Revert Klattenberg


Fields of work:

  • Institut für englische Sprache und Literatur [Wiss. Angestellte]

Research interest

Conversation analysis in educational settings, L2 classroom management, linguistic (im)politeness research and men’s talk in non-traditional occupations

Latest news about projects, publications, conferences

Latest publications:

Klattenberg, R. (2020). Question-formatted reproaches in classroom management. Classroom Discourse, 1-19.

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.

Klattenberg, R. (2020). Address terms as reproaches in EFL classroom management. In F. Lenz, M. Frobenius, & R. Klattenberg (Eds.), Classroom Observation (pp. 117–144). Bern: Peter Lang.

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. 

Lenz, F., Frobenius, M., & Klattenberg, R. (Eds.) (2020). Classroom Observation. Bern: Peter Lang.

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.

Klattenberg, R. (2020). Gender and (Im)Politeness in Classroom Discourse: Using Pre-reproach Questions to Respond to Pupil's Parallel Activities in a 'Context of Care'. In J. McDowell. De-Gendering Gendered Occupations. Analysing Professional Discourse. London: Routledge. 

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. 

McDowell, J., Klattenberg, R., Lenz, F. (2020). Performing Classroom Management in the Primary School Classroom: A Cross-National Study. In J. McDowell. De-Gendering Gendered Occupations. Analysing Professional Discourse. London: Routledge. 

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.]

Klattenberg, R.; Frobenius, M., Lenz, F. (2020). „Ähm. Stop.“ – Häsitationspartikeln in Ermahnungen als pragmatische Ressource von Englischlehrkräften. In K. Glaser & H. Limberg (Eds.), Pragmatische Kompetenzen im schulischen Fremdsprachenunterricht (pp. 363-392). Bern: Peter Lang. 

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.

Next conferences (organisation):

Panel at IPrA 2021 (together with Clelia König): Investigating participation and engagement in learning contexts: Tracing evidence of inclusive practices from a micro-analytical perspective 

There is a growing consensus that learning opportunities, generated through participation in meaningful interactions, are a central component of educational success (e.g., Gardner, 2019). The need for such learning opportunities, in turn, affects discourse in that participants have to be able to “use interaction as a tool for mediating and assisting learning” (Walsh, 2011, p. 21). Interaction itself, however, can be severely hampered by learners’ lack of engagement and the limited extent of their participation. Against the  ackground of increasingly diverse learning environments, there is then a growing need for investigations into practices which enable active participation and encourage greater discourse involvement. The panel invites contributions which discuss talk-in-interaction in educational settings with a particular focus on tracing the evidence of participants’  inclusive practices’. These practices are defined as language use and other multimodal resources (e.g., prosody, body positioning, gestures, gaze, etc.) enabling and  ncouraging participation. The panel aims to contribute to developing an understanding of ‘inclusion’ from a data-driven, micro-level perspective – that is, as a mutually   complished and situated phenomenon surfacing in participants’ interactional practices. It encourages the participation of researchers using data from various (non)institutional contexts and accommodates contributions from different methodological backgrounds (e.g., conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis).

Symposium at AILA 2021 (together with Friedrich Lenz): L2 classroom interaction from a micro-analytical perspecitve: Implications for educational practice

An increasing number of people worldwide are learning and speaking foreign or second languages, and the institutionalised practice of language teaching and learning has generated serious academic interest in the field of Applied Linguistics for a long time. Research based on conversation analysis (CA) methodology, for instance, has contributed to a better understanding of the multifaceted and complex nature of the classroom as a social setting and of how teaching and learning are accomplished in classroom  nteraction. In language teaching and learning, however, such methodologies are far from being considered mainstream. There is still a need for further research in order to obtain a better understanding of educational practices (feedback, instructions, disciplining etc.) and how they are influenced by classroom activities and teaching objectives. Most importantly, to facilitate successful teaching and learning, these micro-analytical findings need to be linked to educational reality. This symposium therefore invites researchers who explore the institutional practices involved in the teaching and learning of foreign or second languages. It discusses how these findings can inform educational practices such as teaching methodology, material design, language testing, curricula and language policies.

Other media: 

New research helps to de-gender the teaching profession

Improving gender equality is the key to tackling Britain’s male teacher shortage 

For students: 

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


For more news about current projects, other publications, conferences, etc.

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