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One of the implications of this study is that teacher educators, both in the specific setting and in relatable contexts elsewhere, can incorporate such metaphors into their programmes and in this way reimagine, refine and redefine the role of the language teacher for the benefit of their students, and themselves. Related Articles:. Mind-Language, the Expanding Heart of Cognition. Date: May 23, Date: February 16, Date: December 31, Date: April 26, Date: December 16, Why Us? All Rights Reserved. The teacher participant, Ann 2 , was a master teacher in the program with 35 years of experience teaching languages across the United States and Europe; during the study, she was also receiving her doctorate in applied linguistics, enabling her to stay current on research and pedagogy.

The course she taught was the highest proficiency level in the program and consisted of 11 students: six Japanese speakers from Japan, two Portuguese speakers from Brazil, two Korean speakers from South Korea, and one German speaker from Germany. As often found in such programs in the United States U. Department of Education, , the learners' ages, educational backgrounds, professions, reasons for learning English, and reasons for being in the course varied.

Data were collected regarding Ann's perceptions of her practices, the classroom interaction itself, and Ann's thought-process undergirding her actual practices. A pre-semester semi-structured interview was conducted, video-recorded, and transcribed to get at Ann's general perceptions of her teaching. The protocol focused on her educational background, entry into the field, development as a teacher, reflections on general teaching practices, and discussions of the current teaching context.

To get at Ann's classroom practices, each lesson was video-recorded. A total of 26 hours of interaction were recorded using three cameras, one at the back of the classroom facing the whiteboard at all times, and two positioned at each front corner of the room facing back so as to encompass all interactions. Once specific management practices began to emerge from the classroom interaction data, stimulated recall sessions were conducted to allow Ann to describe and interpret her classroom practices in relation to the immediate context and overall perceptions of her teaching.

Data analysis consisted of bridging conversation analytic and ethnographic methods. Conversation analysis CA is a systematic method of studying the construction of naturally-occurring talk. This occurs by first transcribing the interaction using a detailed transcription notation system created by Gail Jefferson which shows how each turn is verbally and non-verbally produced and understood by the participants as they construct their next turns-at-talk Schegloff, Central to ensuring valid findings is the strict adherence to the transcripts, thus allowing researchers to examine the data from an emic perspective i.

Given its micro-analytic nature, CA was utilized in the examination of Ann's classroom practices. Each day's video-recordings were transcribed using a modified version of Jefferson's notation system see appendix Waring, Following the transcription, reiterative line-by-line analyses were done from which specific classroom practices began to surface, including those showing Ann's management of learner inquiries. Further line-by-line analyses were then conducted on the learner inquiry data set, from which distinct practices emerged and were separated from one another. A final discursive analysis was done to distinguish the varied forms in which the practices took shape and the specific interactional contexts where they were found.

Following Bogdan and Biklen's scheme for reiterative and inductive analyses of interview data, the first reading of the semi-structured interview transcript focused on noting recurring words, phrases, or stories. During the second review of the data, connections were made between recurring items that had shared characteristics or were often utilized in tandem by Ann. The third and final reading of the transcript allowed for generalizations to be formed about her perceptions. These findings were reviewed by Ann for accuracy and clarification.

Once specific practices began emerging from the CA data, five stimulated recall sessions were conducted to elicit Ann's perspectives on their uses. The first two sessions focused on examining apparent prototypical cases of the different practices found. Ann's insights were then synthesized to formulate a generalization of the factors perceived as influencing her use of a particular practice.

Beginning with the third stimulated recall session, Ann was also presented with variations of those practices as well as deviant cases. When viewing these, she was asked to compare them with their prototypical counterparts. This analysis was repeated for the fourth and fifth stimulated recall sessions as more interaction data was transcribed and analyzed. The process culminated with sets of factors reported by Ann as influencing her actual practices found in the CA analysis compared with her perceptions of her teaching found in the interview data.

Here, Ann's general perceptions of her teaching are first presented, with a focus on the general themes that permeated throughout her pre-semester interview. This is followed by the CA data findings demonstrating her actual classroom practices when managing learner inquiries, and her discussion of those classroom practices in relation to the instructional context and her pre-conceived notions of her own teaching.

