Producing and closing down multiple-response sequences during whole-class talk in an early years classroom

Christina Davidson, Christine Edwards-Groves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The Initiation-Response-Feedback (IRF) talk sequence dominates whole-class talk in school lessons but frequently provides limited talk options for students. This article examines a variant of the sequence produced by young children and their teacher in an early years’ classroom. The multiple-response sequences were identified in classroom recordings of literacy lessons where a teacher deliberately sought to increase contributions by students during whole-class talk. Conversation analysis (CA) of selected sequences delineates some of the ways the teacher’s talk led to multiple turns by students, how teacher turns were sometimes inserted into multiple responses given by students, and how multiple responses were closed down by teacher turns. Discussion addresses the specific design of teacher turns across sequences, students’ orientations to the teacher during multiple responses, and the occurrence of trouble in turn-taking as an aspect of the multi-party setting. Overall, the study establishes some ways that talk in multiple-response sequences shows increased opportunities for students to contribute to instructional talk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-211
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage and Education
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Feb 2020

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