Meanings and Formats of Classroom Discourse in the Context of Teacher Discursive Moves

Yılmaz Soysal


The purpose of this study is to establish an argument regarding whether or not there is a true isomorphism between the formats and the meanings of classroom discourse. The meaning of classroom discourse signifies whether or not it is dialogic vs. authoritative or traditional vs. co-constructive. The format of the classroom discourse implies the basic unit of analyses of any conversational episode as either in the form of triadic dialogue; Initiate-Response-Evaluate (IRE), or other open-ended chains of IRE-based exchanges. As a general tendency, researches have come into prominence the fact that the meanings and the formats of classroom discourse should be presumably matched. However, a critical examination of related studies, the expected isomorphism or matching may be radically altered and invisible when taking teacher discursive moves for co-construction of knowledge into consideration. Moreover, the concepts as Learning Demand and Productive Disciplinary Engagement were considered to advocate the argument that the teacher discursive moves could be attached more importance compare to any played out formats of IRE-based exchanges. It was also concluded that particular discursive usage purposes of teacher discursive moves may modify the expected matching between the formats and the meanings of classroom discourse.

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