Conversation analysis in educational settings, L2 classroom management, linguistic (im)politeness research and men’s talk in non-traditional occupations
News about projects, publications, conferences
Strategies for successful classroom management have been readily available to practitioners for at least half a century. However, despite the vast body of knowledge available, there appears to be a great deal of scope for further research in terms of developing a more detailed understanding of the interactional details of classroom management practices. Drawing on a corpus of 58 hours of video and audio recordings in English as a Foreign Language classrooms in Germany, the book provides a micro-analytical perspective of foreign language classroom management. It contributes to the body of current research by focusing on how foreign language teachers respond to pupils’ classroom norm violations using interrogative constructions (i.e. interrogative reproaches). Through a Conversation Analytic investigation of these social actions, the paper provides valuable insights into the details of the in-situ production of classroom management strategies and their underlying interactional mechanisms.
This paper provides a micro-analytical investigation into the action formation and ascription of interrogatives as reproaches and the interactional exigencies and functions that motivate this reproach design choice for classroom management. It is shown how the participants draw on an interplay of turn-design, epistemic territories and features of sequence organisation to produce these question-formatted reproaches. These can then be used to directly address forms of pupils’ conduct as unacceptable, encourage the adherence to behavioural norms, establish the condition for upcoming reproaches and highlight pupils’ failure to adhere to behavioural expectations.
In the multiparty setting of the classroom, teachers frequently use address terms as a resource for speaker selection. Drawing on a corpus of 58 hours of German English as a foreign language (EFL) teaching, the chapter demonstrates that teachers not only use address terms in this context but often employ them as vehicles for reproaches during classroom management. In the data, teachers produce address terms in an adjacent sequential position to a parallel activity. These address terms are, however, often not prefaced or followed by a reproach turn, but are still treated as such by the pupils. These self-standing pupil-oriented address terms, therefore, raise questions concerning their action formation and ascription as reproaches in EFL classroom interaction. In order to answer these questions, a conversation analytic investigation into these actions has been conducted. Findings draw attention to the prosodic, sequential, and multimodal details of turn-delivery and highlight the interactional exigencies motivating this reproach choice. It is argued that a etailed investigation of classroom interactions can help inform and improve teachers’ classroom management practices.
Classroom observation has become a tool for analysing and improving English Language Teaching (ELT). This book represents the state of the art in language education and classroom interaction research from a data-driven empirical perspective. The micro-analytic, multimodal, and videographic approaches represented here understand classrooms as sites of complex, naturally occurring interaction. The volume demonstrates that the investigation of this communicative setting is the basis for insights into the inner workings of classrooms and the development of strategies for teacher education. The introductory article complements the volume by giving a comprehensive overview of the theories and methods that have come to bear in classroom observation.
There is a continual increase of research in the field of linguistic (im)politeness, but classroom discourse has been largely overlooked as a source of data. This chapter addresses this gap in the research by providing an exploration of linguistic (im)politeness in classroom discourse, based on linguistic (im)politeness theory as its theoretical underpinning and Conversation Analysis as its analytical framework. It demonstrates how both male and female lower-secondary English as a foreign language teachers use stereotypically feminine negative politeness strategies in the form of pre-reproach questions to establish and maintain classroom order while simultaneously developing and protecting interpersonal relationships (in a ‘context of care’) with their pupils. This is of particular interest in the context of de-gendering professional workplaces because gendered beliefs do still appear to be an overriding variable which influences teachers’ classroom management practices. Findings raise awareness of underlying mechanisms of gender and (im)politeness in classrooms by showing how participants’ linguistic, multimodal and sequential resources function in the interaction. It is argued that the current debate on teacher gender should include not only primary but also secondary school teaching and aim at challenging gender stereotypes in order to attract more prospective teachers and guarantee best practice at all educational levels.
