Classroom Discourse in Foreign Language Classrooms: A Review of the Literature


  • Joshua J. Thoms


This article reviews studies that have investigated discourse in foreign language (FL) classroom contexts from the perspective of sociocultural theory. Sociocultural theory maintains that language learning and development in a classroom context are intimately tied to the discursive practices by which and through which learners interact with each other and their teacher. Furthermore, the research has shown that teachers play an important role in that the specific types of patterns created in their interactions with students are a fundamental source of learners’ competence in the FL. This review raises additional questions that remain to be addressed in future research that will potentially contribute to an evolving understanding of classroom discourse.