Throughout the semi-structured interview, Ann emphasized two points that summarized her overall understanding of her teaching: constructing lessons organically based on perceptions of learners' needs and promoting learner autonomy throughout the lessons. While Ann never explicitly framed her teaching as such, it was evident over the course of the interview that these two points were intertwined. As explained by Ann, her experiences working with varied academic contexts had led her to develop a philosophy of organically finalizing her lessons in-the-moment rather than having a fully set agenda or lesson plan pre-made.

In working within contexts such as community language programs, she noted that "these students need actual practice with the language that they can utilize in real life She acknowledged that this is a bridge between her understanding of 1 Long's 3 focus-on-form approach to language, where language is contextualized, and 2 Vygotskian sociocultural theory Lantolf, where, as she described it, activities are created and adapted to work within the learners' individual zones of proximal development. Along the lines of constructing lessons organically is the promotion of learner autonomy.

As Ann attested, "I'm the teacher, but it's important for ENT ;learnersENT ; to take initiative, speak their minds, get their thoughts out there Case in point, Ann mentioned, is the promotion of learner initiatives in classroom interaction, such as inquiries or comments, which enable teachers to glimpse at what learners are thinking and use that information in subsequent lesson planning, i.

Furthermore, Ann described the need to have learners respond to each other without the default reliance on the teacher to give an assessment or mediate the talk. In this regard, Ann perceived her teaching as mostly "hands off", where she models for learners the first day of the semester how to respond to each other's language use, whether it be in response to a teacher elicitation or in response to another's initiative. For her, this is essential in promoting the learners as a unified group, particularly when working in a community language program where learners have varied backgrounds.

Simultaneously, she has found that setting up learner-learner responsibility "makes them more reliant on others when checking their own language use, something which they will have to do outside of the classroom since ENT ;the teacherENT ; will not always be available". From this, Ann emphasized the importance of having learners respond to each other "so they can think more about language. Broadly speaking, an inquiry is defined as a sequence-initiating turn requesting information.

As found in the CA data, such requests can be done explicitly, where learners overtly ask for information, or implicitly, where Ann orients to learner turns as requests for information without them being overtly constructed for that purpose. Furthermore, some inquiries appear easier to manage while others more problematic.

As found in the conversation analytic examination of the interaction data, Ann manages such non-problematic and problematic inquiries by employing two practices respectively: 1 doing answering and 2 modeling exploration. When managing learners' non-problematic inquiries, or those that can be addressed readily and straightforwardly, the practice of doing answering is utilized, where Ann either directly answers the inquiry herself or delegates the answering to another learner.

In either case, the reply is produced within a very narrow window in relation to the inquiry turn. In general, Ann directly answers inquiries when they concern classroom procedures, where she clearly has epistemic authority. Excerpt 1 illustrates such an instance. Here, the learners have just been handed a sheet entitled "Classic Mistakes" consisting of mistakes Ann has heard the learners say over the past week which coincide with common errors heard throughout her career. She is now giving the instructions for the activity:.

As the instructions are being given line 1 , Maria inquires if the learners are to write down new sentences or just work with the incorrect ones on the sheet. As seen, Ann hurriedly takes the next turn in line 3 and clearly states "No. You're gonna talk about all of them. Okay" showing simultaneous receipt and acceptance of Ann's information Schegloff, In addition to inquiries concerning classroom procedures, Ann directly answers when there is evidence in the interaction that other learners may not be able to respond, as found in excerpt 2.

The class has been given a list of adjectives and must decide which prefixes in-, -un-, dis- are used to form their antonyms. Prior to beginning the main component of the activity, Ann is asking the learners to pronounce and provide a definition of each of the adjectives. The learners are now looking at the word "approachable":.

Note that during his turn Ichiro struggles with constructing his response, as shown with his pausing, nonverbal conduct, and use of slow, increased intonation at the end of the turn signaling uncertainty Couper-Kuhlen, In line 10, Tetsu seeks further specification of Ichiro's definition. Although his eye gaze indicates that Ann is the recipient of his clarification request Kendon, , it would be feasible for Ann to delegate the role of answerer to Ichiro as it was his answer that needs clarification. In this case, Ichiro's difficulty in producing the definition in line 6 may have provided Ann with some evidence for his potential inability to handle Tetsu's inquiry, for after a brief 0.

The excerpt concludes with Tetsu signaling receipt of the information with a change-of-state token "oh" Heritage, Aside from directly answering the inquiries herself, Ann also delegates this to other learners when there is evidence in the interaction that they are able to successfully address the inquiry. In excerpt 3, the learners have been given a worksheet with common expressions that they could hear in everyday conversations.

