LINGUIST List 6.1245

Thu Sep 14 1995

Sum: Classroom Discourse

Editor for this issue: Anthony M. Aristar <>


  1. karen stanley, Sum: Classroom Discourse

Message 1: Sum: Classroom Discourse

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 08:12:45 Sum: Classroom Discourse
Subject: Sum: Classroom Discourse

The following summary is a result of posting to three different
lists, as well as some personal inquiries. I would like to thank
all of the people who responded for their time and effort: H.D.
Adamson, Carolyn Adger, Jean Clayton, Peter Daniels, Darin
Dooley, Dora Johnson, Arnold Halperin, Eileen Kelley, Julian
Linnell, Judith Marquez, Marie Melenca, Chris Nelson, Ted

Special thanks to Chris Nelson, whose response was especially

My original query:

I am looking for articles/research that investigate classroom
discourse in the 'regular' university classroom (ie, not the
language learning classroom). My particular focus is on the
elements that would be useful to present to prepare high level
ESL learners not only for notetaking from lectures but *also* for
interaction within the context of the university classroom.

Mostly what I have looked at up to the present are ESL
textbooks that focus on verbal devices for cohesion as they are
used by classroom teachers when presenting lectures.

While I continue to be interested in sources for that type of
information, I am especially interested in articles/research that
look at other aspects of lectures and teacher-student interaction.

(My apologies if my editing of responses in any way
misrepresents the original.)

James Nattinger and Jeanette DeCarrico have done some
research in this area. One of their books "Lexical Phrases and
Language Teaching" contains their findings.

One direction that might be instructive is to look at the stuff that
is used for working with I.T.A.s, which is sort of a backwards
way to get at the issue, but probably one with a lot of good

A specialist research centre in Australia you might like to contact
is the Centre for Applied linguistics at he university of South
Australia. They are working all the time in this area, mainly in
regard to ESL but also in regard to literacy across the curriculum
and in academic discourses in the tertiary setting. You can fax on
(618) 302 1557 to Jill Burton who is the director of the centre.

Are you familiar with a book called Academic Competence--
Theory and Classroom Practice: Preparing ESL Students for
Content Courses by H.D. Adamson? It's a 1993 Longman

Have you looked at Courtney Cazden's Classroom Discourse,
1988, Heinemann (I think). She summarizes everything
on classroom discourse to that date. Also check Discourse
Processes, Anthropology and Education Quarterly,
Text, Linguistics and Education (I think it's called), Language in
Society. And look at books by James Paul Gee.

You want Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power, by
MAK Halliday and J. R. Martin. (Pittsburgh, 1993). It collects a
number of articles on the langauge of technical science writing
and of science textbooks, and some of them are aimed at

You might be interested in a dissertation just finished by
Mohammed Ghawi titled DEVELOPING SECOND
COMPETENCE, soon to be available from U. of Mich.
Microfilms. It shows that lectures and discussions of authentic
content material significantly increase NNS's TOEFL scores in
Listening Comprehension in a short time. Also of interest may

I don't know of much done at the university level, but I'm not
sure there's a load of difference given a likely overlap of
interaction formats. Anyway, of the top of my head I know the
discourse analyst Michael Stubbs has done work on interaction
formats in his work (though don't have a specific cite on hand).
Also, Susan Philips had an interesting section on different kinds
of floor allocation formats in a section of her book _Invisible
Culture_ (about interaction in schools on the Warm Springs
Indian Reservation). Finally, I've got the following conversation
analysis cites on hand:
Macbeth, D. (1992). Classroom "floors": Material organizations
 as a course of affairs. _Qualitative Sociology_, _15_(2),
McHoul, A. W. (1990). The organization of repair in classroom
 talk. _Language in Society_, _19_, 349-377.
McHoul, A. (1978). The organization of turns at formal talk in
 the classroom. _Language in Society_, _7_, 183-213.
Come to think of it, there's probably a chapter on classroom
discourse in one of the volumes of the _Handbook of discourse
analysis_ edited by Teun van Dijk.
For further conversation analysis citations I would strongly
recommend requesting information from the "ethno" list
( is the new address, I believe). To join
the list and/or follow the responses, see the gopher for CIOS
which manages "ethno". Either send the gopher command
"gopher" and look for the "hotlines" section for
"ethno" or do so by looking up the WWW URL:

My dissertation (Eileen Kelley) looked at what happens when
non-native English-speaking students enter their first semester of
'developmental' English at the community college level. It's
available through libraries . There's also a shorter article in
ERIC. The dissertation title is "The non-native English speaking
student in the community college developmental English class";
it was finished in 1993.

One textbook that I found extremely useful that you may be
able to get information from is called "Discourse and Language
Education" by Evelyn Hatch 1992 by Cambridge University

It is subtitled "an advanced esl/efl comnprehension and note-
taking textbook." Author is Roni Lebauer. My wife used
it with great success at the Pusan National University of
Technology in Korea. It is good prep for the regular classroom.
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