Impact of Interpersonal Relations and Positioning on the Resolution of Conflicts in the EFL Classroom

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Chongrak Sitthirak


This article is based on the author’s doctoral thesis on the dynamics of interpersonal relations in the onsite classroom. Drawing on positioning theory (Davies & Harré, 1999; Harré, 2015), Sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978; Lantolf & Thorne, 2007) and informed by the focus on interaction in Douglas Fir Group’s seminal paper (Douglas Fir Group (DFG), 2016), the research investigates how students position themselves and their classmates, the explanations for their choices, and how the dynamics of positioning and interpersonal relations affect their opportunities for language learning in group discussions. In this article, the researcher highlights the resolution of conflicts in different scenarios. The fluidity and overlap of positioning found in those interactions not only confirms the impact of interpersonal relations and positioning on resolving conflicts but also the provision and hindrance of students’ opportunities for language learning occurring across contexts and time.


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Sitthirak, C. (2022). Impact of Interpersonal Relations and Positioning on the Resolution of Conflicts in the EFL Classroom. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 15(2), 751–775. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biography

Chongrak Sitthirak, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, UK

An Assistant Professor at Language Institute, Thammasat University. Granted a Ph.D. degree in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University (UK), he has a particular interest in how the social interaction between language learners affects their opportunities for language learning and language development.


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