The class is now reviewing "monkey business":.

Although the excerpt begins with Ann nominating Clara to describe what monkeys do "outside ENT ;herENT ; house" 4 , it is Ichiro in line 4 who first provides a response of "climb," which Ann acknowledges and elaborates on. This is followed by Olga's self-selected response "they're silly" line 6 , to which Ann gives a positive assessment both nonverbally line 7 and verbally line 8. After a quick aside where Ann discusses her mother's use of the expression, Clara brings the talk back to the word "silly" and inquires about its spelling line 9.

Given that Clara's eye gaze marks Ann as the intended recipient of this inquiry, it would be feasible for Ann to directly answer the inquiry; instead, she delegates the answering to Olga, who brought the word "silly" to the talk and is thereby potentially knowledgeable about its spelling. As Olga spells the word, Ann writes it on the board; once this is done, Clara nonverbally acknowledges the response.

As shown in this first set of excerpts, Ann directly answers non-problematic inquiries, or those that can be readily addressed, when they relate to classroom procedures or where there is evidence in the interaction the learners appear not yet able to successfully answer. In cases where there is evidence the other learners can answer the inquiries, she delegates answering to them.

Upon closer investigation of the excerpts, she stated that her overall goal in choosing whether or not to directly answer these inquiries is to ensure interactional flow in the activity. In cases where the inquiry concerned procedural matters, Ann directly answered so as to ensure clarity in the subsequent flow of the activities e. Secondly, as evidenced in excerpt 2, Ann did the answering when learners displayed difficulty in understanding the concept related to the given inquiry. While examining this excerpt's video, Ann chose to focus on Ichiro's eye gaze up to the ceiling and his careful word choice in attempting to answer Ann's original initiation, exclaiming, "that's why I couldn't go back to him; it looks like he would continue to struggle with ENT ;itENT ;.

Ann was quick to differentiate her actions in excerpt 2 with those in excerpt 3, focusing on Olga jumping in to the talk and initiating the word "silly" in the discourse. When asked to summarize her insights into doing answering when managing learner inquiries, Ann exclaimed, "while it's interesting to see how much I respond to the inquiries, I'm very surprised at how systematic I am, how organized my actions are. After considering this comment for some time, she noted that even though learner interaction may be minimized at that particular moment, ensuring interactional flow and clarity in an activity helps to promote learner talk in subsequent interaction, a factor she "never thought about before When managing problematic inquiries, or those that cannot be readily addressed, Ann models exploration , where she displays her thought process when deciphering how to answer a learner's inquiry.

Excerpt 4 is a prototypical example of this practice. The class is in the middle of the prefix activity presented in excerpt 2, where learners are to decide which prefixes un-, in-, dis- are attached to different adjectives to form their antonyms.

TEFL Interviews 44: Simon Borg on Teacher Cognition & Research

The definitions and uses of the words "communicative" and "assertive" have just been discussed in tandem, and the learners are now writing down the correct prefixes for each:. While the learners are writing down what they perceive to be the correct prefixes, Ichiro in line 2 asks Ann for confirmation of the phrase "assertive communication. After Ichiro accounts for his inquiry as something he has heard line 5 , Ann further models exploration by again displaying a thinking stance before making explicit information needed in order for her to answer line 7. After Ichiro responds to the request for a sentence lines , Ann for a third time displays a thinking stance, this time also verbalizing her thoughts as she repeats aloud Ichiro's answer lines While doing this, she begins using another resource at her disposal: other learners.

It is when she changes her gaze towards Tetsu that the latter confirms that "assertive communication" is a phrase used within the context of Business English. Once this is said, Ann immediately displays recognition and eventually answers Ichiro's inquiry in lines 29 by stating "I like that.

Instead, she manages the inquiry by modeling exploration in the form of displaying a thinking stance, making explicit the information needed in order for her to make a determination, and utilizing other resources available to her such as other learners; in so doing, it is made known to the learners in what context this language use is acceptable. Excerpt 5 shows Ann modeling exploration when confronted with information unrelated to language use. Taking place on the first day of the course, the learners have just finished talking in small groups about different cultures' stereotypes, including stereotypes about their own cultures.