Fewer than 15% of primary school teachers in both Germany and the UK are male. With the on-going international debate about educational performance highlighting the widening gender achievement gap between girl and boy pupils, the demand for more male teachers has become prevalent in educational discourse. Concerns have frequently been raised about the underachievement of boys, with claims that the lack of male ‘role models’ in schools has an adverse effect on boys’ academic motivation and engagement. Although previous research has examined ‘teaching’ as institutional talk, men’s linguistic behaviour in the classroom remains largely ignored, especially in regard to enacting discipline. Using empirical spoken data collected from four primary school classrooms in both the UK and in Germany, this paper examines the linguistic discipline strategies of eight male and eight female teachers using Interactional Sociolinguistics to address the question, does teacher gender matter? [Originally published as: McDowell, Joanne & Klattenberg, Revert (2018). Does gender matter? A cross-national investigation of primary class-room discipline, Gender and Education, DOI: 10.1080/09540253.2018.1458078.]
The paper argues that language teachers’ use of uh(m)s in classroom management are not arbitrary occurrences but highly functional features of their pragmatic competence. The micro-analysis of the production of these particles can inform language teaching and evaluation practices, shifting the focus of teacher education from a deficiency-oriented erspective towards a competence-oriented approach.
Fewer than 15% of primary school teachers in both Germany and the UK are male. With the on-going international debate about educational performance highlighting the widening gender achievement gap between girl and boy pupils, the demand for more male teachers has become prevalent in educational discourse. Concerns have frequently been raised about the underachievement of boys, with claims that the lack of male ‘role models’ in schools has an adverse effect on boys’ academic motivation and engagement. Although previous research has examined ‘teaching’ as institutional talk, men’s linguistic behaviour in the classroom remains largely ignored, especially in regard to enacting discipline. Using empirical spoken data collected from four primary school classrooms in both the UK and in Germany, this paper examines the linguistic discipline strategies of eight male and eight female teachers using Interactional Sociolinguistics to address the question, does teacher gender matter?
Conferences (organisation & presentation):
(2021) Investigating participation and engagement in learning contexts: Tracing evidence of inclusive practices from a micro-analytical perspective (panel organization together with Clelia König). 17th International Pragmatics Conference, Winterthur, Switzerland.
(2021) L2 classroom interaction from a micro-analytical perspecitve: Implications for educational practice (panel organization together with Friedrich Lenz). World Congress of Applied Linguistics, Groningen, The Netherlands
(2021) “Sorry go ahead”: resolving overlap in a Zoom tutoring session (with Anna Carolina Oliveira Mendes and Taiane Malabarba). 17th International Pragmatics Conference, Winterthur, Switzerland.
(2019) "Uhm stop". Speech perturbations during reproach turns as a sign of teachers' interactional competences. The Second International Conference on Interactional Competences and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2), Västerås, Sweden.
(2018) Question-formatted reproaches in EFL classroom management. 5th International Conference on Conversation Analysis, Loughborough, UK.
(2018). Niedersächsisches Kolloquium der Fremdsprachendidaktik (NiKoldi), Hildesheim (conference organisation together with Prof. Dr. Friedrich Lenz & PD. Dr. Maximiliane Frobenius)
(2018) Ehms and uhms in the classroom. Not just a sign of disfluency (together with PD Dr. Maximialine Frobenius). Niedersächsisches Kolloquium der Fremdsprachendidaktik (NiKoldi), Hildesheim.
(2018) Fragen im Englischunterricht aus gesprächsanalytischer Perspektive. 3 Hildesheimer CeLeB-Tagung zur Bildungsforschung. Qualtiative Videoanalyse in Schule und Unterricht, Hildesheim.
(2017) (Im)politeness in classroom discourse. Cross-cultural and multilingual insights. World Congress of Applied Linguistics, Rio, Brazil.
(2016) Höflichkeit in der Schule: Kulturübergreifende Perspektiven von Unterrichtsgesprächen in England und Deutschland. GAL Kongress, Koblenz.
Check out my YouTube channel for all academic writing input videos and other resources (winter term 2020/2021):
(Re)watch the input videos of my online introduction to linguistics class (summer term 2020)
Course overview and first insights into the study of language
What is language?
Do animals have language?
A short introduction to phonetics
A short introduction to morphology
A "short" introduction to syntax
A short introduction to semantics
A short introduction to pragmatics