Teacher practices in establishing understanding in a foreign language classroom

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This paper describes the resources drawn on to build understanding and participation in an Italian as a foreign language classroom. Extracts for analysis in the study were taken from two 50-minute lessons with 26 students aged 13 to 14 years at A2 (CEFR) level who were in their second year of high school in an Australian public school. The lessons focused on language practice in which the teacher subscribed to a L2 use only policy as part of her teacher talk. This pedagogical stance provided an opportunity to analyse how this policy affected teacher expectations with respect to what students ought to have comprehended in Italian. It did this by analysing the resources the teacher used to display these expectations through her pursuing actions, the deployment of the do you remember recognition check (Schegloff, 1988; Shaw & Kitzinger, 2007; You, 2015) and the no-one knows epistemic status check (Sert, 2013), and her alternation to the L1 when all these resources failed to lead to a display of student understanding. The study is also concerned with examining the degree of multimodal unpacking required to establish shared understanding through which the teacher’s plan as a dynamic process becomes visible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-53
Number of pages18
JournalHacettepe University Journal of Education
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Epistemic expectations
  • Epistemic status checks
  • Italian as a foreign language
  • Language alternation
  • Multimodality
  • Plans for learning
  • Recognition checks

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