Signaling a language of possibility space: Management of a dialogic discourse modality through speculation and reasoning word usage

Maureen P. BOYD, Ming Ming CHIU, Yiren KONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

When members of a classroom community routinely listen to one another and build on one another's ideas, not only do students learn and improve their cognitive and communication skills, but teacher and students develop a disposition to listen, think and talk together. However, such dialogic, classroom talk is rare. In this study we show how a teacher's epistemological commitment (that student ideas matter) combined with oracy practices (safe space for student talk; student ideas drive classroom talk; support multiple perspectives) realized through speculation and reasoning (S&R) words foster dialogic talk. We examined S&R words (think, would, might/maybe, if, so, but, how, why) in 1299 turns of talk in two lessons in one classroom of six 4–5th grade English Language Learners. Statistical discourse analysis showed that S&R words occurred more often during what we refer to as connect episodes (students made personal connections to the content), not after particular types of turns. Close discourse analysis showed how S&R word use cultivated a language of possibility and how management of classroom discourse modality promoted dialogic talk. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
JournalLinguistics and Education
Volume50
Early online dateMar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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speculation
discourse
classroom
language
management
student
discourse analysis
teacher
communication skills
disposition
English language
Language
Modality
Discourse
Word Usage
Speculation
school grade
commitment
community
Discourse Analysis

Citation

Boyd, M. P., Chiu, M. M., & Kong, Y. (2019). Signaling a language of possibility space: Management of a dialogic discourse modality through speculation and reasoning word usage. Linguistics and Education, 50, 25-35. doi: 10.1016/j.linged.2019.03.002