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Triadic dialogue in oral communication tasks: what are the implications for language learning?

Radford, J; Ireson, J; Mahon, M; (2006) Triadic dialogue in oral communication tasks: what are the implications for language learning? Language and Education , 20 (3) 191 - 210. Green open access

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Abstract

Asymmetry in classroom discourse, typified by teachers? frequent use of inauthenticinitiating question turns, does not afford the best opportunities for the learning oflanguage skills. More favourable conditions would appear to be associated withcollaborative discourse patterns that display genuine interest in the child?scontribution and build on, and respond to, the child?s turn. Video-recordings weremade of consecutive episodes of ?story-writing?, ?speaking book? and ?circle-time?activities to explore the sequential implications of the teachers? initiations across eachtask. During speaking book the teacher initiates with topic initial elicitors whichinvite news, ideas or opinions from the child. In story-writing the teacher employsinvitations, which call for the children to generate ideas or suggestions. Analysis ofteacher follow-up turns demonstrates ways in which they recast and reformulate thechildren?s response turns and elicit further material related to the pupils? agendas. Bycontrast, there is limited evidence of negotiation in the circle-time activity. The studydemonstrates the potentially facilitative role played by triadic dialogue in languagelearning and therefore has professional significance for all those involved in thedevelopment of oral language skills in classrooms. Asymmetry in classroom discourse, typified by teachers? frequent use of inauthenticinitiating question turns, does not afford the best opportunities for the learning oflanguage skills. More favourable conditions would appear to be associated withcollaborative discourse patterns that display genuine interest in the child?scontribution and build on, and respond to, the child?s turn. Video-recordings weremade of consecutive episodes of ?story-writing?, ?speaking book? and ?circle-time?activities to explore the sequential implications of the teachers? initiations across eachtask. During speaking book the teacher initiates with topic initial elicitors whichinvite news, ideas or opinions from the child. In story-writing the teacher employsinvitations, which call for the children to generate ideas or suggestions. Analysis ofteacher follow-up turns demonstrates ways in which they recast and reformulate thechildren?s response turns and elicit further material related to the pupils? agendas. Bycontrast, there is limited evidence of negotiation in the circle-time activity. The studydemonstrates the potentially facilitative role played by triadic dialogue in languagelearning and therefore has professional significance for all those involved in thedevelopment of oral language skills in classrooms.

Type:Article
Title:Triadic dialogue in oral communication tasks: what are the implications for language learning?
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information:Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 3rd Mar 2007
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Developmental Science

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