About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 1547 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

REIMAGINING “PREFERRED” INSTITUTIONAL DISCOURSE: A CONVERSATION ANALYSIS FROM A UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM IN JAPAN

M. Sudo, C.C. Hale, K. Iwasaki, M. Kuromatsu

International Christian University (JAPAN)
The IRF (initiation-response-feedback) is a three-part dialectical pattern where the teacher asks a question, a student answers, and the teacher closes the exchange with feedback (usually explicit positive assessment, such as “Good” or “Correct”). The IRF is widely regarded as preferred institutional discourse reflecting “a cultural model of ‘one speaker at a time’” (Erickson, 1996, p.31) and allows the teacher to remain in constant control of the pedagogical environment. By restricting participation structures into essentially dyadic exchanges, teachers can be the central figure in classroom interactions and thus, hold power over students. Research has shown that students learning in IRF dominant environments will perceive knowledge as predetermined, non-negotiable, and something transmitted by an authority (Kinginger, 2002; O'Connor & Michaels, 1996; van Lier, 2000). The IRF often implants the false belief that learning primarily involves the ability to "hit a target" or to give "the answer the teacher is waiting for" (O'Connor & Michaels, 1996, p. 95) since it functions like “assembly-line instruction” (Rogoff, Paradise, Arauz, Correa-Chávez, & Angelillo, 2003, p. 189), which breaks the complex learning processes into simple tasks of learning, like isolated blocks (Rogoff, et al., 2003).

With the above features, the IRF inevitably dominants certain classroom tasks such as checking understanding when "evaluation is integral to the purpose of the task" (Waring, 2008, p. 581). However, such contrived classroom conversational patterns—asking students to recognize given choices rather than retrieving possible answers by themselves— tends to create authoritative and teacher-centered classroom environments, and hardly promotes spontaneous, autonomous learning opportunities for students.

In an attempt to describe how a teacher/researcher struggled to distance herself from the IRF discourse pattern in her own classroom, the authors will present original conversation analysis (CA) data taken from a forty-minute whole-class session of checking answers of an English multiple-choice test. The data shows how teacher-student power dynamics shifted and created the space of students' to collaboratively and actively pursue possible answers to their questions.
@InProceedings{SUDO2013REI,
author = {Sudo, M. and Hale, C.C. and Iwasaki, K. and Kuromatsu, M.},
title = {REIMAGINING “PREFERRED” INSTITUTIONAL DISCOURSE: A CONVERSATION ANALYSIS FROM A UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM IN JAPAN},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {1547}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Sudo AU - C.C. Hale AU - K. Iwasaki AU - M. Kuromatsu
TI - REIMAGINING “PREFERRED” INSTITUTIONAL DISCOURSE: A CONVERSATION ANALYSIS FROM A UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM IN JAPAN
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 1547
EP - 1547
ER -
M. Sudo, C.C. Hale, K. Iwasaki, M. Kuromatsu (2013) REIMAGINING “PREFERRED” INSTITUTIONAL DISCOURSE: A CONVERSATION ANALYSIS FROM A UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM IN JAPAN, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, p. 1547.
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