The Development of Practices for Action in Classroom Dyadic Interaction: Focus on Task Openings

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Abstract

This study is part of a larger research program investigating conversational practices that are resources for language learning in classroom settings. Using methods from conversation analysis, this analysis describes how low-level adult learners' interactional competence in English develops through their interactional practices in a language classroom. The study isolates one context for a particular action in the language classroom: student dyads opening their teacher-assigned tasks. The data come from interactions of six successful learners who participated in classes at the data collection site over a period of 18 to 27 months. The excerpts presented in this study show the same-student dyads incorporating language from the teacher and from one another over time into their discursive practices to manage the openings of their dyadic interactions. The results provide evidence for the ongoing discussion (cf. Brouwer & Wagner, 2004; Markee & Kasper, 2004) on the nature of language learning and the ability of methods of conversation analysis to address the issue of learning.

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