Ann is now asking learners to provide stereotypes about Americans:. After Bae provides an American stereotype line 2 , Ann positively assesses his response lines 3, 5, 7 before signaling a close to the sequence line 9. In response, Ann begins modeling exploration by first seeking from Bae some sort of clarification of his inquiry line After this is accomplished with the help of Maria, Ann, as was done in excerpt 4, first displays a thinking stance line 21 before verbalizing her uncertainty line Unlike excerpt 4, though, she does not proceed with any further overt exploration but rather directs Bae to a resource he can use to find out his answer, i.

Perhaps because she cuts short the exploration, Ann not only affirms that this is a "very good question" line 27 but reaffirms it by stating "it's such a good question that I want you to do some research" line The next excerpt diverges from the patterns in the previous two in that Ann models exploration without reaching any sort of resolution i.

The learners have been told to draw their English experiences on a life graph and incorporate vocabulary discussed in the previous week that is commonly associated with trends and graphs e. They are now being asked to explain their life graphs to the other learners, who are to draw the graph based on the vocabulary words used in the description. The activity culminates with the learners comparing their graphs with that of the original speaker. Ichiro, who has volunteered to go first, is 22 seconds into his turn:. While Ichiro articulates his graph, numerous long pauses, along with his gaze shifting between Ann and the drawing, indicate his struggle; this is further exemplified in his self-initiated repair with "I mean In lines 7 and 9, it becomes apparent that the repair is Ichiro's attempt at providing a referent for the "it" stated in line 4, which he calls "the effect.

It is in lines where Ann shows both affiliation with what Ichiro is saying but also uncertainty in how to say it. Up to now, her actions parallel those in the previous two excerpts. From this point forward, though, Ann aborts modeling exploration; rather, she acknowledges his attempt and prompts him to continue with his English life graph lines , 19, As exemplified in these three excerpts, modeling exploration was used when managing learners' problematic inquiries. This practice typically entailed displaying a thinking stance during silence, verbalizing thought processes, and searching for, utilizing, or suggesting resources for reaching an answer.

In reviewing these excerpts, Ann called attention to two factors influencing the use of this practice. Similar to the findings in the pre-semester interview, she emphasized her priority in promoting learners as knowledge-holders in the classroom, where learners' ideas should be deemed as equally important to the progression of the lesson as the teacher's ideas, if not more so because the teacher can now have a glimpse into the learner's thought-process. Also important in modeling exploration is demonstrating for the learners how to work through unplanned or unknown inquiries.

Ann noted that doing this modeling when addressing problematic inquiries is in line with what learners commonly experience on a daily basis: addressing others' inquiries that they may not readily have an answer to. Ann further provided two additional factors influencing her construction of this practice. This included the nature of the inquiry being asked. When the inquiry concerned language use e. This was in part due to the emphasis on language use in the classroom, and in part due to Ann being more readily able to ultimately answer such an inquiry.

This was not necessarily the case when the problematic inquiry was not language related, as found in excerpt 5. There, Ann acknowledged that she did not know the answer concerning the gun laws in New York City; furthermore, she stated that this inquiry, though tangentially connected to the activity, was not pertinent to the continuation of the lesson for the other learners. In keeping with the importance of promoting learners as knowledge-holders, Ann did some modeling in the class but ultimately directed Bae to a resource that could more readily answer his inquiry.

Most surprising for Ann were her actions in excerpt 6, with a particular focus on her eye contact between Ichiro and the other learners in the class which, she believed, was a sign of her multitasking. Ann focused on the three turns she took to address Ichiro's inquiry as a way of acknowledging and valuing his inquiry as important and something he should continue doing in the future.

However, she noted that this also sidetracked from the other learners' priority on the activity or, as she put it, the "flow of the activity. From this data set, Ann acknowledged that she had not previously explicitly considered "the importance of looking at the nonverbal, the pausing. With the larger aim of examining how teacher cognition unfolds moment-by-moment in the nuanced interactional work of teaching, the purpose of this study was to investigate at a microanalytic level one teacher's, Ann's, classroom practices when addressing learner inquiries, and how such analysis lead to a reformulation of how Ann understood her teaching.

She initially perceived her teaching as "hands off", with lessons evolving organically as opposed to being regimented, where learner autonomy in the form of learner initiatives and peer assessment and mediation were highly valued. In doing a microanalysis of Ann's actual management of learner inquiries, a more in-depth understanding of her cognition emerged. If the inquiries were oriented to as non-problematic, she would either directly answer them herself or delegate other learners to do so if she perceived it would not disrupt interactional flow. When managing problematic inquiries, or those that could not be readily answered, Ann would model exploration, i.

