Making teacher talk comprehensible through language alternation practices

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    This study reports the ways in which students and their teacher co-manage the interactional problems resulting from a lack of understanding of the teacher's instructions produced in the second language (L2) through language alternation practices. The study draws on data from two Italian as a Foreign Language lessons in an Australian high school involving students aged 13-14 at an A2 (CEFR) level of proficiency. Analysis shows: (1) how the teacher ascribed "expected" knowledge states to students as a class and to students as individuals; (2) how the teacher packaged her instructions multimodally and switched to students' first language (L1) only as a last resort; and (3) how students availed themselves of serendipitous opportunities presented in the context to build their understanding of Italian as the medium of instruction in order to successfully answer the teacher's questions or to follow instructions without having to admit that they did not know what was being asked of them.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConversation Analysis and Language Alternation
    Subtitle of host publicationCapturing Transitions in the Classroom
    EditorsAnna Filipi, Numa Markee
    Place of PublicationThe Netherlands
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027263575
    ISBN (Print)9789027201409
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Publication series

    NamePragmatics and Beyond New Series
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    ISSN (Print)0922-842X


    • Conversation analysis
    • Italian as a Foreign Language
    • Language alternation
    • Medium of classroom instruction
    • Multimodality
    • Target language use policy
    • Transitions

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