This research deals with the communicative behaviour of 97 students in ten advanced English as a foreign language classrooms at four Hamburg Gymnasien. The teacher of each subject group was asked to discuss Dorothy Parker’s short story “You were perfectly fine” with their classes. The respective classroom discourse was then recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Additional information on the students’ discussion interests before and after the discussion were gathered through questionnaires. Finally, a two-way-analysis of variance was applied with the students’ initial text interest and their communicative interaction behaviour as independent variables, and their interest in the classroom discussion as dependent variable. The discussion interest was then directly correlated to the students’ actual participation.
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