLab). Pearson.
Ministerio de Educación Nacional (MEN) (2006). Formar en lenguas extranjeras: ¡El reto!: Lo que necesitamos saber y saber hacer. Imprenta Nacional
Ortega, Y. (2018). Using collaborative action research to address bullying and violence in a Colombian high school EFL classroom. Íkala, 25(1), 35-54.
Ortega, Y. (2019). “Teacher, ¿Puedo Hablar en Español?” A Reflection on Plurilingualism and Translanguaging Practices in EFL. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 21(2), 155-170.
Pennycook, A. (2017). Translanguaging and semiotic assemblages. International Journal of Multilingualism, 14(3), 269-282.
Peña, M., & Onatra, A. (2009). Promoting oral production through the task-based learning approach: A study in a public secondary school in Colombia. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 11(2), 11-26.
Phillipson, P. (1992). Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford University Press.
Quintana, A. (2020). Conectividad, hipermedialidad y multimodalidad: De la cultura digital al espacio escolar. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 22(2), 207-220.
Ramírez, S., & Artunduaga, M. (2018). Authentic tasks to foster oral production among English as a foreign language learners. HOW, 25(1), 51-68.
Rincón, J., & Clavijo, A. (2016). Fostering EFL learners’ literacies through local inquiry in a multimodal experience. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 18(2), 67-82.
Urrutia, W., & Vega, C. (2010). Encouraging teenagers to improve speaking skills through games in a Colombian public school. Profile: Issues in Teachers Professional Development, 12(1), 11-31.
Vaca, A., & Gómez, L. (2017). Increasing EFL learners’ oral production at a public school through project-based learning. Profile: Issues in Teachers Professional Development, 19(2), 57-71.