Key issues in productive classroom talk and interventions

Thi Diem Hang Khong, Eisuke Saito, Robyn Gillies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Classroom talk or verbal exchanges during lesson time play a central role in students’ disciplinary understanding and intellectual development. It greatly influences not only what students learn but also how they learn it. Despite this, teachers can be unaware of teacher–student talk patterns and functions; thus, what is uttered during class time can go unnoticed. Results from classroom observational research show that this is often not utilised to maximise children’s learning–teacher talk prevails in the classroom whilst few effective verbal interactions take place among learners. Research in this field started to take shape in the 1970s and has developed greatly since the 1990s. We review some types of productive classroom talk and talk interventions discussed in publications from the 1990s onwards. Further studies need to explore a more universal talk pedagogy employed across disciplines, whereas the process of change in teachers’ beliefs and identities in adopting this pedagogical approach deserves scholarly investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-349
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019


  • classroom discourse
  • Classroom talk
  • dialogic interaction
  • talk intervention
  • talk pedagogy

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