For Ann, modeling exploration showed the learners how to work through potential language issues in the future, thus promoting autonomy beyond the classroom. At the same time, she emphasized the importance of doing this when she perceived it as beneficial not only for the inquirer but for the promotion of the activity and other learners' engagement.

At the crux of these micro-analytic findings is how Ann chose to attend to a constellation of factors underlying her decision-making process. Indeed, learner autonomy played an integral role in her instruction, though as she deduced in the final stimulated recall session there was an apparent "hierarchy to how ENT ;sheENT ; prioritizeENT ;sENT ; autonomy in her classroom" depending on the perceived needs of the immediate context, i. Ann's management was therefore systematically determined by taking into account the nature of the individual contribution and the nature and purpose of the activity in which the contribution occurs, as well as utilizing management practices that retain current interactional flow and are used to help circumvent future interactional breakdown.

In other words, her management of learner inquiries addressed the need of the individual inquirer and engaged peers in ways appropriate for their perceived levels of competency, and accounted for immediate interaction opportunities and established potential ones for the future. In Ann's own words:. I never thought about looking at my teaching so intricately: the nonverbal, the pausing, all of it. And I really had no idea that I was so systematic or that I could be systematic and organic at the same time.

Teaching depends on context, I've always believed that, but making sure that there is interactional flow and weighing the importance of promoting interaction with one ENT ;learnerENT ; immediately or subsequently with more learners, that seems to be a deeply rooted belief I never realized I need to explore my own understandings of what it means to teach and reconsider what learner autonomy means to me I'm glad to know that there are still things I'm learning about myself.

Theoretically and methodologically, the current paper demonstrates how different components of teacher cognition interconnect and surface in microanalytic examinations of the discourse. Instead of gathering data on teachers' perceptions of what influences their practices, this project provides tools to extract from authentic classroom interaction how these interconnected factors affect teachers' moment-by-moment actions, from which patterns can be formulated showing how teacher cognition affects and is affected by general classroom practices.

Furthermore, the current study highlights how the use of CA as a methodological tool in SLTE research informs ethnographic data.


The bridging of CA with ethnographic methods provides insight into the complementary and contradictory nature of a teacher's declarative and procedural knowledge Fagan, Shown here is how CA findings juxtaposed with interview data helped focus the stimulated recall sessions to elaborate on the similarities between the two and clarify contradictory findings that Ann may not have been aware of during the interview. In doing so, she could provide a richer analysis of her management of learner inquiries and begin to reformulate her own perceptions of language teaching.

Pedagogically, the study shows the need for promoting critical thinking among teachers at all levels of their career. Taken from this is the importance for teachers to be aware of any evidence, whether it be verbal or nonverbal, that may be influencing their practices regardless of what they think they are doing.

Depending on the nature of the talk, it may be more beneficial for the progression of the lesson and for future learning opportunities to keep learner interaction at a minimum in-the-moment rather than having interaction for interaction's sake. As such, when reflecting on one's own teaching or asking another person about their teaching practices, it should be emphasized that teacher explicit thought processes do not provide a complete picture of the actualities of classroom teaching.

It is here that teachers must consider various factors that influence management decisions in real-time classroom interactions, for it is those decisions that play an ultimate role in promoting or hindering language learning opportunities in the classroom. First, I would like to thank "Ann" and her students for allowing me into their classroom, and Hansun Zhang Waring for her invaluable guidance throughout this project.

Thank you also to Karen E. Johnson and the reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

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Any remaining errors are my own. Allwright, D. From teaching points to learning opportunities and beyond. Angelova, M. Bartels Ed. New York: Springer. Barnard, R. Researching language teacher cognition and practice: International case studies. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. Bartels, N. Applied linguistics and language teacher education: What we know. Basturkmen, H. Review of research into the correspondence between language teachers' stated beliefs and practices. System Teachers' stated beliefs about incidental focus on form and their classroom practices.

Applied Linguistics - Belz, J.

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Discourse analysis and foreign language teacher education. Bereiter, C. Surpassing ourselves: An inquiry into the nature and implications of expertise. Chicago: Open Court. Bogdan, R. Qualitative research in education: An introduction to theory and practice 5 edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Borg, S.

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